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Situation:

  • mother produces more milk than the baby drinks
  • from breastfeeding, the skin is too sensitive to cover it with nursing pads

Problem:

Without nursing pads, milk will gradually dribble out at night, causing uncomfortably wet bedsheets.

Short of switching bedsheets every day, what is a viable solution for preventing the constant flow of milk from reaching the bedsheets without having any cloth or similar tightly on the irritated part of the skin around the nipples all night?

  • Lactating mother can also pump herself and store it in the fridge, and use it for later – Just Do It Nov 24 '15 at 19:05
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    @PoolPartyRenekton: Unfortunately, that would either require the baby to drink from a baby bottle (which is said to cause downstream problems because after that, some babies refuse to drink from the breast), or to pump away considerable amounts of milk not meant for drinking, while the baby later still gets directly breastfed - which is counterproductive, as lactation is self-regulating, and within a few days, the breasts would just produce more milk. – O. R. Mapper Nov 24 '15 at 21:10
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Super-soaker diaper pads containing sodium polyacrylate, carboxymethylcellulose etc. can soak up a tremendous amount of liquid. If the mother cannot lay directly on a pad (even an adult-sized diaper), the absorbent powder could be sandwiched between towels and left on the bed.

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First, the leaking is not caused by overproduction. The letdown mechanism is just a little too sensitive in some women at first. Second, the leaking will settle down over time, as the mechanism fine tunes and everything sort of "stabilizes."

Next, take a close look at the nursing pads. They should not be plastic backed. Cloth pads that you can wash and dry with the diapers are the best. Change them frequently during the day so the skin is not sitting against damp cloth. Try to have an hour a day of "air drying". These changes will make the skin much happier and may make it feasible to wear the pads at night, which is the easiest way to protect the bed.

If it's still impossible to wear the pads at night, sleep on a towel, possibly one folded a few times for more thickness and absorbency. Wear a soft Tshirt to help keep the milk somewhat confined. (Sorry to freak out the uninitiated, but milk can occasionally spray out and that would mean a larger part of the bed gets wet.) If the volume is dramatic, look for a large bed pad (designed for bedwetters) that is plushy above and waterproof below. These are washable also.

Be patient. The leakage will settle down and the skin will get happier too.

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  • Do you know what kind of time frame before it'll settle down, so the OP can kind of anticipate how long they need to take counter-actions? – holroy Nov 25 '15 at 23:16
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    Depends on the person. Typically weeks. Definitely by about 4 months when you stop feeling full before feedings and the feedings take a fraction of the time they used to, but the baby still gains well. – Kate Gregory Nov 25 '15 at 23:19
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Don't worry too much, breasts don't stay "leaky". Your real problem are sore nipples from breastfeeding. If you know a beekeeper get yourself some homemade honey and ask him if he can let you have some propolis. Propolis is like an antibiotic the bees produce to keep their hives healthy. You (or the beekeeper) have to liquify it in alcohlol to get a 30% alcohol/propolis tincture. Take a small jar and mix honey with propolis tincture (roughly 1 tablesoon honey to 10 drops of propolis). If you put some of the mix on any open wound or skin sore the problem will disappear within a couple of days. And in your case it has the added advantage of not presenting any danger to your baby like most ordinary medicine would do. And from the moment you put it on your nipples you'll be able to use any pad without it hurting too much.

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  • It doesn't have to be so esoteric. They do special cream for this. Ask at the apothecary. – RedSonja Dec 3 '15 at 13:29

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