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Thread: Overactive Letdown - nursing in public makes me nervous

  1. #1

    Unhappy Overactive Letdown - nursing in public makes me nervous

    Hi everybody
    Today I participated at the "Big Latch-on" in a baby center. I went there with the proud feeling of being one of the worlds breast feeding moms and left really frustrated. I wasn't even able to keep my two month old nursing for a minute in a row without getting her opset over my overactive letdown. While all moms around me where holding their placidly suckling babies sitting relaxed on a couch I was standing, shushing, and bouncing my crying baby trying to get her back to the breast...

    When I'm relaxed and at home it is somewhat easier. But still it takes me a lot of patience to get my baby to nurse, relax, and finally fall a sleep. She only nurses for a few minutes at the time and stays fussy until I get her to nurse more. She has figured out that she can pull back and let the intense flow pass but more often she still gets angry, starts crying, and does not want to go back to the breast for quite a while. I have tried block feeding for up to 6 hours on one side. But sometimes she would only nurse if I switch sides. Also the intensity of my letdown seems not to change much whether my breasts are really full or even quite soft.

    Any suggestions or just a little compassion to ease my frustration...?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Overactive Letdown - nursing in public makes me nervous

    Hi! so sorry the big latch on was stressfull for you!

    How much practice overall do you have with NIP? It can be a challenge indeed and the thing I have found works best is practice practice practice. I even made up a joke about it.
    Q- 'how do you nurse in Carnegie Hall?"
    Ba dum dum

    Moving on, I have dealt with very fast letdown with all three of my babies. What I found worked best for me, in or out, is:
    Nursing frequently, usually one side at a time unless baby wants both sides
    Using nursing positions that help both baby and I feel most comfortable and to handle the flow. This usually means nursing laid back, which can actually be done sitting up. It also means positioning baby so baby is positioned to take the flow. Head above tummy, legs and bottom more or less below- the whole body more up and down, rather than straight across me. Think about how a baby giraffe (or any grazer really) nurses.
    Keeping some nice looking cloths or light baby blankets close at hand for mop up.
    Are you still block nursing? Block nursing reduces milk production very well, usually, and some moms end up with not enough milk. So you want to watch out that you approach this very carefully. Also, blocking does not always help with forceful letdown during the process. In fact it can make it worse, because when you have baby nurse on the side that has been blocked for a few hours, the flow can be quite bad.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Overactive Letdown - nursing in public makes me nervous

    Meg. "Practice."

    Here's a story that might make you feel better, Leonies.mum. I had a huge oversupply with my second daughter. One day I was sitting with a friend and nursing my baby on the playground outside my firstborn's preschool. The baby got a strong letdown and decided to unlatch, allowing multiple streams of milk to fountain into the air. Just at that moment, our elderly rabbi walked by! To his credit, all he said was "Hello ladies," as he walked sedately to his car. But man, was I dying of embarrassment! I mean, nursing in public never bothered me, but I was like some sort of circus sideshow at that point.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Overactive Letdown - nursing in public makes me nervous

    Thank you both, Meg and Mommal. It helps to laugh a little! I also had a similar situation lately. We tried going out for dinner with friends and I ended up walking around the parking lot instead soothing my baby and trying to breastfeed her. At one point she let go of the nipple and it sprayed in the air, all over her head and face. She made such a funny astonished face that I had to laugh out loud.
    I will keep practicing Meg, it's only been two month. Being a mom with everything that comes with it is still quite new to me and often stressful...
    I did stop block feeding for a while as my LO seemed to ask for more especially in the evening and early in the morning. Also I have noticed that my let-down is still forceful even after a few times of feeding on the same side. It seems not to be related to how full the breast appears. I do leak a lot though and I've read that this points towards having oversupply. Could it be that I'm constantly reproducing so much milk that even in an apparently empty breast there is still enough for an impressive spray or could the let-down be intense even with out oversupply?
    I have also tried the nursing positions you are suggesting. I am still using them but at the moment my LO is often only feeding if I'm standing up and cradling her to breast while moving around. What I found works best though is to feed her when she is very sleepy. This all makes it rather complicated and therefore difficult to adapt to different situations, but as I said I won't give up and keep practicing...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Overactive Letdown - nursing in public makes me nervous

    Do you have a sling or carrier? It's made life a hundred times easier with my second to nurse him to sleep in his ring sling. It really seems to help with my fast flow as he's upright and a little above the breast rather than being cradled underneath. My let down is super enthusiastic too even when my breasts seem to be thoroughly emptied.

    Don't feel bad about the latch on! My two LLL leaders and I were struggling to keep ours latched yesterday too. All day every day I get asked to nurse by my toddler but when I need him to latch for one minute, he wants water! My lo wasn't happy with the position he was in and the leaders kids were very distracted. I remember hearing one mom ask her son not to bite

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Overactive Letdown - nursing in public makes me nervous

    Leaking is not a reliable sign of overproduction. Some moms leak and some do not.
    Signs of overproduction-
    The most reliable is regular Engorgement or uncomfortable over-fullness despite baby nursing frequently & effectively
    and Very fast, unusually fast, weight gain in baby
    forceful letdown is a symptom of overproduction, but can occur on its own
    Many moms experience more abundant production in the early weeks and it begins calming down on its own around 6-12 weeks
    if you are finding the situation becoming worse rather than better, or you have the two things going on I mentioned above, those are times to consider block nursing.

    If baby prefers nursing while you are standing/waking, I wonder if replicating baby's nursing position when you are standing, while you are sitting, might help. There is nothing wrong with standing and walking while nursing of course. But it's tiring.

    more on block nursing fyi: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/tag/block-feeding

  7. #7

    Default Re: Overactive Letdown - nursing in public makes me nervous

    Thank you both! I have been nursing with my lo in my carrier but a ring sling might be even easier, I will try it for sure. I think it will be less tiring then holding her in my arms. I have tried sitting down in the same position as I do standing up but she just doesn't like it. Maybe because I'm not moving as freely sitting as standing, or maybe she just wants to give me an extra work out...
    I did have very full feeling breasts in the beginning but not so much lately. Therefore I'll probably wont block nurse anymore and see how things go. We are still within the time frame you mentioned when things calm down on there own normally. So a little more patience might be all I need... Btw, yesterday I went for a walk and nursed in a park. I tried to relax and let my LO just do her thing. All went very quiet and well. Only, as she was able to drink steadily and a lot, she threw up all over me and the park bench in the end. Well, I still consider it a success to my practice.

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