Baby dribbling milk after feed
4 Reasons Why Baby always Dribbles milk while Feeding I empiricalmama
Sharing is caring!
Are you worried about your baby dribbling milk from the corner of the mouth rather than drinking? Here are reasons and what you should do if the baby always dribbles milk while bottle or breastfeeding.
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding a baby, there is a learning curve for both mom and baby.
Some babies are born with skills to latch on or bottle feed from day one, while others take days to master the skill of breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
It is concerning for new mothers to see their baby dribbling milk from the corner of the mouth while feeding rather than drinking.
Are they not getting enough to eat? Are they hungry all the time? – are some of the questions you start asking yourself.
In this article, we talk about possible reasons your baby always dribbles milk while bottle or breastfeeding and tips on how to stop the baby from dribbling milk so your baby gets more milk in the tummy and not on the burp cloth.
Table Of Contents
- Why does Baby always Dribble milk while feeding?
- Baby Always Dribbles Milk while Breastfeeding
- How to identify if your Baby has Tongue-tie?
- Oversupply of Breast milk
- Baby Always Dribbles Milk while Bottle feeding
- Wrong size nipple
- The way you bottle-feed your baby
- How to Stop Baby from Dribbling milk while Feeding?
- Get tongue tie corrected
- The Solution for Fast Milk Flow/Oversupply of breast milk
- Try Different Nipple Size and shape
- Paced feed your Baby
- Baby always Dribbles milk while Bottle or Breastfeeding: Conclusion
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an affiliate and amazon associate, I earn commission on qualified purchases at no extra cost to you. Check our affiliate policy here.Why does Baby always Dribble milk while feeding?
In general, babies are messy eaters whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Therefore, you always need to have a burp cloth or washcloth prepped up before you begin feeding your baby.
Even when they master the skill of feeding when they are a little older, they still dribble milk from time to time.
So, your baby dribbling milk may not be the cause of concern other than a simple laundry problem.
But when you see your baby dribbling milk each feeding over the days or weeks, you may worry about whether they are getting enough to eat.
If they are dribbling a large amount of breast milk or formula at each feeding, they are not swallowing enough milk to keep up with their early age growth requirement.
One of the medical reasons your breastfed or bottle-fed baby is always dribbling milk while feeding is tongue-tie.
Babies with tongue ties have restricted tongue mobility, making it harder for them to latch on to the breast or bottle correctly. And this will result in babies leaking milk from the corner of their mouth rather than getting enough to eat.
Let’s look at possible reasons why a baby always dribbles milk while breastfeeding and bottle feeding in detail.Baby Always Dribbles Milk while BreastfeedingPhoto by ?? Janko Ferlič on Unsplash
There are two main reasons why breastfed baby always dribbles milk while breastfeeding.Tongue-tie
Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a medical condition that some babies are born with. An unusually short and thick band of tissue tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the bottom of the baby’s mouth, restricting its movement.
So, babies with tongue-tie have difficulty latching on to the breast correctly while feeding cause milk to dribble from the corner of the mouth.
Getting the baby to latch properly on the breast is the first step for successfully breastfeeding a baby, followed by a coordinated suck-swallow-breathe pattern once a proper latch is achieved.
But babies with tongue-tie have difficulty sticking their tongues out, affecting the way they swallow breast milk. This restricted tongue movement will cause milk to dribble milk from the corner of the mouth.
So, if you think your baby dribbles milk while breastfeeding or nursing because of tongue-tie, talk to your pediatrician or lactation consultant. They will evaluate the baby’s mouth anatomy and suggest a course of action.
Tongue-tie is a very common condition among newborns, and it can be fixed by a small surgical procedure.How to identify if your Baby has Tongue-tie?
In addition to baby dribbling milk while nursing, tongue tie makes breastfeeding difficult.
Breastfeeding requires a baby to keep their tongue over the lower gum while sucking at the breast. If they cannot keep the tongue in the right position, they will bite or chew on the nipple rather than suck on it.
This will cause significant pain, and you will be able to judge that something is not right while breastfeeding.
And because a baby with tongue-tie is dribbling milk while nursing and getting enough nutrition, they will fail to thrive.
Newborns are required to meet certain growth expectations by they are a few weeks old. For example, in the first 4-5 days after birth, the baby loses 5-10% of their birth weight, but by the 2 weeks, they regain it.
So, if you notice your baby not gaining weight at about 2 weeks and has fewer wet and soiled diapers, it is an indication that your baby might have tongue-tie.Oversupply of Breast milk
If you think your baby’s moth anatomy is not a problem for your baby dribbling milk, you might want to check your milk supply.
Some mamas have an overabundance of milk supply due to engorgement, or they are naturally blessed with it.
Oversupply of milk or fast let-down will frustrate your baby at the breast as they can not handle the milk flow, resulting in the baby dribbling milk from the corner of the mouth or making clicking sound while feeding.
Oversupply of breast milk is frustrating for mothers as they will need to unlatch and latch their baby every time they have let down while nursing to make it manageable for their babies.
Here are some of the indications of oversupply of breast milk
- Engorgement or breast feel full all the time
- Baby biting on the nipple to stop the milk flow
- Baby latching and unlatching repeatedly
- Baby chokes on breast milk
- Clogged milk ducts, milk blebs, or mastitis
- Overactive let-down
- Baby dribbling milk to manage the milk flow in the mouth
Tongue-tie and flow of the milk are two common reasons why a baby dribbles milk while bottle feeding.
Whether you are feeding expressed breast milk or formula in a bottle, if your baby can not handle the milk flow or has a tongue tie, they are likely to dribble milk while bottle feeding.Tongue-tie
As mentioned earlier, tongue-tie is a medical condition where a thick piece of tissue is tethered between the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth, making it difficult for the baby to suck while feeding.
So, even when feeding on the bottle (which is comparatively easy for babies to get milk from than breasts), they can’t suck properly from the nipple. And this will lead to dribbling milk from the corner of the mouth while bottle feeding.Wrong size nipple
Newborn babies are not used to the fast flow of the nipple. So, if you are not using a newborn nipple for your baby, they will get frustrated with milk flow and dribble milk while bottle feeding.
Nipple comes in varying shapes and sizes, and depending on your baby, you need to choose the size of a nipple.The way you bottle-feed your baby
Just like breastfeeding, you also need to learn how to bottle feed. It is not as easy as it seems. The way you hold the bottle makes a big difference in how fast the milk flows from the nipple.
So, if you are holding the bottle in a vertical position in your baby’s mouth, your baby will get more milk from the milk that they can’t handle, resulting in dribbling milk while feeding.
In addition, before you decide that your baby is dribbling milk from the corner of the mouth while feeding, check how you assemble the part of your bottle after washing.
Sometimes, you might not have assembled the nipple and other parts of your anti-colic bottle (which requires special attention during assembly), causing milk to spill over the place while feeding rather than from your baby’s mouth. It happens! (It’s a mom thing).
It is also possible that the baby is dribbling milk because they do not like the taste of breast milk or you have accidently given them spoiled breast milk.
- Why Baby Squirms, Cries, or fuss while Bottle Feeding? (Bottle-feeding Problems and Solutions)
- Why Baby’s Gas Smells like Rotten Egg or Sulfur?
It is frustrating for moms to see their baby dribbling milk rather than consuming it, as we all want our babies to get maximum goodness of the last drops of our precious breast milk or formula for them to strive.
So, when they are always dribbling milk while feeding, here is what you need to do to stop them.Get tongue tie corrected
If your baby is not gaining enough weight and has been diagnosed with tongue-tie, you need to get your baby’s tongue tie corrected surgically.
It will improve their daily feeding experience and prevent speech and dental-related problems later in life.The Solution for Fast Milk Flow/Oversupply of breast milk
If you think you have an oversupply of breast milk, you need to adjust your milk supply to make it manageable for your baby. Here is what you need to do,
- Pump some milk or hand express some milk before breastfeeding your baby
- Put your baby to the breast after first you have had your first let-down
- Unlatch your baby when you have a letdown while nursing. Catch the excess milk leak from the letdown onto a towel, and once let down, slow latch your baby again.
- If you think you have an overabundance of milk supply, apply cabbage leaf to your breast to reduce the amount of breast milk you are producing. However, talk to your lactation consultation before trying to reduce your milk supply.
Using a smaller nipple size will help stop the dribbling of milk as it will control the flow of the milk into the mouth at a time.
And if your baby has difficulty latching on to the nipple you are using, try changing the shape of the nipple to a more ‘breast-like nipple’ to reduce spills.Paced feed your Baby
Paced bottle feeding is an approach to bottle-feeding a baby physiologically similar to breastfeeding at the breast.
In paced bottle feeding, you hold your baby in an upright/reclined position (like you do while breastfeeding) and hold the bottle horizontally so milk from the bottle is not pouring into the baby’s mouth.
Paced bottle feeding allows the baby to control the milk flow and set the feeding pace, thereby minimizing spilling milk from the mouth.
Paced bottle feeding also reduced gas and colic in bottle feed baby. Check out the detailed article on how to paced bottle feed a baby here.Baby always Dribbles milk while Bottle or Breastfeeding: Conclusion
I hope this article helped you figure out why a baby always dribbles milk while feeding. Usually, tongue-tie is the main medical reason for a baby dribbling a large amount of milk from the corner of the mouth.
If you suspect that is the case, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant and get it fixed. All the other reasons for baby dribbling milk while feeding can be easily fixed once you know the cause.
Good much, Mama!
If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it with others.
You May Also Like
Baby Always Dribbles Milk (Nursing, Bottle Feeding, or Both)
Babies are constantly learning and growing in every aspect of their lives – including in basic skills such as eating. While most babies can drink milk or formula immediately after birth, some little ones seem to always lose their milk out the side of their mouth as they’re eating.
Although your baby’s leaking milk can be caused by conditions such as tongue-tie or problems with the nipple size or assembly that you’re using, some babies who dribble milk are simply messy eaters. If your little one seems to be getting enough food (he’s growing well and peeing on schedule), then his milk dribbles shouldn’t be a concern.
If your baby seems constantly hungry and still dribbles most of his meal while eating, there may be a problem. Keep reading to learn about the most common reasons for babies to dribble milk, and for tips on how to help.
Table of Contents
Baby always dribbles milk when feeding
It can be a real pain if your baby leaks their meals all over the place. Not only are you worried that your precious little one might not be getting enough to eat, but you’re having to manage the piles of milk-soaked laundry. And if your child has been dribbling milk for weeks, you may even begin to worry that there might be something wrong.
While some babies are just messy eaters, there can also be underlying issues at play causing milk dribbling. Tongue-tie is one such problem and results in restricted tongue mobility that can make it hard for a baby to form a proper latch on the breast or bottle. Another common problem is the speed at which babies are given milk.
In breastfed babies, mothers with an oversupply of milk may be producing more than their baby can swallow at any given time. In bottle-fed babies, a large nipple size might be flooding the baby’s mouth with too much milk.
If your baby constantly dribbles large amounts of milk when feeding (whether they’re breast- or bottle-fed), you may want to consult with their pediatrician or a lactation consultant to see if your child might have a tongue-tie. If their mouth anatomy seems normal, then it might be worth switching up feeding methods by trying new nursing positions or switching nipples if bottle feeding.
Is baby getting enough milk
One of the biggest worries with milk-dribbling babies is that they might not be swallowing enough food. It can be particularly difficult to tell how much milk your little one is drinking if you’re breastfeeding.
Generally, if your baby seems content after eating and is gaining weight as predicted, they’re eating enough. In contrast, if your baby seems extra sleepy and isn’t gaining weight as expected, they might not be getting enough milk.
Signs that baby is getting enough milk
If your baby appears to be growing and developing fine, then it’s likely not a problem if she’s also dribbling milk.
If your baby is getting enough milk, she may:
- Nurse or eat frequently and on a consistent schedule
- Seem content and happy after eating
- Gain approximately 5.5-8.5 ounces of weight per week until 4 months of age
- Clearly swallow while breastfeeding, or empty a bottle
- Fill diapers with light-colored urine on a consistent schedule
- Appear alert and active, and meet developmental milestones
While it can be frustrating to lose so much breastmilk or formula (not to mention deal with the additional laundry), it should be comforting to know that your little one is still happy and healthy.
Signs that baby isn’t getting enough milk
If your baby isn’t swallowing enough milk, she may:
- Seem extra sleepy or even lethargic
- Sleep more than 4 hours at a time
- Take a very brief or very long time nursing or working at a bottle
- Consistently fall asleep while feeding
- Have a shallow or painful latch while nursing
- Gain less weight than expected (5.5-8.5 ounces per week is normal)
- Have dark urine or dry diapers
If your child doesn’t seem to be getting enough milk, it’s important to consult with a pediatrician or lactation consultant right away. If you’re ever concerned about your baby, trust your instincts and seek medical care.
Breastfed baby dribbles milk when nursing
When breastfed babies dribble milk while nursing, there are two main culprits: tongue-tie and oversupply.
Tongue-tie affects your baby, essentially restricting the mobility of their tongue so that it’s hard for them to get a good latch on the breast (hence, the leaking milk).
Oversupply occurs in the mother when she produces more milk than her baby needs, leading to her baby spluttering, gasping, and dribbling milk.
Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, occurs when the lingual frenulum (the part of the mouth that anchors the tongue to the mouth floor) is extra tight or short.
Though it may not seem like a big deal, a tongue-tie can restrict tongue mobility and be of particular concern in babies. Breastfeeding requires careful coordination of a baby’s mouth muscles in order to latch, suck, and swallow effectively, and tongue-tie can hamper that motion, leading to difficulty latching and/or swallowing quick-flowing breast milk.
A baby with a tongue-tie will likely dribble milk while attempting to feed, an occurrence that can be uncomfortable for both baby and mother. While it is possible for babies with tongue-tie to breastfeed, they may experience more difficulty with the process than they might otherwise.
‘Oversupply’ refers to an overabundance of breast milk produced by a mother – much more milk than her baby needs.
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, and having extra breast milk doesn’t actually mean a better-fed baby. Instead, the flow of breast milk can be hard for the little one to process. It can be a bit like drinking from a firehose for the baby, and can lead to difficulties with nursing.
Some signs of oversupply include:
- Baby may cough, choke, or splutter while nursing
- Baby may be restless during feeding
- Feedings may be short and frequent
- Mother might have a strong, forceful milk release
- Mother’s breasts might always feel full, or refill quickly after a feeding
- Frequent plugged ducts or mastitis
- Baby may ‘dribble’ milk while eating
Baby always dribbles milk from a bottle
Babies can dribble milk from bottles just as they do while nursing, and the culprits are often similar: tongue-tie and extra milk flow.
Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, occurs when the lingual frenulum (the membrane that secures the tongue to the bottom of the mouth) is too tight or short.
Tongue-tie can restrict tongue mobility, which can make it difficult for a baby to master the complex action of drinking from a bottle. A baby with tongue-tie may dribble milk while feeding.
Milk flow is too fast/strong
While bottles can be a convenient way for babies to eat, they can sometimes be too convenient. Babies can only swallow so much milk or formula at a time, and if the flow out of their bottle is too fast or strong, it can cause problems.
Each bottle brand has a different speed of milk flow, which can make it tricky to tell exactly how much milk is entering your baby’s mouth per second. And each baby has a different limit for what constitutes a ‘comfortable’ speed.
Nipple too big
One way to control the milk flow in a bottle is through the nipple size.
Different brands have different variations in size, but most begin with a ‘preemie’ or ‘newborn’ level and go on up from there. There are often guidelines for when to use which size nipple, but the ranges can vary, and each child is different. A too-big nipple on a bottle can lead to a strong flow of milk that might be too hard for your baby to keep up with.
When your baby can’t swallow all the milk that enters their mouth, the excess will dribble out the side.
Anti-colic nipple incorrectly assembled
Anti-colic nipples can work wonders by minimizing the amount of air a baby swallows while drinking, helping to reduce gassy bellies. The catch?
In order to keep the bottles and nipples clean, they come apart. And if they aren’t reassembled correctly, then milk or formula can leak all over the place.
Some of the most popular anti-colic nipples are manufactured by:
- Phillips Avent
- Dr. Brown
How to keep baby from dribbling milk
While some babies are just messy eaters, you don’t have to resign yourself to endless cycles of laundry just yet.
If your baby has a tongue- or lip-tie, look into correcting it. If you’re bottle-feeding, try a different nipple size or shape, check the bottle assembly, or switch up the position you use to feed your baby.
Tongue and lip tie correction
If your baby has been diagnosed with tongue- or lip-tie (thickened mouth membranes that restrict movement) you can look into a surgical correction.
While surgery isn’t often necessary, it can help improve breastfeeding, especially in cases where the baby isn’t gaining weight properly. Surgical correction can also prevent dental or speech problems later in life.
Try a different nipple size
Smaller bottle nipples can help reduce dribbled milk by limiting the amount of milk flowing into a baby’s mouth at one time.
A too-large bottle nipple is one of the most common causes of dribbled milk, so this is one of the best solutions to test out first.
Try a different nipple shape
Some brands have differently shaped nipples that might work better for your messy eater.
Babies need to latch onto bottle nipples just like they do while breastfeeding, and mixing up the shape of the nipple can lead to a better latch (and fewer spills!)
Ensure anti-colic nipple correctly assembled
Yes, putting back anti-colic nipples can be complicated, but it’s important to double-check that they’re assembled properly.
The seals in the nipple should be air (and liquid) tight, otherwise, you’ll have unwanted spills.
Bottle feed baby sitting up
Drinking while lying down is just plain hard, even for babies.
If your baby is dribbling milk, try feeding them a bottle while they’re sitting up. Keeping a baby upright during feedings can also reduce gas and colic in addition to minimizing milk dribbles.
Solutions to six breastfeeding problems in the first week
Are you having difficulty breastfeeding your newborn baby? Read on for expert advice on tackling the main challenges of the first week of breastfeeding.
Share this information
Cathy Garbin, child health nurse, midwife and lactation consultant:
Cathy, a mother of two, was a research fellow at the renowned Human Lactation Research Institute, founded by Peter Hartmann, for seven years, providing support to breastfeeding mothers in clinics and at home. Today, she still works as a family counselor, and also conducts seminars for attending physicians and speaks at international conferences.
Breastfeeding is not always easy, so if
you are having difficulty, know that you are not alone. A US study found that out of 500 new mothers surveyed, 92% experienced breastfeeding problems by the third day. 1 Fortunately, most early breastfeeding problems are easy to resolve. Below you can read recommendations for solving the main problems that mothers often face in the first week of feeding.
Problem #1. Breastfeeding hurts!
Pain during feeding is usually associated with tenderness or inflammation of the nipples, especially when milk "comes" on the second to fourth day after birth. 2 The baby will beg for a breast every couple of hours, and this can quickly aggravate the problem: some mothers' nipples crack, bleed, or blister. This is, of course, very annoying.
- Check how the baby latch on. An incorrect latch is one of the most common causes of pain during breastfeeding. A newborn baby should take most of the lower half of the areola (dark skin around the nipple) into his mouth, and your nipple should rest against his palate, supported from below by the tongue.
- Contact a lactation consultant or healthcare professional to make sure your baby's mouth and torso are properly positioned during feeding and there are no other latch-on problems. The doctor may also examine the baby's mouth for physical abnormalities.
- Try other feeding positions. Reclining, cross cradle, underarm, or lying positions can relieve pressure on the most painful areas of your breasts.
- Gently wipe soaked nipples with water-soaked cotton swabs after each feed to remove milk residues that can cause infection.
- Air dry nipples or blot with a clean, soft muslin or flannel cloth to prevent bacterial growth in a humid environment. Use disposable or reusable bra pads to absorb leaking milk and remember to change them regularly.
- Soften your nipples. An ultra-pure lanolin treatment will help relieve inflammation and dry skin. You can also apply a few drops of your own breast milk to your nipples. In both cases, you do not have to wash your breasts before the next feeding. You can also apply refrigerated hydrogel pads* to your nipples. They soothe the nipples and help relieve pain during feeding, as well as speed up healing.
- Protect your nipples. Nipple shields* protect the sore area from rubbing against clothing.
- Be patient. The inflammation usually resolves after a few days as your body adjusts to breastfeeding and your baby learns to suckle.
- Seek medical attention, if pain during feeding does not go away after a few days. Constant inflammation of the nipples may indicate an infection that requires prompt treatment.
Problem #2. Baby doesn't latch on properly
Some newborns do not latch on properly right away. Maybe both of you just need more time to learn how to breastfeed, or maybe the baby was born prematurely, feels unwell after a difficult birth, or mom has flat or inverted nipples.
- Contact a lactation consultant or healthcare professional who can help identify the cause of the problem and suggest solutions.
- Flat or inverted nipples must be pulled out. Nipple formers* fit comfortably in the bra and apply gentle pressure to the nipples to help them come out for easier feeding.
- Try different positions and ways to support your newborn. The baby needs to feel supported. He must be comfortable and breathe freely in order to suckle properly. Do not hold the child by the head and do not put pressure on it. Lean back and let your child take the lead. This stimulates his natural reflexes and helps him find and latch on to his breasts. 4
- When feeding, try to find the optimal position. Instead of putting your baby on and off, stressing both of you, try to position him in a way that is easy and comfortable for him. Hold the torso and legs of the baby close to you, support him by the shoulders and hold him firmly so that he feels safe. Let the baby's head rest freely on your arm so that he can tilt it back slightly and breathe freely. The chin should be pressed against your chest. If these small adjustments don't make feeding more comfortable for your baby, seek help from a lactation consultant or healthcare professional.
- Use nursing pads. If your baby is having difficulty latch-on, a lactation consultant or healthcare professional may suggest trying nursing pads*. A nipple with an overlay is more convenient to take in the mouth, so it is larger and more rigid. Do not use nursing pads for a long time.
Problem #3. Not enough breast milk
You will produce little breast milk at the very beginning, as the hormonal changes that trigger milk production occur slowly and do not end until the second or fourth day after birth. 2 You may be worried that your baby is not getting enough milk, but in the early days his stomach is still too small and feedings are frequent, so don't worry. The only things to worry about these days are excessive weight loss, too few wet and soiled diapers, or signs of dehydration in the baby. For more information on how often a newborn should urinate and void, see Breastfeeding Newborns: What to Expect in the First Week.
- Contact a Lactation Consultant or your healthcare provider who can determine if you have problems with milk production. The sooner you do this, the better.
- Feed your baby on demand, not on a schedule. In the first week after birth, your baby will ask to breastfeed every two to three hours (or more often!), both day and night. Such frequent feeding helps to establish the production of breast milk.
- Take care of yourself. It's not always easy with a newborn, but try to rest whenever you can, eat right, and accept any help around the house or with older children that your loved ones can give you to fully focus on breastfeeding.
- Try expressing milk. If a baby is feeding frequently but not gaining any weight, a lactation consultant or doctor may recommend pumping to increase breast milk production. If milk is not coming out at all, you can try the Medela Symphony Dual Electric Clinical Breast Pump**. It features an Initiate program that mimics a baby's natural sucking rhythm for the first few days.
Problem #4. Breast full and heavy
Your breasts will become fuller and heavier as milk comes in.
If the baby suckles well and often, this should not cause any problems. However, in some women, the breasts become so full that they become hard and painful. This condition, called breast swelling, can cause discomfort. The swollen chest seems to be “burning”, now all the activity of your body is concentrated in it, resembling a busy traffic at rush hour. Fortunately, this condition usually resolves within 24 to 48 hours. However, due to the swelling of the mammary glands, the nipples can become flat and the baby may have difficulty latch-on. 5
- Feed your baby often. Try to breastfeed at least 8-12 times a day. This is the main way to alleviate this condition. For more tips and tricks, see the article on Breast Swelling. 6.7
- Call your healthcare provider, if symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, you have a fever, or your baby is unable to breastfeed due to swelling.
Problem #5. Milk is leaking
Breast leakage is very common in the early days of breastfeeding when milk production begins. Milk may leak from one breast while you are feeding the other, when you sleep on your stomach, or when something accidentally triggers the milk flow reflex, such as when you hear a baby crying in a store. The leakage usually stops after about six weeks.
- Protect clothes from stains will help disposable or reusable bra pads to be used day and night.
- Don't waste precious drops! Breast milk collection pads* fit inside the bra and allow you to collect any leaking milk. This is a very useful thing when there is too much milk and the pads are not absorbing well, or when one breast is leaking while you are feeding the other. If you want to save the collected milk, use only the milk collected at the feeding. Place it in a sterile container and refrigerate immediately if you are not supplementing with it right away. Collected milk must be used within 24 hours. The breast milk collection sleeves should not be worn for more than two to three hours at a time.
Problem #6. There seems to be too much milk
Sometimes when milk comes in, too much is produced! In the first few weeks there may be an overabundance of milk, but usually everything returns to normal soon. 7 Up to this point, the breasts may be heavy and sore almost all the time, even immediately after a feed, and a lot of milk may leak. A strong flush can cause a baby to cough or choke, vomit immediately after a feed, have tummy discomfort, or have hard, frothy, greenish stools. These are all signs that you are having too much milk, but the problem may resolve itself as your breasts get used to the new function.
- Express some milk by hand at the beginning of each feed to ease the force of the flush.
- Try to feed while leaning back: this will help your baby control the flow of milk. The "cradle" position is also good: hold the baby obliquely by the shoulders so that the head can lean back slightly while on your arm. The torso of the baby will be located diagonally on you.
- Be kind and patient. Let your baby rest and absorb milk both during and after feeding. Don't move your baby too much or too fast, as this can make him nauseous. As the baby grows, he will learn to better cope with the rush of milk, which is likely to weaken anyway.
- Use the towel or swaddle to soak up spilled milk if the baby can't handle the flush, and place the breast milk collection pad on the other breast to catch any spilled milk.
- Contact a lactation consultant or doctor if problems persist after a few weeks . He will examine you and may suggest one-sided feedings or hourly breast changes (“breast duty”) to reduce your milk supply.
Related materials: Difficulties in breastfeeding in the next few weeks and problems with breastfeeding after the first month
1 Wagner EA et al. Breastfeeding concerns at 3 and 7 days postpartum and feeding status at 2 months. Pediatrics . 2013: peds -2013. - Wagner I.A. et al., "Breastfeeding Problems at Days 3 and 7 of a Child's Life and Type of Feeding at 2 Months". Pediatrix (Pediatrics). 2013:e865–e875.
2 Pang WW, Hartmann PE. Initiation of human lactation: secretory differentiation and secretory activation. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia 2007;12(4):211-221. - Pang, W.W., Hartmann, P.I., "Lactation initiation in the lactating mother: secretory differentiation and secretory activation." G Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2007;12(4):211-221.
3 Cadwell K. Latching - On and Suckling of the Healthy Term Neonate: Breastfeeding Assessment. J Midwifery & Women ’ s 2007;52(6):638-642. — Cadwell, K., "Latching and sucking in healthy newborns: evaluation of breastfeeding." F Midwifery Women Health. 2007;52(6):638-642.
4 Colson SD et al. Optimal positions for the release of primitive neonatal reflexes stimulating breastfeeding. Early Hum Dev . 2008;84(7):441-449. - Colson S.D. et al., "Optimal Positions for Provoking Primitive Innate Reflexes to Induce Breastfeeding." Airlie Hume Dev. 2008;84(7):441-449.
5 Jacobs A et al. S3-guidelines for the treatment of inflammatory breast disease during the lactation period. Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd. 2013;73(12):1202-1208. - Jacobs A. et al., "Recommendations S -3 for the treatment of inflammatory diseases of the breast during breastfeeding. Geburtskhilfe und Frauenheilkünde. . ABM Clinical Protocol# 4: Mastitis , Revised MARCH 2014. Breastfeed - 9020: 5): 5) H., Academy of Breastfeeding Protocol Committee, AVM Clinical Protocol #4: Mastitis, March 2014 edition of Brestfeed Med (Breastfeeding Medicine). 2014;9(5):239-243.
7 Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee. ABM clinical protocol # 20: Engorgement. Breastfeed Med . 2009;4(2):111-113. - Protocol Committee of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, "AVM Clinical Protocol No. 20: Engorgement, Revision 2016". Brestfeed Med (Breastfeeding Medicine). 2009;4(2):111-113.
Read instructions before use. Consult a specialist about possible contraindications.
* RU No. ФСЗ 2010/07352 of 07/19/10
** RU No. ФСЗ 2010/06525 of 03/17/2021
What is breast swelling? | Breast swelling
Some mothers experience breast swelling when milk begins to flow in the first days after childbirth. Usually this phenomenon is temporary and easily eliminated. Read our article to find out how to help yourself.
Share this information
Sioned Hilton, health visitor, neonatal nurse and lactation consultant:
A mother of three, Sioned Hilton has been supporting families with newborns and young children for over 30 years. She provides advice on breastfeeding and pumping, both in clinics and at home. In addition, Schoned writes articles for parenting magazines, attends conferences, and conducts seminars for attending physicians.
When you start breastfeeding, you first produce a small amount of colostrum, which gradually increases over the first few days. After about two to four days, production increases significantly. This phenomenon is called the "arrival" of milk. 1
One of the signs that milk is starting to come in is a change in the breast - it fills up and becomes firmer. This is due not only to an increase in the amount of milk, but also to increased blood flow and additional lymphatic fluid to the breast tissues. 2
If the child eats well and often, then for most mothers this feeling of heaviness disappears over time without any complications. However, some women produce so much milk that their breasts fill up and become painful and very hard. This condition is called breast swelling. And although everything usually passes in a day or two, this period can be quite painful.
How does breast swelling manifest itself?
Swelling may affect one or both breasts. It can cause swelling, sometimes down to the armpits, and a throbbing sensation. The chest becomes quite hot, sometimes lumps are felt in it. All this is due to the fact that a huge number of processes take place inside. You may also notice other symptoms, such as the skin on your breasts becoming shiny and tight, and your nipples becoming hard and flat. Swelling of the mammary glands can even cause a temperature to rise to 37.5–38.3°C (99–101°F). 3
In addition to pain, swollen breasts are also dangerous because they can make breastfeeding difficult, and this, in turn, will worsen the situation even more. If the baby finds it difficult to latch on because the nipples have become flat and the breast tissue is firmer, nipples may become inflamed. In addition, in the event of a poor grip, he will not be able to completely empty the chest. Thus, if left untreated, swelling of the mammary glands can lead to blockage of the milk ducts, mastitis, and reduced milk production.
What causes breast swelling?
Usually breast swelling is due to the fact that the child does not feed often enough (less than eight times a day). In principle, this can happen to any mother, but women who have undergone various breast surgeries, including breast augmentation, are more prone to swelling of the mammary glands. 2 Wearing a bra that is the wrong size or that is too tight can increase discomfort and lead to clogged milk ducts and even mastitis.
Breast swelling can occur in both breastfeeding mothers and mothers who are not or cannot breastfeed. The hormonal changes that occur after the birth of a baby and the release of the placenta and increase milk production are independent of whether you are breastfeeding or not. Swelling can also occur if the number of feedings is drastically reduced, for example, if the child becomes ill, sleeps longer, starts eating solid foods, or goes to nursery.
How to treat breast swelling?2
The best cure for swollen breasts is a hungry baby! Try to empty your breasts as much and as often as possible to facilitate the release of milk. To do this, feed your baby on demand, preferably eight to twelve times a day.
Maintain skin-to-skin contact with your baby, cuddling as often as possible during the day and at night when you are awake. This will allow him to smell the attractive smell of your milk and have easy access to the breast, and you will be able to better monitor signs that he is hungry and, accordingly, feed more often. Let the baby eat enough from one breast before offering the second.
It's a good idea to see a lactation consultant or specialist to check if your baby is properly grasped and positioned. It depends on how well he will eat and empty his chest. The tips below will also help you relieve the symptoms of breast swelling.
Tips for Relieving Swollen Breast Symptoms 2
- Breastfeed at least eight times a day.
- Make sure your baby is latching on well.
- Try other feeding positions.
- Gently massage your breasts during feeding to improve the flow of milk.
- Express some milk by hand or with a breast pump before feeding to soften the nipple and make it easier for your baby to latch on.
- If your breasts are still firm and full after a feed, pump more until you feel better.
- If your baby is unable to breastfeed, express milk for him. Pumping must be continued until the breast becomes softer, and do this at least eight times a day.
- Try the areola pressure softening technique. This helps to remove excess fluid from the breast. A lactation consultant or specialist will show you how to do this.
- If milk is leaking, try taking warm showers or applying a warm flannel to your breasts just before feeding or expressing to soften your breasts and make it easier for your milk to flow. You should not, however, warm the chest for more than two minutes, as this can only increase swelling.
- If your milk isn't leaking, try applying cold compresses, chilled gel pads, or even frozen green peas wrapped in a towel for ten minutes after feeding to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- Put clean cabbage leaves in your bra. Yes Yes! For many moms, it really helps reduce swelling and discomfort, and there are scientific explanations for this. 4
- Take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. While breastfeeding, you can take some medications, in consultation with your doctor. Always consult your doctor, follow the drug manufacturer's instructions and the pharmacist's recommendations. To learn more about medications and breastfeeding, read our article on breastfeeding when sick.
- Wear an appropriately sized and comfortable nursing bra, avoid underwire or no bra at all.
- Do not skip feedings or stop breastfeeding abruptly as this may increase breast swelling.
Seek medical advice if your 5 temperature rises above 38°C or if your baby is unable to suckle due to breast swelling.
And in any case, try to remain calm. Your body is just getting used to producing milk and feeding your baby. Breast swelling should go away on its own soon after you both get comfortable with breastfeeding.
1 Pang WW, Hartmann PE. Initiation of human lactation: secretory differentiation and secretory activation. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2007;12(4):211-221. - Pang, W.W., Hartmann, P.I., "Lactation initiation in the lactating mother: secretory differentiation and secretory activation." G Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2007;12(4):211-221.
2 Berens P, Brodribb W. ABM Clinical Protocol# 20: Engorgement, Revised 2016. Breastfeed Med . 2016;11(4):159-163. - Behrens P, Brodrhibb W, "AVM Clinical Protocol #20: Engorgement, 2016 edition". Brestfeed Med (Breastfeeding Medicine). 2016;11(4):159-163.
3 Affronti M Low-grade fever: how to distinguish organic from non-organic forms. Int J Clin Pract. 2010;64(3):316-321. - Affronti M. et al., "Subfebrile temperature: how to distinguish organic from non-organic cases.