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Thread: Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

  1. #1
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

    I've just been told by LC I have over active let down. Baby fusses when eating, chokes, fusses after eating, reflux , spitting up , green stool, and gained weight rapidly! If I express with my hand milk shoots out like a pistol.

    The LC suggested as a short term solution I pump both breasts 3 min before feeding to get over let down hump and get rid of some foremilk. I'm not sure what the long term solution would be. Does this sound right? That sounds kinda annoying to pump every time before feeding. Can I simply self express?? Any advice or tips appreciated. I'm very stressed out about this ;/

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum and congrats on your new baby!

    It's absolutely fine to hand express rather than pump to let the first active letdown spray into a towel or cloth. In fact, hand expression is probably preferable, as it's less likely to stimulate your supply further. Laid-back nursing can also help baby cope with the active flow. There's a picture here, play around with the position as needed: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    Over time, two things happen. First, the overactive letdown tends to calm down. And second, babies become more adept at dealing with it. So you don't necessarily need a long-term solution!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

    I agree, it sounds very annoying to pump before every nursing session! Some moms find this helps, but personally I have found it much easier when dealing with ffld to 1) nurse very frequently (milk has less time to build up in the breasts = more manageable flow & less foremilk) 2) nurse reclined as bfwmomof3 suggests, and 3) if baby pulls off or is struggling after getting the flow going, I let that initial flow go into a cloth before reattaching baby.

    Also it usually helps to nurse one side at a time, (unless baby really wants other side) while still nursing very frequently overall.

    Long term this should fix itself, although some mothers have overproduction (related to but different than ffld) that requires more drastic measures (block nursing.) But it is too early to do that in your case, as your body is still in the process of figuring out what baby needs in terms of production. Just helping baby deal with the flow is probably best course for now.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

    Sounds good! Thanks for the advice. It's tough too bc I don't feel any letdown. I have no idea it's even occurring until I see him choking! Then I hand express into a towel.. I have to squeeze but it def shoots out.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

    I agree, so annoying to pump while baby is fussing to nurse! I totally understand why this is stressing you out, because I have been there. But the solutions are quite easy and there are lots of people here on the forum who can help you work through them.

    What I did was just latch baby on when she wanted to nurse, then unlatch her when I could feel the let-down coming. Unfortunately this makes baby cry too, because she wants to be back on the breast. Try to have a cloth on hand to catch the torrents of milk...I am disorganized so I'd usually forget that I needed that cloth, latch baby on and then when I took her off milk would be spraying everywhere (while baby cried to get back on the breast) and I frantically tried to get my hands on some kind of cloth. My friends laughed a lot about this, quite a show. Luckily I never had to nurse on somebody's fancy sofa! If you don't want to squirt into a towel in public (understandable), you might get away with unlatching baby and holding your bra back over your nipple with a breastpad in it, so the let-down goes into the breast pad. The most absorbent I could find were Johnson and Johnson disposable breast pads; cloth ones never worked for me unfortunately. It also helps to catch the torrents coming out of the other breast. Luckily after a couple months baby can handle the letdown without gagging and just gulps it down, so baby is happy on the breast right through the let down. It is really only a problem the first few weeks.

    You have figured out the problem, so no need to stress out about it. Welcome to the forum and the club of over-active boobs!

    Are your breasts engorged (hard and feel uncomfortable)? As Meg said, feed off only one side per feeding and see if that helps. I could never figure out what was meant by "a feeding", since baby would be off and on all the time at that age, or sometimes hang on there for almost an hour....I found it helped to think about "Finish the first breast first" meaning you give the baby one breast and when that one is soft you give her the other breast. Make sense? Don't keep switching back and forth all the time (e.g., because baby pulled off one breast spluttering or couldn't latch properly, don't just switch to the other one), because that's what gives the baby too much foremilk, and it tells the breasts that they need to make more milk.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*nolabear View Post
    Sounds good! Thanks for the advice. It's tough too bc I don't feel any letdown. I have no idea it's even occurring until I see him choking! Then I hand express into a towel.. I have to squeeze but it def shoots out.
    Oops just saw this. Ok different from my case as I could feel let-down strongly and milk would shoot everywhere without any hand expression (still does and DD is 2!). Seems strange to me that he chokes if the milk isn't just coming out on its own, but I am in over my head and hope someone else can tell us about this!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

    But what if you hand express first, wait for the letdown to come (which you'll see), then latch baby on? Or do you need baby to start the process to get the letdown? Alternatively, do you have a feeling for how quickly letdown occurs? For example, if you normally let down pretty quickly, let baby start nursing, then unlatch before the choking (though I agree with pteroglossus, he's likely not to be too happy about that!), let the letdown spray into a towel, and then latch baby back on.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

    Thank you ladies so much!! I think it seems strange too.. But out of no where he will choke and when I take him off and express my milk shoots out. I'm guessing maybe when he sucks it shoots??

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

    Does it go on like that? I mean when you put him back on, is there choking and gagging throughout, or is he then able to nurse peacefully? I was thinking about this more. With my babies they would have an initial choking/sputtering/gagging, pull off and cry, then get back on again and settle down and be fine. So it was just the initial letdown that bothered them. Which I did feel. I guess I'm trying to figure out if it's just the actual letdown that's forceful in your case, or whether post-letdown it keeps coming out really strongly?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Over active let down.. Problems feeding 13 day old..

    I never felt any letdown sensation with my oldest and I had overactive letdown (aka forceful letdown) with him as well as the two I definitely felt (actually painful) letdown with.

    when baby initially suckles, that brings on the first, usually most powerful letdown. (a feeding may have several letdowns.) The "shooting" or spraying of milk is a sign of ffld, although some mothers with ffld do not see milk spray, and many mothers see milk spray when baby pulls off or they hand express yet baby handles it just fine with no sign of issues from overactive letdown. Overactive letdown is one of those things that causes some problems for some babies and not others.

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