Re: Let down comes quick / too much for baby - HELP PLEASE!
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it to 2 weeks of nursing!
Rapid letdowns are usually caused by milk oversupply. Oversupply is normal when you're just starting out; it's nature's way of ensuring the baby gets fed while mastering the art of breastfeeding. But you definitely don't want to be dealing with it in the long term, because it's a waste of energy to produce all that extra milk, and making extra puts you at increased risk for plugged ducts and mastitis. Also, as you have been experiencing, rapid letdowns make nursing more difficult for the baby, particularly when he's so young and small.
Here's what to do about rapid letdowns:
1. Shelve the pump. Unless you have an undersupply problem, or a non-latching baby, 2 weeks is too early to be pumping. Every time you remove milk from the breast, you're telling your body that it needs to be making that amount of milk again. Pump off a couple of oz before feeding and you're going to make that same extra amount the next time. Leave that extra milk in the breast, and your body will eventually get the message that it is making too much, and your supply will go down.
2. If not pumping is making you so uncomfortable that you can't stand it, try hand-expressing or pumping just enough milk to restore comfort. Don't try to empty the breast. Remember, all additional milk removal from and stimulation to the breast will create more supply. Let your baby nurse on demand and you will make the right amount.
3. If baby is struggling with a fast flow, try nursing in reclined positions. Some moms nurse lying flat on their backs, with baby on top. Reclining enlists gravity to slow your milk flow, making nursing more comfortable for the baby.
4. If baby is choking and coughing during your letdown, and pulls off, that's okay. Just let the extra milk spray into a towel, and when the flow slows, latch baby back on.
5. Feed baby more frequently, not less. Small, frequent feedings are normal for babies and help mom avoid engorgement.
6. If you take the above steps and are still having issues after 3-6 weeks, let us know and we'll talk to you about block feeding. There's no magical point at which your supply will adjust- it's different for every mom- but after breastfeeding is well established and you and baby are more comfortable with each other, then you can start tweaking your breastfeeding management a bit.
Don't expect your baby to transition to feeding every 2-3 hours at some magical turning point. As I mentioned above, small, frequent feedings are normal for breastfed babies, and plenty of babies never make a shift to feeding at well-defined, predictable intervals. My girls, for example, fed every 1-2 hours during the day throughout their first year and into their second- unless they were out and about in some interesting place, in which case they might go 2-3 hours.
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!"