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Thread: Strong letdown

  1. #1

    Default Strong letdown

    My letdown is incredibly strong and it tends to choke my LO! I've considered pumping for a few minutes before nursing to prevent this. I've also tried to let it drip on its own, but it takes too long and my baby screams her head off! Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,886

    Default Re: Strong letdown

    Welcome to the forum!

    The first line of defense against strong letdowns is reclined nursing positions. Reclining enlists gravity to slow milk flow and make nursing more comfortable for the baby. You absolutely want to avoid the pump, because every drop of milk you remove is a drop that your body will think needs to be replaced, and the more milk you have the stronger your letdowns will be.

    How old is your baby? And do you see any of the following symptoms:
    - Mom often feels full or engorged
    - Mom leaks a lot
    - Mom feels strong letdown sensation
    - Mom is able to pump a lot of milk with little effort, if she is pumping
    - Baby coughs, gags, splutters, or makes a click or cluck noise
    - Baby frequently pulls off the breast while nursing
    - If baby pulls off while letdown is occurring, mom may see milk squirting or streaming from the breast
    - Baby feeds rapidly, in as little as 5-10 minutes
    - Baby may need only 1 breast per feeding
    - Baby may appear to "dislike" nursing, may cry and fuss
    - Baby may have poops which are frequently or even consistently green
    - Baby may gain weight rapidly
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Strong letdown

    She is only 13 days old <3
    LO and I suffer from every single bullet point you listed except the green poops (still mustard yellow).


    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    The first line of defense against strong letdowns is reclined nursing positions. Reclining enlists gravity to slow milk flow and make nursing more comfortable for the baby. You absolutely want to avoid the pump, because every drop of milk you remove is a drop that your body will think needs to be replaced, and the more milk you have the stronger your letdowns will be.

    How old is your baby? And do you see any of the following symptoms:
    - Mom often feels full or engorged
    - Mom leaks a lot
    - Mom feels strong letdown sensation
    - Mom is able to pump a lot of milk with little effort, if she is pumping
    - Baby coughs, gags, splutters, or makes a click or cluck noise
    - Baby frequently pulls off the breast while nursing
    - If baby pulls off while letdown is occurring, mom may see milk squirting or streaming from the breast
    - Baby feeds rapidly, in as little as 5-10 minutes
    - Baby may need only 1 breast per feeding
    - Baby may appear to "dislike" nursing, may cry and fuss
    - Baby may have poops which are frequently or even consistently green
    - Baby may gain weight rapidly

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,886

    Default Re: Strong letdown

    Okay, so it sounds like you do have a high supply! How are you managing this, so far? Are you:
    - Nursing on demand or on a schedule?
    - Pumping at all, and if so, how often and how much do you get?
    - Block feeding?
    - Doing one-sided feedings or offering both breasts at a feeding?
    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
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Strong letdown

    I've had some troubles with a strong letdown too--my little guy is now three months old and will still occasionally pull off when my milk lets down and get sprayed in the face from one of my ducts like a sprinkler! :P But they get SO much better handling it as they get older. Now it bothers him only if he just wanted to comfort nurse without so much milk.

    I have a Boppy pillow and expected to use it a ton, but with the strong letdown I found I had to ditch it fairly early in favor of a more laid back position with baby's body going more down the length of my body so he was somewhat on top of my boob, rather that laying across my body on the Boppy and being under my boob. I also got in the habit of putting a burp cloth under my breast when feeding to help catch any milk that would come out from his mouth or if he pulled off.

    There are things you can do to help, but with time it does usually get so much better. I didn't have any formula or bottles around, so I knew this was how I had to feed my baby and we would make it work. And we did, and he grew bigger and got used to me. As a side benefit, he gained 12 oz a week that first month due to my milk firehose!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Strong letdown

    Currently, I'm nursing using a combination of "on demand" and a schedule, meaning I don't let her go more than 3 hours for a feed during the day if shes sleeping, or beforehand if she cries and shows hunger signs. (I was instructed by the pediatrician to let her wake me during the night to nurse since she gained 10.5oz in the few days after birth!! No problem gaining weight here! ).
    I am not pumping yet, but read that it may help to alleviate some of the milk/pain to promote an easier nursing session for both baby and mom....thoughts?
    I am only offering one breast per feeding, and sometimes return to the same breast for more than one feeding depending on the time frame, to allow her to drain one breast and attempt to have her fill up on the hind milk, rather than switching and only getting the fore milk.
    Up until this last feeding in which we used the reclined position that you suggested (IT WORKED!), I was using either a Boppy or My BrestFriend.
    She really only nurses for 5-15minutes at a time and then falls asleep...is this normal?
    Thanks for all of the help

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,886

    Default Re: Strong letdown

    Your LO is still really young, so I would manage this oversupply issue very conservatively. Start by simply using the reclined positions at every feeding- that may be enough to manage the problem. And continue to nurse on demand, waking the baby if only she goes >3 hours during the day without eating, or 4-5 at night. I personally think she's a little young to be allowed to sleep through, and allowing the breast to get really full at night could make nighttime and early morning feedings more difficult.

    I would absolutely avoid the pump for now. Put it on the shelf and don't even look at it. Removing milk from the breast with the pump, and stimulating the breast- that will just tell your body to keep making the excess milk it's making right now, and maybe even signal it to make MORE milk. Give the baby and your body a chance to get into equilibrium with each other, without introducing a third factor (the pump) into the nursing equation.

    It sounds like you have spontaneously adopted a really good technique for managing milk supply in general and oversupply in particular, something called "finish the first breast first." Instead of switching baby to the second breast after some predetermined time limit, or making sure to offer both breasts at every feeding, you're letting the baby finish the first breast at her own pace. Simply doing that, and just having her eat off one breast at a time, may be enough to allow your body to figure out how much milk it needs to be making. I would give that approach at least another couple of weeks before getting into block feeding, which is what is sometimes called for when mom has a very robust oversupply. We'll walk you through that, if need be.

    Don't worry about fast feedings. Babies who cope with oversupply often eat quite rapidly from the very beginning. My second baby- who had to deal with a massive oversupply- always ate in under 5 minutes. And she gained weight like a monster!
    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!"

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