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Thread: Forceful/overactive letdown questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    17

    Default Forceful/overactive letdown questions

    I think I have OALD but only have a problem with my left breast.

    My baby is just getting to 7 weeks and has gained weight really well, good diaper output (though tends to be explosive) ranging from bright neon orange to bright yellow and a duller browny yellow.

    I usually unlatch him and hand express into a towel. When I express, the milk will come jetting out in really thin streams that shoot out to about 20 cm and I can pretty much fill a hand towel before the streams stop. I'm guessing these streams are what make my baby so upset at the breast as the bigger drops seem to come out relatively slowly so I'm guessing he can handle those. I was wondering if there's anything I can do stop the jetting or is this just a part of OALD?

    I've seen the page on OALD at kellymom and seem to have had some success (though it varies) with sitting him up to feed while reclining but I'd like to know if anybody has any other tips or experiences they'd like to share? It's just upsetting when he cries so unhappily after pulling off and worse when he sounds like he's choking.

    Oh, I've also tried block feeding, but my left breast gets so engorged after block feeding on the right that the milk just drips out like a tap.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,341

    Default Re: Forceful/overactive letdown question

    The best ways to handle OALD are:
    1. Reclined nursing
    2. Allow baby to pull off during letdowns and catch spraying milk in a towel
    3. Block feeding- it doesn't matter if the unused breast drips while you block feed, and while engorgement is not good, it's leaving the excess milk in the breast which allows supply to reduce. If you are horribly uncomfortable in between feedings, hand-express the minimum amount necessary to restore comfort.
    4. Time- most moms start out with oversupply but eventually most moms find that their supply regulates to match baby's needs quite exactly, or baby grows into a big supply and gets better able to handle a fast letdown.
    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
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: Forceful/overactive letdown question

    I agree with mommal. I had an oald in the first few months as well. In my experience, DD eventually got used to the fast flow (with streams that shot out well over a foot sometimes) and then ended up with the opposite problem--she would pull off rather upset if the flow wasn't fast enough! Yes, it is very messy until baby gets used to it. I nursed using the boppy and I would put a small bath towel under baby and over boppy and anything else nearby (i.e. couch armrests). This lasted until she was about 3 months old. After that she adapted and my flow normalized so now only makes a mess when she has gone WAY too long w/o food (which for her is more than 4 hours at night even though she's over 7 months old!) and I get engorged. It does get better though, I promise you won't always have to carry a towel with you once you start NIP'ing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,890

    Default Re: Forceful/overactive letdown question

    I would add to mommals list these:

    1) to nurse frequently, even if block feeding. Stretching out feeding times makes OALD worse.
    2) I personally had success nursing with myself in a laid back position but baby more upright, if that makes any sense. Basically, I would lean (not lie) back on the couch, and I held my son with his legs dangling down between my legs. (He was always quite long.) So he was lying on me but more upright than flat on his tummy. This seemed to help him handle the flow and cut down a bit on the refluxy burps and spitups that he also had with oald.

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