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Thread: overactive letdown, 3 week old baby, please help :(

  1. #1
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    Smile overactive letdown, 3 week old baby, please help :(

    hi there, i'm hoping someone can help. i've discovered i have overactive letdown, baby girl chokes and i'm constantly spraying when she unlatches at each feeding. reclining during feedings is not helping. she doesn't like upright feeding positions, i think because she has weak neck muscles and can't pull away when she wants. i try to catch the spray on a towel but in the mean time she starts crying and gets fussier then starts the battle with her fighting against my breast and me trying to latch her back on. this has become a problem because in the last week baby is sooo gassy and in lots of pain! she struggles and struggles to poop and pass gas. yestereday i tried to keep her on one breast every 2 hrs but it didnt make a difference. does foremilk/hindmilk imbalance take a while to sort out? i did make the mistake of not finishing the first breast and giving the second at each feeding for the whole of last week (in an attempt to relieve the swelling in my breasts -- now i know this was wrong). any suggestions? i also have these questions:

    1. should i just start pumping and using bottles since she will probably get less air (since she wont choke or cry while i catch my letdown in a towel)?

    2. i will start work in 9 weeks and need to start building storage supply, should i start pumping now since i have so much milk? or will it exacerbate my problem?

    3. her poop is yellow mustard seedy (once i noticed yellow mucous in it), can i rule out diary allergy?

    4. overall, is 1 cup of coffeee/day ok? as well as occassional glass of wine (not more than one a day) ok?

    sorry for the long post, need some advice, thanks for viewing!!


    should i start pumping and feeding in a bottle instead?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default 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!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: overactive letdown, 3 week old baby, please help :(

    Hang in there! I went through the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bluesea View Post
    hi there, i'm hoping someone can help. i've discovered i have overactive letdown, baby girl chokes and i'm constantly spraying when she unlatches at each feeding. reclining during feedings is not helping. she doesn't like upright feeding positions, i think because she has weak neck muscles and can't pull away when she wants. i try to catch the spray on a towel but in the mean time she starts crying and gets fussier then starts the battle with her fighting against my breast and me trying to latch her back on.
    I would try a pacifier (if she takes it) or sticking your finger (fingernail down towards her tongue, soft part towards her palate) in her mouth so that she can suck on it. LO doesn't take a paci so my fiance and I just let her suck on our index fingers or thumb. I did this when my breast was spraying like crazy just to keep her calm.

    this has become a problem because in the last week baby is sooo gassy and in lots of pain! she struggles and struggles to poop and pass gas. yestereday i tried to keep her on one breast every 2 hrs but it didnt make a difference. does foremilk/hindmilk imbalance take a while to sort out? i did make the mistake of not finishing the first breast and giving the second at each feeding for the whole of last week
    My baby also went through this. The reason why she swallowed so much air was she was so frantic for milk, but it would spray and make her unlatch. Then she would latch, unlatch, latch, unlatch and get a lot of gas. I am most successful when she is asleep (dream feeding, try it! ) or half-asleep and just waking up. Then she will nurse very well in the side-lying position and stay latched on.

    Keep with the block feeding, it won't be immediate. If your breasts are full then hand express JUST for comfort, don't empty the breast (this signals that more milk is needed!) If you have some frozen milk, have your partner feed this to the baby and even skip some feedings if you have oversupply.

    I had my parents watch my baby when they visited and skipped one feeding a day (she was bottle fed by my mom). After 2 days my supply was well-matched to my baby. After that, make sure you don't skip feedings, it is not something you want to make a habit of or your supply will dwindle. And remember, all of your milk whether it is foremilk or hindmilk, is good for your baby.


    i also have these questions:

    1. should i just start pumping and using bottles since she will probably get less air (since she wont choke or cry while i catch my letdown in a towel)?

    2. i will start work in 9 weeks and need to start building storage supply, should i start pumping now since i have so much milk? or will it exacerbate my problem?

    3. her poop is yellow mustard seedy (once i noticed yellow mucous in it), can i rule out diary allergy?

    4. overall, is 1 cup of coffeee/day ok? as well as occassional glass of wine (not more than one a day) ok?

    sorry for the long post, need some advice, thanks for viewing!!


    should i start pumping and feeding in a bottle instead?
    1. No pumping! It will exacerbate your problem. Just feed some frozen milk if you have it.
    2. You can start your storage supply as little as a week or 2 weeks before you go back to work. No need to have a ton of frozen milk but make sure baby is used to the bottle.
    3. Yup normal poops, sounds good!
    4. Yes, that is fine but you may want to explore if the caffeine makes your baby irritable. I drink a lot of caffeine and had a couple of cups of coffee/week while pregnant so I don't have a problem drinking coffee + breastfeeding.


    Sorry, need to cut this short, I hope this helps you. Let us know how you are doing. Gotta feed LO!

    good luck mama
    Amber

    Mommy to Baby Sage: 6lb, 19in, born on 5/20/12

    love: hotsling AP, bumgenius diapers, ergoBaby
    loving fiancée to SAHD

    visit us at: mommy & sage

  4. #4
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    Default Re: overactive letdown, 3 week old baby, please help :(

    with PPs on holding off on the pumping and the bottles, as well as nursing in a reclined position. I had an insane, spray across the room letdown, and nursing while reclined saved me. I would lean back on a few pillows, put my baby on my stomach or chest, and let him latch. It can take a lot of tweaking the position to find something that works, so keep at it. You can try nursing in a side lying position too. My baby did like to nurse more upright when I would nurse him in a sling or carrier (love my Ergo) while walking around. Because poops are normal looking, I wouldn't get too aggressive with block feeding just yet.

    Very frequent feedings are good for both overactive letdown and oversupply. So make sure NOT to limit time at the breast or space out feedings.

    For the miserable gas (oh and how miserable it is), I needed to give a tummy massage and bicycle my son's legs between every single feeding to work out the gas incrementally throughout the day. I also needed to give a warm bath (occasionally more than one) every evening, usually bicycling legs before and after. Holding your baby upright in a squatting position can help pass the gas sometimes too. I also gave a little lower back massage, which seemed to help a little with the pain.

    I would NOT introduce a pacifier or a bottle just yet. Three week is a little too young for that yet. You should wait until at least 4 weeks, or ideally wait until after the growth spurt around 6 weeks has passed.

    Right now do NOT pump or give bottles. The best thing to do for overactive letdown is exclusively nurse on demand. I agree with PP about waiting until 1-2 weeks before returning to work to start stockpiling milk.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: overactive letdown, 3 week old baby, please help :(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*wuvamber View Post
    If you have some frozen milk, have your partner feed this to the baby and even skip some feedings if you have oversupply.
    Skipping feedings generally isn't a very good idea, particularly this early on. As anti-intuitive as it may sound, more frequent feedings strictly at the breast are actually better for getting overactive letdown and oversupply under control than are less frequent feedings.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: overactive letdown, 3 week old baby, please help :(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*phi View Post
    Skipping feedings generally isn't a very good idea, particularly this early on. As anti-intuitive as it may sound, more frequent feedings strictly at the breast are actually better for getting overactive letdown and oversupply under control than are less frequent feedings.
    Also, skipped feedings can set a mom up for some bad engorgement or put her at risk for plugged ducts. It's great that skipping a few feedings works for some moms, but it's not recommended.
    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!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: overactive letdown, 3 week old baby, please help :(

    wow, THANK YOU sooo much everyone! Thanks for taking the time to give me such great advice and encouragement !! I wont resort to bottle feeding! i kept trying the reclining position yesterday and found that tossing my boppy pillow and just holding her work best also using my finger as a paci while my letdown sprayed worked so well! baby girl must have known my pain (or is going thru a growth spurt!) b/c she nursed more frequently yesterday which helped my swollen breasts. i also stuck to the same breast for two feedings in a row. i feel better today, so thank you all! this is an amazing forum!

  8. #8

    Default Re: overactive letdown, 3 week old baby, please help :(

    It sounds like the excellent suggestions you have gotten here are helping, so that is great.

    I had forceful letdown with my two oldest and it appears to occuring with my new baby too. This is actually a really common issue particulary in the early weeks when milk production is ramping up, and it is typically fairly temporary as long as nothing is done to exacerbate the issue (like pumping and/or cutting back on feeding frequency.) no one likes to see thier sweet baby struggle with a too fast milk flow but your baby prefers that to bottles any day I promise! FFLD is no reason at all to stop nursing at the breast. Even a mom with an extreme oversupply that does not respond to the typical measures have many things they can do to recitfy the situation and so should that be the case for you, (which I very much doubt but time well tell) just ask.

    http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supp.../fast-letdown/

  9. #9
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    Default Re: overactive letdown, 3 week old baby, please help :(

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*bluesea View Post
    wow, THANK YOU sooo much everyone! Thanks for taking the time to give me such great advice and encouragement !! I wont resort to bottle feeding! i kept trying the reclining position yesterday and found that tossing my boppy pillow and just holding her work best also using my finger as a paci while my letdown sprayed worked so well! baby girl must have known my pain (or is going thru a growth spurt!) b/c she nursed more frequently yesterday which helped my swollen breasts. i also stuck to the same breast for two feedings in a row. i feel better today, so thank you all! this is an amazing forum!
    great job
    Amber

    Mommy to Baby Sage: 6lb, 19in, born on 5/20/12

    love: hotsling AP, bumgenius diapers, ergoBaby
    loving fiancée to SAHD

    visit us at: mommy & sage

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