My 3 week old has been struggling for over a week to try and feed because of my overactive letdown. I have heard so many different tactics for taming the supply, but so far nothing has worked - sitting her upright, feeding on one side only, etc! I am currently trying to feed on one side for two feedings (I have been doing this for 2 days) and I haven't seen any type of slowdown. I have only been feeding on one breast per feeding for 2.5 weeks. I am not sure what else to try and I am feeling very frustrated. The struggle to feed her causes her to be very fussy and gassy between feedings and I feel like it is all my fault!:( I have read the information on La Leche's site about overabundant milk supply and I am wondering if I should increase the feedings on one side to three or more? My other side then becomes very overfull and when I go to feed on that side it is a nightmare. I have also heard that pumping will increase the supply, but maybe pumping a bit before she eats would help? I just don't know what to do at this point. Thank you for any input.
Re: Overactive Letdown?
First....congrats on your new baby and for giving baby the best possible start in life with BF! Good for both of you! One thing that we found very helpful with my super-strong milk flow was, as soon as I felt the letdown happening, to either let baby pop off the breast or, if he didn't on his own, to unlatch him, and them let the milk spray into a cloth diaper for a moment or two. You can do some simple compressions to help get this initial strong 'spurts' to pass through. Then, when you're not 'shooting across the room' :rolleyes: , put baby back on... I think I kept thick cloths within arms' reach when BF for the first 7-8 months or so... may not have needed them that long, but in the early months this helped alot. I sometimes did the 'pump a bit before feeding' routine, and that did help, but often still needed just to help ease the flow at the letdown that happened anyway when DS latched on, so keep some blot-cloths handy! Good luck! Come back and let us know how it's all going.
Re: Overactive Letdown?
One great method is to express some milk out before the baby feeds, or when you feel the "letdown".
I had enough milk for 3 babies, and I leaked constantly, sometimes squirting across the room through my bra and clothes! and I found that just squeezing excess milk out helped a lot.
If you want to keep nursing on just one side at a time, squeeze or pump out milk from the other side while your baby is nursing. this will stop the other side from getting engorged.