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Thread: forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

  1. #1
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    Oct 2012
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    Default forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

    My lo has been really fussy day and night since about 3 weeks (she's 6 weeks now) and I'm getting really stressed out. I have forceful letdown and it seems to be getting worse no matter what I do. I also get engorged sometimes between feedings. People also tell me that her fussiness is probably because of something I'm eating, since I have bad gas sometimes and she has bad gas, so we're wondering if my diet could be upsetting her. I've tried cutting out dairy and it doesn't seem to help. I'm worried that she's in pain because she cries so much! Sometimes she has wet sounds in her throat. We wonder if she might be bothered by reflux but she doesn't spit up very much or very often.
    The worst feeling is when I'm feeding her and she comes off the breast and it sprays everywhere and she won't finish feeding. I burp her and try again but once she's upset I can't seem to console her. We just have to bounce her and dance with her a lot. She acts hungry a lot but refuses to feed or latches then pops off again, even once the fast milk is done and I can see that the milk is very creamy and doesn't spray anymore.. she still won't drink it so we wonder if she's not hungry anymore and maybe just wants to suck so we end up giving her a soother a lot now which I never wanted to do.
    Do any of these problems sound familiar and can anyone offer any advice please?? I'm so upset! I'm going to see my Dr. on Thursday and hope he can help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

    Oversupply can be such a challenge, for baby and for mama! But please don't let it get you down, or let anyone tell you that it's all your fault because you looked at a piece of broccoli or drank a cup of cofee. Oversupply is temporary, and the struggles you're having now are a worthwhile price to pay for having a baby who is exclusively breastfed.

    Have you done anything to control the oversupply yet? Reclined feedings, block feedings?

    6 weeks is the peak time for crying, even in a baby who isn't struggling with supply. Does the crying intensify in the evenings?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

    it sounds like its oversupply/forceful letdown. plus as mommal suggests, normal "colic" ie, unexplained crying. if dairy was an issue it would have made a difference shortly after you eliminated dairy. I suggest you eat what you like, this can all be explained by ffld.

    this means-it will likely improve on its own over time and

    you can do lots of things to improve symptoms meanwhile

    never forget that your milk is the perfect tailor made food for your baby. even if there are food sensitivities, even if you have forceful letdown. this is scientific fact.

  4. #4

    Default Re: forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

    Hi there, I'm having this same issue; the fussing, the spraying, the gas, everything. I tried changing my diet too but nothing helped. Pretty much the exact same boat with Lilysmama except I don't get engorged and Cambria won't take a soothie.

    Tried a reclined position and it didn't help. What is block feeding? Please, if anyone has any suggestions I really appreciate it. I don't know what to do, she has such a hard time nursing and she does not like bottles, I can't even pump and feed her.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

    See http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ggrimacing.pdf

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

    Remember forceful letdown and oversupply are only problems if they interfere with baby's enjoyment when nursing or cause issues (engorgement, plugs etc) for mom. There are no health risks to baby due to ffld or overproduction. Baby may be fussy, but no permanent damage is going on.

    I usually suggest that mom try the ideas for helping baby handle the flow, letting baby ‘finish the first breast first’ plus nursing very frequently for at least several days first, before trying block feeding, especially if baby is under two months old.

    This is because block feeding reduces milk production. This is what it is supposed to do. So you want to be sure you really do have 'real' over production and not just the typical early weeks 'ramp up' of production which will naturally level out, typically, by 6-8 weeks of age.

    Also block feeding may temporarily make forceful letdown worse.

    That said, block feeding certainly helps a lot with true over production.

    If after trying everything in these articles, over production is still causing problems, get back to us. There are even more ‘extreme’ measures one can take when needed.

    I also suggest, keep trying laid back. Even if it does not help for ffld, it tends to be a more comfortable nursing position over all for mom and baby. And it is very ‘flexible’- tweak it as needed. Let me know if you want more suggestions on making laid back work.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

    The fussing definitely gets worse in the evening! I do feed her in reclined positions (I've tried every position I can think of) and I've tried block feeding but the ffld seems to have gotten even worse since I found out about it. We had all the problems/symptoms of ffld except she did and does still like to comfort nurse and nurse to sleep on occasion but sometimes she refuses and fusses (even when my breast feels soft she will often pop off and there might not be any spray or leak at that point she just won't take the breast - it's annoying because even if I think she's full she still acts like she wants to suck so we have to give her to soothie). Her poop has also never been green frothy.. yellow frothy once.. right around the time her fussing started to increase she went 3 days without pooping, then she had a big blowout and gradually started pooping more often again.. now the last 2 days she's been having 6-8 dirty diapers per day (estimating).. it's greenish-yellow, seedy and has an almost shiny/jellylike look.

    Isn't colic a diagnosis of exclusion? When parents are going through what we're going through how do they know their baby isn't in some kind of pain when she screams?

    Sometimes I contribute her fussing to over-tiredness, when she shows signs she's tired but won't fall asleep and stay asleep more than 1/2 an hour. She also doesn't seem to sleep very well/deep very often. My husband thinks he gas/poops really bother her. I basically worry about her constantly, she brings out the best and worst in me and I end up crying at some point every day.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

    This is a pretty good article on colic: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0815/p735.html It's interesting to note that "organic" causes of excessive crying amount to less than 5% of infants with colic! I know from experience with both my kids that the evening scream-fest is very distressing. But it is also temporary.

    The thing that concerns me from your post is that you find yourself crying every day. Some degree of "baby blues" is pretty normal for a new mom. But crying every day, and worrying "constantly"- that makes me worry that you may be experiencing a more than average amount of sadness and anxiety. I's consider seeing your doctor or midwife and discussing the possibility of postpartum depression.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

    i definitely have forceful letdown and my baby (now a bit over 3 months) has always had classic mustard yellow curdy poops. maybe extra watery in the early weeks (when she also cried like mad for several hours every evening-which i called colic as a short hand way of saying 'my baby cries like mad for several hours every evening.") but never were poops in any way green or frothy. a baby need not have all the 'symptoms' for ffld to be an issue.

    i agree with mommal. your baby sounds pretty normal to me, or normal for a baby whose mom has a bit of ffld or overproduction-which is a very common issue. I am a bit more worried about you, although i think new babies certainly bring out the best and worst in every mom!

    do you have help and/or support? what about a baby carrier like a sling? works wonders. your husband can relax-its true gas may bother baby. but its fine and normal.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

    Hmm.. I'm still pretty worried/frustrated.. but no need to be concerned about me! I do have a lot of support and my husband knows how I've been feeling. I think I will tell my Dr about it too though. I know baby blues should subside after a couple weeks and I am still doing all I can to cope (like getting dressed every day, walks, wearing the baby in a sling etc) not sure what else could be done. Just wish I could do more to help my lo feel better when she's upset!

    When they say colic means 3 hours or more of crying is that constant crying? Because she calms periodically with some effort on our parts (singing and dancing usually help) but the fussing can go on off and on for 3 or more hours definitely.

    Also, how should I decide how long to feed her from one breast? Sometimes she'll nurse for 15-20 minutes on one side and want to nurse again within 2 hours. Should I try the same side again? My breasts never seem to empty. I wish I had an in house LC to tell me exactly what to do all the time lol - I guess that sounds obsessive compulsive. I just really want to do whatever I can to help her if she might be in pain or uncomfortable. She's had 6 dirty diapers since last night and the last one had green chunks that looked kind of like paper.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: forceful letdown and fussing at the breast, need help!

    In my experience, colic isn't uninterrupted crying. You'll get brief periods where the baby is happier. Changing the baby's sensory input can make a huge difference. Here are some things that worked for my girls:
    - Trip outside
    - Warm bath (this was like magic for DD2- the crying would stop the moment she hit the water and start up the moment she exited)
    - Motion- dance, rock, swing, stroller, bounce on exercise ball, etc.
    - Calm house- lights, tv, and seteo down or off
    - White noise- radio static, dryer noise, vacuum sounds
    - Closeness- snuggle baby close in a sling

    Your question about how to know when to switch breasts is such a frustrating one, because there's no good answer. The point at which a mom should switch is different for every mom. This is one of the things that makes oversupply so irritating- managing it is more of an art than a science! You might want to try using just one breast per feeding for, say, 2 feedings in a row in the morning (when most moms have more milk) and seeing if that makes a difference to baby's behavior and comfort. If that's not enough, you may need to do longer blocks.

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