Re: overactive letdown, 3 week old baby, please help :(
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it to 3 weeks of nursing!
Please don't abandon nursing and start pumping and bottle-feeding. OALD is no fun, but trust me, the OALD will diminish and eventually vanish, and nursing will get easier and more pleasurable for both you and your baby. The challenges of exclusive pumping, on the other hand, only grow with time. You'll need to care for an increasingly active baby while maintaining pump schedule, and there will be times when you will have to choose between caring for the baby and producing the baby's next meal. If you think it's hard listening to your baby cry for a few seconds while your letdown sprays into a towel, imagine listening to her cry at 2 am while you frantically try to warm a bottle. And unless you're willing to be confined to your house, you'll have to find a way to pump in public- in places like parking lots, public bathrooms, airplanes... And you may well struggle with supply, because pumping doesn't maintain milk supply as well as a nursing baby does.
OALD usually stems from oversupply. The more milk a mom has, the faster it comes out. If you have oversupply, it's probably not too severe because your baby is producing yellow poops instead of green ones. That means you should probably start combatting this issue by using reclined positions- if you're leaning back or even lying on your back, gravity will fight against the milk flow and make your baby more comfortable. It sounds like you're currently using only one breast per feeding, which is a very minor form of block feeding. It will eventually help to tame your supply and letdowns, but if it's not working fast enough you may want to consider using one breast for more than one feeding in a row. The longer the other side sits unused, and the more milk builds uo in it, the faster supply will decrease. Just one caveat: it's possible to go too far with block feeding, so be careful.
It does take a while for oversupply/OALD issues to work themselves out. Odds are good that managing these issues will take at least several weeks. But they do improve with time! Often babies grow into a fast flow of milk, and even come to enjoy it.
Avoid the pump right now. You have plenty of time before you start work, and if you pump now you risk exacerbating or perpetuating an already difficult situation.
The yellow poops probably rule out a dairy allergy, but don't take that as gospel. You can safely have a cup of coffee and a glass of wine- but watch your baby after you have them. Some moms feel that even occasional caffeine irritates their babies.
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!"