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Thread: Overactive letdown or underproduction?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Overactive letdown or underproduction?

    My 6 week old DS has been strictly breastfeeding for the last 4.5 weeks. We are both just getting over thrush that's persisted pretty much the entire time I've been BF! so now that I'm pretty much pain free from the thrush, we are now having another issue. I don't know if it's just that he is going through a growth spurt or what but it seems like he's frustrated about 10 minutes into him eating. He will thrash his head, kick his legs and almost punch me wiu his arms and fists, and also make grunting noises. He will also pull off the breast and start to cry as if he's not getting enough. He is gaining enough weight though... Born at 8 lbs 6 oz, he now weighs (as of Sunday) 11 lbs 8 oz. I just wonder if now that I'm more relaxed with him feeding that my milk is really coming in or I'm just not making enough. Also, lately he's been extremely fussy after eating. He does make a clicking sound and I can actually hear him ingest air so I'm sure the fussiness is gas but I can't get a burp out of him!? Any help would be appreciated. I saw a LC on Monday last week who said everything looked normal as far as the latch and he is not tongue tied. and of course wasn't having the issues I am now... That was for the thrush. Ugh... I just wish this would get easier.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,357

    Default Re: Overactive letdown or underproduction?

    Clicking and pulling off the breast can sometimes indicate that the baby is having trouble handling a rapid letdown of milk. Ironically, pulling off the breast and fussing can also indicate that the baby is upset that milk flow has slowed. Either way, I would just keep on keepin' on- with nice weight gain, you can pretty much assume that things are going well.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: Overactive letdown or underproduction?

    Six weeks can be a fussy-at-the-breast time. I know that Joe was really ornery around that time! It's hard to know why, because overactive letdown can cause fussiness and pulling off, but so can thrush (but it sounds like you've got a handle on that), so can slow flow, and then there are the evening fussies! Basically, it's good to just remind yourself that babies DO fuss, and if you're seeing great weight gain, it's probably just fussiness, rather than something up with breastfeeding. Have you tried swaddling, shushing, etc.? I found the Happiest Baby on the Block methods to be invaluable at this stage. Joe was a perfectly healthy, lovely, chunky baby, but he screamed for a solid hour every evening. Sometimes, I put dad in charge of soothing the baby and went and took a nice hot bath with a book. Funny enough, dad figured out the perfect swaddled baby bounce, and everyone was happy.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: Overactive letdown or underproduction?

    Does it happen every time you feed? With my baby I notice there was and sometimes is a huge long fussy period every day in which feeding is more difficult for her, she pulls off, cries, gets a lot of air, won't burp, catnaps for 10 minutes at the most and then wakes up again, cries for a while and then repeats, etc. But at night and in the morning she is perfect happy and a great feeder. It's gotten a lot better now that I'm almost at 3 months but it was really really hard for a while. I have overactive letdown and some oversupply at times but like I mentioned, during the night and in the morning she can handle it, it just is during those fussy evening hours when it's a rough time (i.e. 5pm-midnight for a while...).

    So if it's only at certain times of the day, maybe it's just a fussy period? Good luck!!!

    - Mel

  5. #5

    Default Re: Overactive letdown or underproduction?

    Wow. Your situation is exactly like mine. However, ironically, I suspect my problem is that I have thrush! I don't see white spots in baby's mouth but my nipples look more pink than usual and I just started feeling the stinging pain. I posted a few days ago about my baby fussing at the breast and I thought it was letdown or undersupply, as you suspect your problem to be, but I realized he fussed about 10 minutes into the feeding and behaves exactly as you described. He looks like he's in pain so I thought maybe it hurts to swallow.

    Sorry for the hijack, but what did you do to beat the thrush? I just sent my husband to Walgreens to get gentian violet but he said they dont carry it (although their website said it was in stock at that store).

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Overactive letdown or underproduction?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*laurelena78 View Post
    Wow. Your situation is exactly like mine. However, ironically, I suspect my problem is that I have thrush! I don't see white spots in baby's mouth but my nipples look more pink than usual and I just started feeling the stinging pain. I posted a few days ago about my baby fussing at the breast and I thought it was letdown or undersupply, as you suspect your problem to be, but I realized he fussed about 10 minutes into the feeding and behaves exactly as you described. He looks like he's in pain so I thought maybe it hurts to swallow.

    Sorry for the hijack, but what did you do to beat the thrush? I just sent my husband to Walgreens to get gentian violet but he said they dont carry it (although their website said it was in stock at that store).
    I'm not sure what sort of climate your in, but if its hot and humid outside... Perfect breeding ground for yeast in your bra! Dark, warm, moist. If it is yeast (thrush) best to catch it early because it can turn into a miserable time and cause excruciating pain... baby's mouth will feel like razor blades on your nipple the entire time they are latched on and then some more of that sensation after they let go! If your nipples also have a shiny appearance, that's another sign. LO may not have any signs, but could only have a little diaper rash. So as far as treatment... make sure BOTH of you get it ASAP and continue to treat it for at least another week after signs/symptoms have subsided.

    What i ended up having to do was go on oral anti-fungal (fluconazole) for 7 days (which i just finished), use nystatin cream after each BF session, let my breasts be open to the air as much as possible, stop using disposable nursing pads ( they retain too much moisture), and use a 3 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar wash after each session as well. There are some dietary changes you can make as well... Adding in more probiotics for starters and cutting out sugars and gluten for a week or so. Hope that helps!
    First time mommy to Brayden Andrew.
    Born 6.12.11, 8lbs 2oz, 21 1/4 inches
    Still trying to get a grasp on this whole breastfeeding thing... It's not as easy as I thought it would be but am sticking with it!!
    DS sleeps longer and better this way! with Balboa Baby & Ergo and cloth diapering

  7. #7

    Default Re: Overactive letdown or underproduction?

    try this massage for gas, http://www.llli.org/NB/NBJanFeb98p13.html also i have had trouble burping my lo, it seems like i have to keep him upright for 20-30 min if i cant get a burp out of him!!
    SAHM of Baby Dominic, we

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: Overactive letdown or underproduction?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sisterling View Post
    Does it happen every time you feed? With my baby I notice there was and sometimes is a huge long fussy period every day in which feeding is more difficult for her, she pulls off, cries, gets a lot of air, won't burp, catnaps for 10 minutes at the most and then wakes up again, cries for a while and then repeats, etc. But at night and in the morning she is perfect happy and a great feeder. It's gotten a lot better now that I'm almost at 3 months but it was really really hard for a while. I have overactive letdown and some oversupply at times but like I mentioned, during the night and in the morning she can handle it, it just is during those fussy evening hours when it's a rough time (i.e. 5pm-midnight for a while...).

    So if it's only at certain times of the day, maybe it's just a fussy period? Good luck!!!

    - Mel
    Well surprisingly today has been better... I'm almost certain that all the fussing (all day long) was because of gas! This morning it passed through to the other end and he's been pretty content today. I know they say BF'd babies don't need to burp as much but this little guy swallows a LOT of air!? When he does get the bubbles out it seriously sound like an adult burping! Now that I've been thinking about it, it does seem like night is the best time... except for afterwards when he cant get the burp(s) out.

    I spoke with my local LLL leader yesterday and i tried a few new positions which did and didnt make a difference as far as the overactive letdown. I also did block feeding yesterday but it still seems like he's hungry... even after 45 minutes on one side!! This morning I decided to just give him the other side because he was just HUNGRY... rooting around, and crying like he wanted more. I'm really wondering if I'm just not making enough for him because he just seems like he's not fully satisfied!?

    Side note...Back at my 1st ultrasound they found a corpus luteum cyst on my left ovary. Today they did a follow-up ultrasound to see if it had gone down in size or had changed/stayed the same... It's about 7cm in diameter (a small orange). I don't know just yet what they are going to do for it, but I have a feeling they will want to surgically remove it... Pretty sure that will interfere with BFing....
    First time mommy to Brayden Andrew.
    Born 6.12.11, 8lbs 2oz, 21 1/4 inches
    Still trying to get a grasp on this whole breastfeeding thing... It's not as easy as I thought it would be but am sticking with it!!
    DS sleeps longer and better this way! with Balboa Baby & Ergo and cloth diapering

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Lancaster, PA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Overactive letdown or underproduction?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sarapunkinpie88 View Post
    try this massage for gas, http://www.llli.org/NB/NBJanFeb98p13.html also i have had trouble burping my lo, it seems like i have to keep him upright for 20-30 min if i cant get a burp out of him!!
    Does your LO cry like they are in pain the whole time when trying to burp??
    First time mommy to Brayden Andrew.
    Born 6.12.11, 8lbs 2oz, 21 1/4 inches
    Still trying to get a grasp on this whole breastfeeding thing... It's not as easy as I thought it would be but am sticking with it!!
    DS sleeps longer and better this way! with Balboa Baby & Ergo and cloth diapering

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Overactive letdown or underproduction?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mily View Post
    Side note...Back at my 1st ultrasound they found a corpus luteum cyst on my left ovary. Today they did a follow-up ultrasound to see if it had gone down in size or had changed/stayed the same... It's about 7cm in diameter (a small orange). I don't know just yet what they are going to do for it, but I have a feeling they will want to surgically remove it... Pretty sure that will interfere with BFing....
    Keep us posted about this - lots of women here have been through various types of surgical procedures while breastfeeding. It's easier if you can put it off until after six months (when your baby can hopefully eat solids in addition to breastmilk, making it easier on her caretakers), but most anesthesia and pain meds are fine for breastfeeding moms.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

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