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Thread: fussy nurser/slow let down

  1. #1

    Default fussy nurser/slow let down

    Has anyone had experience with their baby being extremely fussy because you have a slow let down? Mine is 3 months old and breastfeeding has never been particularly easy for the two of us. We will have stints where things seem to be going well, but more often than not she is really fussy and doesn't nurse well. I know that it takes 45 seconds to a minute for my milk to let down, and sometimes she'll be patient enough to wait for it (usually her early morning and first feedings of the day). Usually, though, she pulls off fussing 4-5 times before I let down and gets so worked up that she won't latch on and nurse. We introduced a bottle about 3 weeks ago (I go back to work next week), and other than the normal bumps, she has taken to it pretty well. Does anyone have suggestions for speeding up let down? I have tried relaxation, imagery, and conditioning the response (I'm a psychologist by trade, so I'm well-versed in all of these techniques...but they are not helping at all in this case). Help!! I don't want to give up, but I'm also tiring of struggling for 30 minutes to get her to eat, then pumping just to feed her a bottle. Also, I know she's hungry when this is happening - and she'll take the bottle with little to no fussing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: fussy nurser/slow let down

    How many bottles is she getting, on a daily basis? Sometimes babies fuss because they know that the bottle delivers immediate rewards, whereas the breast means working for a meal. If this is the case, you may want to shelve the bottles for a while- difficult when returning to work, I know!- or at least minimizing their use. If you can get your LO to accept that eating means working for it, she may decide that fussing for a bottle isn't going to get her anywhere and may learn to work a little harder to generate a letdown. I don't think 45 seconds is that long for a letdown, though!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: fussy nurser/slow let down

    I was having the same problem last week. Only it took up to 6 minutes to let down!! Needless to say my 5 month old was not excited about that. AT. ALL. I had lots of advice, but what worked best for me was distraction. Watch tv, read a book, talk to your husband, whatever. Quit thinking about it. The milk is there, it will come. Thinking about it sometimes seems to slow it down. Thinking about something else worked like a charm for me. After a week and a half of refusing me and ONLY taking a bottle, my baby went back to EBF. Good luck!!!
    Mamma to: DS 1 (6/1/2002) DS 2 (1/12/2004) DS 3 (8/24/2006) DS 4 (3/12/2011)

    And still smiling!

  4. #4

    Default Re: fussy nurser/slow let down

    Thanks so much for your replies! I had thought maybe the extra bottles weren't helping, but after 30 minutes of screaming a Mama's gotta do what a Mama's gotta do! :-) Last night, I tried holding her in a different position and that seemed to help. She's been grabbing at her ear, and is particularly fussy on one side (the side where that ear is down)...so now I'm wondering if she either has an ear infection or is starting to teethe. I'm going to try to stop giving bottles when I am here like mammal suggested..obviously can't do that starting next week when we're apart . Thanks again for your suggestions...hearing that 45 seconds to let down isn't long helps...it seems like an eternity! I can't even imagine 5 minutes! :-)

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