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Thread: Forceful Letdown?

  1. #1

    Default Forceful Letdown?

    Hello all! My LO is 3 months old and I work full time and pump at work. I get 3-4 oz per pumping session on average so I don't think I have an oversupply problem, and my breasts never feel engorged or even slightly too full. However, the past couple nights during LO's last feed of the evening she gets pretty fussy and pulls off the breast multiple times during the feeding. Most of the time there's milk all over her face! So my question is: Is it possible to have a forceful letdown issue w/o also having an oversupply? Also, I've read that with foreceful letdown usually comes gassiness and/or foamy green BM's. She is gassy sometimes but her BM's are normal. I spent an hour with her last night battling fussiness during her last feeding of the night. She'd eat for a few minutes then pull off and cry. Breaks my heart when she's upset like that. I was worried she hadn't eaten enough due to all the fussing and pulling off but when I finally gave up the battle she laid right down and went to sleep.

    Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,847

    Default Re: Forceful Letdown?

    Definitely possible to have forceful letdowns without oversupply. FFLD is more about how the baby handles the flow than about the speed of the flow itself.

    The are several things which makes me think that this is unlikely to be FFLD. First, you have an older baby who is presumably a pretty good nurser- FFLD tends to be more of a problem for younger babies. Second, it doesn't sound like you have an oversupply, and FFLD is generally more of a problem when a mom has a larger supply. And most women, even those with oversupply, tend to have slightly lower supply in the evenings. It's possible that you have a high evening supply, but it would be unusual. Third, it's only this one last feeding of the day which is problematic- if you had FFLD I would expect you to have more problems throughout the day, on days when you are home with your baby.

    If this is FFLD, then the way to deal with it is to be patient and to adopt reclined nursing positions. Reclined positions use gravity to slow the flow of milk to the baby.

    If this isn't FFLD, then what is it? I'm thinking that it's likely just normal evening fussiness. Baby is too tired to eat well, maybe not even really hungry, and yet too fussy to go right to sleep. Keep nursing her, and please don't fall into the evening bottle trap! A lot of working moms seem to end up getting frustrated with evening fussiness and therefore start giving baby more bottles than she's already getting, leading to less nursing and the baby potentially learning that fussiness is a great way to get a bottle when she wants the easy experience of eating from one.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Forceful Letdown?

    I will definitely keep nursing her! We absolutely do not do bottles if I'm with her, I want to be the one to feed my baby. I've been back to work for about seven weeks now, we had a really good routine going but one thing I'm learning (she's my first) is that there's really no such thing as a set routine with a baby. We'll just roll with the punches and hopefully the fussiness gets better. She was in a great mood when I finally quit trying to feed her and got a burp out of her and fell asleep really easily, you're probably right in saying that she just might not have been really hungry. I guess these are things we learn how to handle better in time. Thanks for the input, I appreciate it!

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