How to Handle Sporadic Let-Down
We made it to a year! My 13 month old and I have had a wonderful nursing relationship-I wish it could go on forever. Unfortunately, I have had huge troubles all throughout with supply and let-down and promised myself and my family that the madness (aka pills, gallons of tea, fennel tincutres and pumping) would end after LO was a year. Literally every day of the last year I wondered whether my milk would let down or whether my baby was getting "enough" from me. It has been a huge source of stress but worth every bit of it for the bonding we experienced when it did work the way it was supposed to.
Anyway, 2 days at work with no pumping and my supply seems to have plummetted so much that my milk lets down only about half the time. My son seems to be taking this OK, but in the night or early morning it can be very upsetting to him.
My question, what is the best way to handle this situation? Keep offering as much as possible and when my milk lets down great, when no, just hold him and comfort him? Or intentionally start trying to get him used to no nursing, so it isn't so frustrating for him? I am just concerned that the uncertainty would be upsetting or harder to transition.
Thanks for your help!
Re: How to Handle Sporadic Let-Down
Hi Fezlie congrats for making it to a year! This a a great accomplishment esp. considering your unique struggles.
Is pumping at work no longer on the table? Pumping at work may be inconvenient and if you are done, fine. But it is hardly madness. Many moms pump past the one year mark for a variety of reasons.
In any case I see no reason to start getting baby used to not nursing-actually i am not even sure what that means or how that is different. I would suggest nurse as much as you or baby wish and if he gets frustrated comfort another way. Gradually moving from nursing to other comfort measures is part of the natural weaning process, it may look a little different or seem more abrupt due for you & your baby due to your let down issues but it is what all children experience if they are allowed to gradually wean over time. As I am sure you know nursing is about much more than the milk. If you stick with offering to nurse with normal frequency, if it starts feeling wrong you can try other ideas. But if you start to cut off nursing frequency now your production will reduce all the more quickly.
Re: How to Handle Sporadic Let-Down
Thanks. I have decided to add pumping back into my working day, and have gone back on mothers milk tea, fennel and fenugreek. I have been getting let-downs, if I focus really hard on things that make me joyful, but sometimes it can take as long as 20 minutes to get it. Question, where can I learn more about MER dysfunction and what might cause it? I have struggled with this for so long and have really gained an amazing understanding of my body and mind and how to "think" my let down into occuring. I have always felt th rushing of oxytocin and know immediately when I have gotten the letdown. BUT, I am convinced there is a physiological cause as well. I do have hypothyroid, and LOWERING my synthroid dose seemed to have helped me when LO was 6 months old. I also wonder whether some people might have overactive adrenal glad (that blocks the oxytocin) or other issues that might be treated. I plan on having another child and would really LOVE to feel like I could feed my baby whenever they want. Seems like MER is poorly understood and there are not many people studying this. If anyone knows where I can learn more about it, I would love to see a specialist or just better understand my situation. Oh, I should also add that I am reasonably certain (based on physical appearance of breasts) that I have hypoplastic breasts, but I have never been diagnosed. Everyone refuses to do it, saying, well, even if they are, it doesnt matter because you cant do anything about it anyway. But it would matter to me- can this issue create issues with letdown? Thanks!