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Thread: Letdowns sluggish...why?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    Ohio
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    Default Letdowns sluggish...why?

    So, lately my letdowns have been more sluggish. It really seemed to happen a few weeks ago when I had diarrhea and my supply dropped really low. I posted here about it. I also called my LLL leader/IBCLC and she told me that it will take the same amount of days I was having symptoms to bounce back. I had symptoms for 3 days, and sure enough, 3 days later my supply bounced back PLUS some! But after a week of having a bit of 'extra' milk and particularly full breasts, I have been having some issues with letdown. My letdowns don't feel as strong. Before, even if my breasts felt pretty 'empty' I would get that tingly pressure and by breast, often both, would become somewhat firm while ejecting milk. This just seems lessened lately. I am on domperidone, so my cycle is suppressed. I could be having hormonal changes, but the dom keeps me from menstruating. My baby is 10 months old.

    This just puts me in such a worried state. We had a month of stuggles in the beginning (tongue tie, producing/transferring only 1 oz, etc). I realize now that after getting my supply back on track, I had a little bit of an over supply until DD was 7 months old. Also had an overactive letdown. I have PPA and I believe I have PTSD from our struggle those early weeks. I pretty much worry all the time that one day, my production will fail me and I wont know and baby will be hungry and I just wont realize (basically what happened to me in the beginning). I would say it is fairly pervasive worry that I have worked on myself and brought down so I can function pretty well. Back in October, I waited 1 month to get in to see a therapist (one of the only ones my PPD support line suggested that took my insurance). I was at the height of my anxiety about nursing and my baby's health, and she flat out told me to just give baby a bottle. I cancelled all other appointments and promised myself I would work really hard on my anxiety by myself.

    sooooo, gosh I just want to make it to 12 months and I think things will be easier. I am taking lecithin to help with emptying. Many months ago my wonderful LLL leader/IBCLC told me, now I don't have to worry, the hard part is over, now just enjoy my baby. Ugh, I wish I could without that constant bit of breastfeeding anxiety.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    211

    Default Re: Letdowns sluggish...why?

    So sorry for your rough start and the challenges you are still working through. One of the more experienced posters will likely have more to offer, but I just wanted to say I know how you feel in regards to the anxiety - we, too, had tongue/lip ties in the beginning, and I worry every day that DD is getting enough to eat (she's almost 8 months now; was revised at 6 weeks). I know I shouldn't worry, because she is a chunky, happy little thing, but I do, especially if we have the odd dry diaper or she's fussy at the breast. Could you perhaps see your IBCLC and do a weighted feed just to reassure you that your baby is transferring well?
    I have a VERY strong letdown sensation (quite painful), and my LLL leader has said she has the same with her babes, but it lessens as time goes on. Perhaps this is what you are feeling (or not feeling!).

  3. #3
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    Apr 2015
    Location
    Ohio
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    Default Re: Letdowns sluggish...why?

    My LO was about 6 weeks when she was revised. I have been very avoidant to do weighted feeds since fixing our initial problems. I worry that the results will undermine my confidence, or lack there of. My IBCLC told me that weighted feeds are not as reliant around this time, but she did tell me that moms can usually do them more for 'fun'. She offered to bring her scale to a meeting and said I could let dd do her thing and after the meeting we could weigh her again, and put my mind to ease. I declined. Baby girl does not nurse well in public. Constantly distracted, pulling off every few seconds to look around. Instead I just did a naked weight and she had gained fine since her last Drs visit. She is acting totally normal and not wanting to nurse more or eat more than she usually does. I am going to do a weight check in a week. There is a 3 month gap between the 9 and 12 month check up, so I would like to check her weight half way through.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2015
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    Default Re: Letdowns sluggish...why?

    I completely understand. I just ordered a scale to weigh baby at home, too, but I am going to have to be careful not to zero in on the numbers too much, because I can see myself having the same problem. Always I try to remind myself if weight gain is good and baby is acting happy, there's no reason for me to worry...now to tell myself that again as we spent all day only nursing for 3-7 minutes at a time due to major distraction. =)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Letdowns sluggish...why?

    I say, if your baby is acting happy, peeing throughout the day and gaining weight, there is no need to do a weighted feed. I got obsessed with doing daily weights on my girl for the first 3 plus months. She was gaining every single day. An LC told me not to worry when I don't see those rapid gains in weight and I should wean myself off daily weighing. I continued to weigh until there was like a 5 day stretch where she was not 'gaining'. It's kind of a 'well, duh' thing because babies grow in spurts. Sometimes they wont gain for a week and then all of a sudden they gain 6 oz or whatever. My partner and mother told me to get rid of the scale. I was becoming a nervous wreck. Last time I did any sort of weighted feed, she got 3 oz from one side. That was when I think I had a slight over supply, was leaking all the time and she usually only nursed one side a session. Around 6-7 months we started doing both sides.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Letdowns sluggish...why?

    Yeah, I'm buying it more because we haven't been able to go to every well baby visit, so I want something at home so I can feel like I'm being responsible checking in every once in a while to make sure she's still on track if we aren't able to make the well checks - I'm sure it's unnecessary as she's obviously healthy, but I need it for my own reassurance/sanity after our rough start. I'm not planning to do weighted feeds, especially right now when she's so distracted, because I'm sure that would just freak me out!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Letdowns sluggish...why?

    I would like to hear from more of you about sluggish letdowns. Surely, others have experienced something similar. It's been this way for maybe 4 or so days. Baby wets throughout the day, but diapers aren't *as* wet, especially about half way through the day. We use cotton cloth diapers so it is very easy for me to tell how wet a diaper is. This leads me to believe there is some kind of reduction in supply going on. I am trying not to completely freak out. I remember IBCLC Linda Smith telling me she had a client that was a chronic under producer, 10 oz a day, and once baby was well on solids, she could cut out bottle supplements and he was like any other bf baby. Dr. Jack Newman has said, even mom's supply is reduced, it is still usually enough. *sigh* so close to my goal and I really didn't want to experience any more problems.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Letdowns sluggish...why?

    I'll be perfectly honest with you I have not responded to this thread because I don't believe in sluggish let downs.
    There is something called delayed let down or inability to let down and that could be caused by anxiety hormonal issues several things I've heard fennel could be helpful for this.

    Of course inadequate milk production is a real problem it does happen but to far fewer mothers then we are generally led to believe.

    What does often happen especially with slightly older babies whose mothers have gone to work or for whatever reason babies have been getting bottles for long enough or frequently enough to cause a problem is that baby becomes upset at the breast because they are used to a very fast very quick feeding from the bottle and don't want to do what has to be done at the breast, in other words the baby perceives perfectly normal let down as "slow"

    And when it comes to concerns about milk production and let them a good deal of the time that has to do with mother's perception as well. Babies nurse differently as they get older. Breasts feel differently as baby ages this is all part of normal breast-feeding and does not mean milk production is inadequate.

    Some mothers never feel any letdown sensation whatsoever. Many mothers stop feeling any letdown sensation whatsoever as their baby ages. So that part of your concern is completely normal.
    Additionally as baby gets older they tend to go longer between pees. Overall output maybe the same but they don't have as many wet diapers.
    Lack of enough pee is one indication of dehydration there are many other indications of dehydration you can look up list on the Internet all over the place. If you're concerned about dehydration I suggest you do that. Make sure you were looking for the right age baby. For example very young babies do not cry tears even if they are perfectly well hydrated.

    They are different levels of dehydration mild moderate and severe. The signs of moderate dehydration include baby lethargic etc. I mean in other words a worried concerned mother who is really watching for the signs is not going to be letting her baby get dangerously dehydrated or anything near it. If your baby is truly dehydrated at 10 months I think it's safe to give them water although you can talk to your pediatrician.

    Additionally at this age assuming baby is eating solids, baby could be eating solids and perhaps not as interested as nursing because of that? Or possibly not needing as much breastmilk because of that?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; May 31st, 2015 at 08:41 AM.

  9. #9
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Letdowns sluggish...why?

    We do not have any separation. I am with her 24/7. Occasionally I offer her water and she usually takes a few sips at a time. She has moist mucous membranes, tears, is very active and alert. I have been drinking fennel teas (I forgot to yesterday). Behavior wise, baby isn't giving me indications that she is dehydrated. I just don't get it. A weeks or so ago, my supply seemed to be 'extra'. Should I call my LC if this continues?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Letdowns sluggish...why?

    If what continues? Your baby sounds fine. I think calling your IBCLC for reassurance is a great idea. But from here (a stranger on the interne who does not know you or your baby, so take this for what that is worth) this all sounds more like your anxiety is up ticking but your baby is fine. From my own experiences with anxiety, the problem is not that one is anxious about things that are really a concern but rather, things that are NOT really a concern.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; May 31st, 2015 at 09:02 AM.

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