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Thread: Inhibited Let-down on "Off" Side

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    29

    Default Inhibited Let-down on "Off" Side

    So, I have always had troubles with let-down. Maybe it is because I have hypothyroid (though it is under control with Synthroid), or maybe it is related to anxiety, I do not know. I have managed to muddle through with my 10 month old up until now. I cannot describe how difficult it has been for me... trying to convince baby to stick around and suckle for 10-15 minutes to try for a let-down. Or sometimes just giving up and coming back 1 hour later.
    I have instituted almost everything I know to improve chances for let-down: nursing in the same place, no stimuli, dim lights, rescue remedy, fennel, meditation and stretching beforehand, breast compressions, humming, thinking about how much I love my baby, not thinking about my baby at all. Sometimes I get the let down. Sometimes not.

    OK, so currently I am having this problem where the side that baby starts suckling on will let down, but when we switch to the "off" side, my milk will not let down. This has put me in a 2 hour nursing cycle, where baby only gets half feed every time, but eats very frequently. Any suggestions for me?

    Sometimes I think I am the only person in the world who has had this problem consistently. I literally have struggled with this since my baby was a newborn. My doctor said I could try oxytocin nasal spray, but I'm not sure. Have anyone heard of anxiety meds actually fixing this problem? Though I would prefer not to go that route. I figure we can make it 2 more months going like this, but it is stressful and frustrating for me and baby (at times).

    Any advice would be so appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Inhibited Let-down on "Off" Side

    Usually when my baby is feeding on one breast he triggers a let down in both breast at the same time, so my other breast that he's not feeding from just soaks the breast pad. Just to clarify, that's not happening to you? You only feel the let down in the breast the baby is nursing from? Is it possible that you are letting down but just don't feel it? Have you tried pumping to see if any milk comes out and if so how much? Sometimes my let down is so forceful and other times I can barely feel it but I know it has happened because I see the baby chugging away. Your baby gets frustrated, is what I understood? And it has been happening for 10 months, so I doubt it's a clogged duct or anything like that. Hmm...I am curious!
    After six years of infertility and 2 miscarriages later , I am proud to say I am the happiest woman alive thanks to my son Giuseppe
    Nicole Marie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,813

    Default Re: Inhibited Let-down on "Off" Side

    We're not perfectly symmetrical beings, so it's pretty normal to have one breast that doesn't perform as well as the other. For most moms this just means that one breast produces more milk than the other, but I can see how a mom might have one breast that just isn't as responsive to suckling and doesn't let down as fast as the other. And what might compound the problem is that babies acre smart. They don't want to waste their time a timely nursing on a "lazy" breast, and less active nursing means that it's going to take the "lazy" side even longer to let down.

    It sounds like you're doing quite well despite all this- a nursing frequency of every 2 hours is absolutely normal and not an indication that baby is getting a half feed. And you've gotten this far without resorting to supplements or what have you, I see no reason why anything needs to change in the next couple of months. As you get closer and closer to a year, and the baby's solid food intake starts to pick up, you're not going to have quite as much responsibility for his food intake and therefore it won't as much if you have one breast that is a bit of an underachiever.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Inhibited Let-down on "Off" Side

    Yes, it is strange, and doesn't seem to be the case for other moms. I have always been told that when you letdown, you letdown on BOTH sides simultaneously, and this IS the case when I pump. BUT, after baby is done with the first side (doesn't matter WHICH side I start on), there is nothing on the other side! Is this physically possible? Can you letdown and then "close-up" again? He seems to nurse for about 20 seconds on the second side and then there is no milk. He keeps suckling until we get a letdown or give up. I KNOW he is not getting milk because he is smacking my chest, and wriggling and not swallowing. Sometimes he will just fall asleep or lose interest.
    Is it possible the milk is all right there on the second side and he is sucking it down SUPER fast on the second side?? it doesn't seem like that is the case, but I would be relieved if it were...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,813

    Default Re: Inhibited Let-down on "Off" Side

    Not all moms let down on both sides simultaneously. I did at first, but never past 6 months. I'd have a letdown on one side, and the other would just sit there doing nothing, not leaking. So it's really not abnormal to not have simultaneous bilateral letdowns!

    I think that if your baby is growing normally from nursing alone, then you just relax about this. Who knows why it's happening? Maybe baby gets pretty full off the first side and then just doesn't have patience for the second. It's not a big deal, provided he's happy and healthy and nursing on demand- even if that means nursing every 2 hours! (Which, for the record, both my kids did until well over a year.)
    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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