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Thread: Let down suddenly taking forever- baby can't wait

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    18

    Default Let down suddenly taking forever- baby can't wait

    DS is just about 4 months old. Nursing has gone pretty well from the start. I had some issues with OALD at the beginning, but he's been doing really well. He never nurses for comfort, and he gets frustrated if it takes more than 30 seconds for the milk to come out. I have been feeling the let down reflex less and less, which I know is normal, but it is also taking SO LONG for my milk to let down. This used to happen only in the evenings - so he'll nurse at 430 pm, and then when I try to nurse him before bed at 6, he is too tired to wait for a letdown, so I end up putting him down for the night without a good feed.

    But now my letdown is taking forever throughout the night also. He is most patient in the middle of the night, but even then, the 5-10 minutes it is taking for my milk to let down is more than he can handle. I have never been able to let down when I pump, it just doesn't work for me. Does this mean my supply is going down. When the milk finally does let down, it seems like plenty and enough for him, but I'm not sure wht to do.

    He is getting so incredibly frustrated. Any help or advice? Is this normal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    504

    Default Re: Let down suddenly taking forever- baby can't wait

    Hi there! I'm not certain why this is happening (I'm sure others will chime in), but I know this tends to happen for me sometimes. It's a vicious cycle because stress inhibits letdown and when you are stressed and have a hungry baby it makes it worse, etc. For me it would come and go in phases. When we were going through this "phase," I would try to stay one step of ahead of DD at night. Meaning, I would "dream feed" her before she fully woke from hunger. If I heard her stirring, or if I woke up and she'd slept a long time, I would just go to her and pick her up and put her right to the breast. She was still too sleep to get all wound up about it and everything was fine. You've already mentioned that he is most patient in the middle of the night, so I'd try to stay one step ahead of him and see if that helps you get back on track.

    As far as before bed, when DD was too tired to nurse before bed, I would just go ahead and put her down, then sneak in her room before I went to bed a few hours later and dream feed her. That worked well for us.

    Good luck!
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    18

    Default Re: Let down suddenly taking forever- baby can't wait

    I try to get him before he's starving during the night, but he really does not latch on easily if he's not REALLY hungry. It's now 530 pm, and he last ate at 230. I can't even get him to latch on, and if he does latch on it's only for half a second. It's just very frustrated. He doesn't take a bottle at all, so I just feel very stuck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,813

    Default Re: Let down suddenly taking forever- baby can't wait

    Are you taking any hormonal contraception, or is there any chance that you might be pregnant? How has baby's diaper output been during this frustrating phase?
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    18

    Default Re: Let down suddenly taking forever- baby can't wait

    I'm on the mini pill, but i've been on it for the last 3 months with no supply issues. don't even want to think about the pregnancy option! He woke up at 730 to nurse and was able to wait a couple minutes for let down, then he ate again at 130 and 530. So 7 feeds in 24 hours. I guess it's not horrible, but I'm worried about my supply. His diapers are normal. Does it make sense to take fenugreek to help keep my supply up? I think I read somewhere that if
    You don't really need it, it could lead to too much foremilk for the baby.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,813

    Default Re: Let down suddenly taking forever- baby can't wait

    Since your baby's diaper output is normal, I don't think you need fenugreek or to take any measures to improve supply beyond trying to nurse as often as baby is willing. That being said, if you do decide to try some fenugreek I don't think you need to worry about the "too much foremilk" problem. First of all, fenugreek is unlikely to give you such a boost in supply that you end up dealing with an oversupply issue (oversupply being the cause of overabundant foremilk). Second, there's nothing wrong with the so-called foremilk; babies can consume nothing but foremilk and still grow and develop completely normally- though they may be a bit gassy and have green poops due to a high intake of lactose (milk sugar). Third, there's really no such thing as foremilk. "Foremilk" is just a handy term for milk that is on the more watery, less creamy end of a continuously varying spectrum, and "hindmilk" is a handy term for milk that is on the less watery, more creamy end of the spectrum. You don't produce 2 discrete types of milk- just milk. Thirst-quenching and lower in fat at the beginning of a feeding, when the breast is relatively full, and becoming progressively fattier as the breast empties out.

    Have you felt like your supply has recently adjusted from overabundant to just normal? Sometimes the sort of fussy, can't-wait-for-a-letdown behavior you're seeing is the result of baby being used to oversupply, a fast flow, and an immediate letdown of milk, and not understanding why he suddenly has to work harder for his meals.

    All that being said, if you continue to have issues you might want to consider taking the mini-pill out of the equation and seeing if things improve. The mini-pill is supposed to be safe for breastfeeding, but there is at least anecdotal evidence that some moms experience supply reduction while using it.
    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Let down suddenly taking forever- baby can't wait

    I've been dealing w/ similar for about almost a month. Well, a few days ago I started menstruating So I think for me, the delayed letdowns were def a sign of fertility returning. She's 8 mos old. I really thought I was using enough of the ecological nursing principles that I'd stave off fertility return for at least a year Oh well. I didn't follow all of the principles, and you're supposed to if you want to prolong return to fertility naturally.

    I don't know how the mini pill works w/ regard to returning to fertility naturally, you know? Like, how do you know when your body would do that had you not been taking hormones (I presume the mini pill is hormones?!). So if I were you I'd def consider that. I know I now need to figure out how to help DD cope w/ more delay before letdowns. She's not digging it! LOL I think my supply is the same; she's still gaining/growing, diaper output seems the same. I was thinking it was just stress - lots going on here - and maybe that contributed to my cycles returning, but at least I know what it was!
    - Annie mom to MG, born 10/08 and a baby due 02/09!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Let down suddenly taking forever- baby can't wait

    I'm having similar issues right now: letdown taking forever. I've been experiencing some PMS-like symptoms on and off over the past few weeks, so I'm thinking it might be a hormonal issue. I'm not on any hormonal contraceptive. My period hasn't returned yet but it might be gearing up...so lately in order to satisfy DD, who also gets bottles when I'm at work (which has created an existing preference for the bottle over breast), I pump until the milk lets down and then she nurses. I just hope I can get over this hump and back to nursing completely at the breast. I'm not interested in weaning anytime soon (DD is 7 months), but I also hate this problem!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Let down suddenly taking forever- baby can't wait

    My problem is that I really cannot get a letdown with the pump right now at all -we are in full blown strike moan mode now - I'm going to start a new thread to get some advice.

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