Got Milk?!?

or “The Joys of an Abundant Supply”

I got to thinking the other day as I was nursing Robert and he was coughing and sputtering over his meal and I was pressing my hand against the breast he wasn’t nursing on to try and stem the flow that I should list the humorous faux-pas (for lack of a better term) of the over-abundant nursing mother…

#1 – “I’m sorry little one, did I just squirt you in the eye?”
#2 – I swear I either change my shirt 2-4 times a day or more or just walk around smelling like sour milk.
#3 – you get used to that soggy feeling
#4 – The song “Drip, drip, drip little April showers…” runs through your mind constantly
#5 – When someone mentions that your baby is hungry you get in the habit of automatically glancing down at your shirt first to find the wet spots, rather than checking if your baby is actually crying.
#6 – You never quite get over or used to the horrifying moments of inopportune let-down while teaching Relief Society or speaking in Sacrament meeting at church (or any other public speaking engagement, for that matter). And at those moments, you can’t exactly clench your arm to your breast to stop the flow.
#7 – When you say hi to a stranger and their eyebrows raise, they blush, look quickly away, or their eyes widen exponentially, you know you are leaking AGAIN.
#8 – You might as well wash the sheets every day – because you wake up every morning soaked – either from excess after feeding the baby, or because you leaked over night.
#9 – in order not to soil your clothes you stuff entire dishtowels into your bra… but then you forget to take them out when the doorbell rings.
#10 – oh – and nursing pads? Read the one about the dishtowels again.
#11 – the other moms in the nursing lounge look at you a bit oddly when you stuff a towel or washcloth into the bra on one side before beginning to nurse on the other.
#12 – your husband asks upon arriving home from work, “Did you spill something, or are you just happy to see me?” After which you promptly whack him on top of the head with a wooden spoon.
#13 – overproduction can lend to humor and stress relief in difficult situations. Namely when Jacob was in the hospital and I was pumping – the entire mini freezer for breast milk was filled by me! on the day of Jacob’s surgery Paul and I wore our semi matching cow pajama pants – the only difference? Mine said “Got milk?” To which one of the nurses pointed out laughing, “Honey, you need an exclamation point, not a question mark!”

No wonder they said breastfeeding was a form of birth control!

I meant to write this post the other day because I thought it would be rather humorous, but then I got busy – I suppose life as a mom of six tends to get that way from time to time – so they tell me anyway. Well, today as I was researching an issue completely unrelated (Robert has blocked tear ducts right now and his eyes are weepy – we haven’t dealt with blocked tear ducts since Liz was a baby, so I suppose I am entitled to forget a few things after 11 years) and I found, along with ideas on helping Robert’s little eyes, a wealth of information that I wish I had learned 11 years ago!

So, overactive let-down is an actual issue – addressed by the Leche League! I never knew this. I always thought I should be happy that I have plenty of milk, especially because I know some moms who have a hard time producing sufficient milk for their babies, while secretly I’ve felt rather miserable. Engorgement, frequently plugged ducts, never feeling comfortable – it hurts! But, I didn’t want to complain or feel ungrateful. Anyway, as I was researching the clogged tear ducts, I stumbled across a post on the leche league forum that talked about putting a few drops of breast milk in baby’s eyes to help with the clogged tear ducts (which totally works by the way, I remembered doing that with Liz after I read about it) and the one mom said something about doing it unintentionally because she always squirted him in the eye – followed by the comment “I have OALD”. And I got to thinking – what is that, so i did a search and found out about over-active let down.

The thing is, is that it causes gassiness in infants (my babies were always burpy, farty, explosive stinkies, you name it – they were gassy babes), and numerous other things that cause baby (and mom) to be uncomfortable. And the coolest part? There are things I can do to help and decrease the overabundant supply! I never knew. By following the standard nursing instructions I was making the problem worse – never knew that either. So – if you happen to have an over-abundant milk supply check out the following link. I sure wish I had read this before baby number 6!

Am I Making Too Much Milk?

And if you have a baby with clogged tear ducts – here is what I found out: (from the on call nurse and online)

1- wash away the drainage with a clean damp cloth – preferably warm
2- gently massage with your pinky (be sure it is clean, please) in a semi circle from the corner of the eye where the lids meet inward to the nose – 5-10 times 6 times a day
3 – apply mother’s milk – a few drops in the corner of their eye about 6 times a day – mother’s milk has infection-fighting white blood cells and other natural antibacterial substances and it’s gentle on sensitive baby eyes than prescriptions.
4- see your pediatrician if the above isn’t working – it can take some time for the ducts to clear up – signs of larger problems are red irritated eyes or puffy lids, etc.


Filed under Humor

11 responses to “Got Milk?!?

  1. Love it! You’re too funny. 🙂 The nurse’s comment was great. I had leaking a few times, enough to know how embarrassing it is, but I’m sure it must be hard to have that as a constant problem! My problem tended toward not having quite enough. Glad you found some ideas to help. When Gabe was a baby I had an infection in my eye that hadn’t responded yet to medicine. My bishop said his mother, who knew a lot about natural remedies, would always suggest mother’s milk. Well, I just happened to have some! 🙂 I put some in my eye using a dropper and it cleared up right away.

  2. And what about those of us who haven’t been a nursing mother, aren’t pregnant, yet start leaking?! Ugh. Another doctor’s appointment in the making. It’s embarrassing to leak anytime, but when your baby is nearly 5 it’s downright shocking. I always had LOTS of milk. I used commercial nursing pads since they had the best barrier against leaking. I went through tons of them. The most embarrassing thing? to have been sitting discreetly nursing baby under a blanket at the in-laws house and lose the nursing pad, so putting in a new one…. then a few weeks later the boys in the family are rearranging the furniture and three or four used nursing pads appear :”)
    I have had to edit a few photos of my when babies were little because I didn’t know when the picture was taken that I was drenched, LOL.

    • forgive me for laughing, Janelle 😀 Something to try – I would often leak long after weaning and a nurse recommended putting fresh cabbage leaves in my bra and changing them when they wilted. It didn’t dry up the supply completely, but it did dry it up enough I wasn’t leaking any more. 😀

  3. Man Julia, I so have the opposite problem. I never produce enough, probably because my babies are so stinkin tiny! I am lucky if I can pump 2 ounces after feeding Lily, and I sometimes wonder if I even had enough to feed her because she is so cranky after eating… grr, why can’t this stuff be easy?! 🙂

  4. moniquel319

    I’ve also heard that mothers milk is the best treatment for pink eye. Kinda weird but ok. I’ve never had the, too much milk problem. I’ve always struggled to make enough. Finally, FINALLY with my last kiddo I made enough to mostly nurse with only a little supplementing. I’ve never been engorged or leaked or had any of those issues. Sorry I can’t identify with you. 🙂

  5. mcinsane

    I’ve not had huge leakage problems, but enough to sympathize. When I was teaching school, and I was pregnant with Cooper, I took a drink from my water bottle before stepping up on the podium to direct the class. Of course, my water bottle leaked right on my right boob, making it look like I was leaking. Needless to say, I had many weird looks from students. But what was I to do?
    I hope things smooth out for you soon!

  6. Tracy Astle

    My ‘baby’ is 16 yrs old so it’s been a long time since I’ve had to deal with this, but boy, you made me laugh, smile, and count my older mom blessings.

  7. Liz

    This may sound strange but I’ve heard that cabbage leaves can help with tenderness and engorgement. I’ve never tried it but I have a few friends who swear by it.

  8. Hey Liz – it’s totally true! It even mentions it on the Leche League website and my ped’s nurse back in OR told me about it after James – it did help. Some women have to be careful though because it can actually dry up the milk supply as well.

  9. Tracy

    Oh my gosh, you are so funny! I was literally laughing out loud reading this. I’ve had some embarassing moments of leakage before (years ago!) so I completely get it! Oh, and I loved the bit about the cow pants and the nurse’s comment … hilarious! Thanks for making me laugh :).

  10. hahahaha!!! I haven’t had this problem–I make just enough! Except for ONCE when Jenacy was a baby and we had company over. Oy, embarrassing! 😛 Good luck!!!

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