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Thread: delayed let-down / teething / strike?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default delayed let-down / teething / strike?

    My DS is 6 months old and we are starting to run into some troubles nursing that I could use some advice on. The symptoms are that as soon as I put him down in a position to nurse (across lap or on the bed next to me) and get my boob out, he starts crying, even if he had been perfectly happy right before that. When I go to feed him, he latches on and will suck, but it's also starting to take a while for my letdown to happen, so meanwhile he's on and off the breast crying between. Once letdown occurs, he'll be fine for a little while, but then (presumably when the flow starts to slow), he's on and off the breast again crying. I then switch sides, hoping that the increased flow will be good, and there is quite a bit of crying as I get him to the other side. Toward the end of the 2nd breast, he is usually more calm/pleasant, but nursing is starting to become a little more stressful than it used to be.

    A couple things that may be factors: 1) His bottom middle teeth are up; I can't feel anything yet on the top, but they could be coming. He has bitten me a couple times at the beginning of his morning feeding. I take him off quickly and scold him, but as he is already crying when this happens, the crying tends to get worse. 2) He had an ear infection a couple weeks ago - we've finished with the antibiotics, but maybe there's still some residual pain? I tend to doubt this since he's generally sleeping alright even when laid flat, and is not nearly as upset as he was when diagnosed with the infection.

    I nurse him about 5x/day - roughly 7:00, 10/10:30, 1:00, 4:00, and an 8 or 9 dream-feeding session. He has an appropriate number of wet and poopy diapers.

    Any suggestions or tips, especially on speeding up letdown and/or decreasing the mad baby, would be awesome.

    Also, is this a nursing strike, or does a strike mean he's not nursing at all?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: delayed let-down / teething / strike?

    Greetings solfegegirl,
    just like you I could tell when my LO's were feeling under the weather because
    the first sign that something was amiss was when breastfeeding became problematic.
    I think you are right on target, the combination of teething, ear infection and being bitten has had an impact on your lo's nursing behavior.
    His ear might still be sore and the muscles necessary to suckle a let down response might be causing him some discomfort.
    You can keep doing what ever works best and help love him through the hard times.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    Default Re: delayed let-down / teething / strike?

    Have you tried alternate feeding positions? My son went through a time where he would only nurse laying down on the bed with me. Also, if you find he is getting frustrated when the flow slows down you can use breast compressions. Sometimes they bite when they are trying to get the flow to increase, so it may not have to do with teething but you are noticing it now that the teeth are there.

    Has anything changed that might affect your milk supply? Has your period returned? Are you drinking plenty of fluids?
    Nursing the girl with kaleidoscope eyes

    Mama to Daniel (12/3/06) and Lucy Jane (8/28/08)

  4. #4

    Default Re: delayed let-down / teething / strike?


    I was faced with a similar problem a while ago (delayed let down). There were several causes behind it
    - Stress: Back to work, though working from home
    - Missed feed:LO and I slept through the night whereas I feed her twice 3 hrly
    - Blocked ducts

    I contacted a lactation consultant asap and she advised me to express after every nursing and to massage the breast before every nursing. Massage in a way to check if there are any painful lumps and to massage on those spots. That really sorted the issue out for me I guess. We normally look for big lumps I guess but sometimes deep down there are these tiny knots as well.
    For a faster let down I drink a glass of cool water and visualise it flowing down my breasts. It works most times

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