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Thread: Oversupply and fast letdown?

  1. #1

    Default Oversupply and fast letdown?

    Hi guys!! So a little back story, my daughter is one month old and it has been the longest month ever. She was born with a Tongue and lip tie and couldn't eat for 5 days- which we syringe fed her. We got her ties revised at 5 days and we had to use a nipple shield because someone recommended it and I listened (worst thing ever). Then we finally broke the shield But I still have pinched nipples after feeds, luckily they don't hurt so whatever. She has a diagnosed "bubble palate" and she clicks sometimes while eating, has gas that wakes her up in pain, pops off breast, lipstick nipples, and more. Some of these are due to her palate, but I also have an overactive letdown and I don't know what I can do.

    She will NOT do laid back nursing. Well she does but my nipples start bleeding right after, it's so painful! She screams if I try to latch her side laying. When I have a letdown I literally choke her and she gags and clicks and pulls off, but wants to eat so she holds on as best as she can and swallow soooo much air. I try to unlatch her and catch the letdown in a bottle- it literally sprays for 3 oz in the bottle. How do I know when the let down has passed? I saw something about using your fingers like scissors to slow the flow.... how does that work? I can't feed her and squeeze my nipple?

    She's so uncomfortable, she only eats for about 5 min but she eats every hour on the dot ): I know she's just getting my letdown and then getting full- but mostly with air.

    I have no more options here! Please help me

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Oversupply and fast letdown?

    Can you see an IBCLC in person? Or an LLL Leader? You need help getting a better latch and in person help from someone who is trained in this area specifically is usually very helpful. If you already saw someone, maybe you need to see someone else or see them again.

    Scissoring to cut off flow: You use two fingers to compress (gently!) the breast behind the areola or at the areola (depends how large your areola is) and this compresses the milk ducts and slows flow. You could also try pressing the breast with a thumb or heel of your hand or whatever, the idea is to press into the breast tissue enough to compress the milk ducts. You want to be careful you do not press in the same spot all the time to the point that milk plugs form. Maybe keep adjusting placement of fingers as ducts are all around the breast. Also, make sure your hand/fingers are not blocking baby's chin or in any way her ability to get a good, deep latch.

    Nursing leaning back: You can try latching baby in whatever position works best and THEN lean your body back, while snuggling baby close to you. It is not necessary to latch in a leaning back position to use that position to reduce flow. However, a leaning back position is usually helpful when a baby has a shallow latch. That is why I think you need in person help. Maybe you just need to adjust how much you lean back or what direction baby approaches the breast. These things can be adjusted to whatever works.

    I try to unlatch her and catch the letdown in a bottle- it literally sprays for 3 oz in the bottle. How do I know when the let down has passed?
    You do not need to know when the letdown has 'passed', you can try latching baby back on whenever you like. I also think catching your milk in a bottle might be needlessly complicating things. If you are pressing the bottle into your breast at all, that might make the milk spray more. I realize you do not want to waste milk, but since you clearly make plenty of milk and will presumably be able to pump plenty for your baby (should it come to that) I think it might be easier to catch the letdown in a cloth instead.

    Fast letdown is most helped by baby nursing very frequently, as you are doing. Since baby is nursing so frequently and presumably gaining well (?) it is ok to have baby nurse one side at a time, this also helps.

    Air and fast letdown can cause discomfort, and of course ideally you want baby to nurse more happily and not be upset by the flow. But this age is usually the height of milk production, so issues caused by OP typically peak at this point and then get better. Also these things are not causing any permanent harm to your baby.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; October 25th, 2016 at 11:44 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Oversupply and fast letdown?

    I've seen 2 IBCLC and my local LLL leader. They all say latch is awesome, we just have to deal with the struggles that come with a bubble palate- we can't change her anatomy that makes it hard for her to nurse. With the bottle, I don't press at all, just catch it from after it leaks down my side lol, I don't even save it I'm just trying to gage the leak. But I've also sprayed my baby in the eye a few too many times. I always nurse on one side at a time, should I be switching every feed (that's what I'm doing now), or should I try block feeding? I'm scared to block feed and my supply dip and then dip more because I'm only 1 mo into it!

    Is it possible she nurses so frequently because she isn't getting any of the fatty milk? When she only eats for 5 min I'm worried she only gets fire milk- but she has also gained 4lbs in 2.5 weeks.. idk what that means lol.

    What can I do for her gas? We burp during and after and pretty much all day because she's in so much pain from the gas. We also have to use gripe water because as much as I don't want to, I can't watch her be in soooo much pain and not do everything in my power. Her poop is yellow with some darker yellow. It's not like yellow mustard anymore but more like spicy mustard lol

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Oversupply and fast letdown?

    Yes I understand, there is an anatomical issue. But isn't that causing a poor latch? I guess I do not understand how latch can be called awesome if it is causing you injury. There are many adjustments to latch and positioning that help even when there are anatomical issues. Has anyone suggested bodywork? I know little about this but it is often recommended when there was/is tongue tie.

    I'm just trying to gage the leak?
    Why? I don't get it, sorry. I am a veteran of OP and always used a cloth rather than bottle to catch initial flow when initial flow was too much for baby. It just strikes me as easier and better for preventing milk in the eye too.

    I always nurse on one side at a time, should I be switching every feed (that's what I'm doing now), or should I try block feeding?
    Well, this is the million dollar question. Block feeding will reduce milk production (that is the whole point) so in a case of problematic OP can be very helpful. BUT, if a baby has a latch issue, baby may need mom to over produce in order to get enough to eat. One thing that matters a lot in deciding whether to block feed or not is how well baby has been gaining when exclusively breastfed. You might try block feeding for shortish blocks at first? I will attach an article that explains the do's and don'ts of block feeding very well. What have your helpers suggested as far as block feeding?

    Is it possible she nurses so frequently because she isn't getting any of the fatty milk?
    No. She is nursing frequently because babies need to nurse frequently and also, your baby is a bit uncomfortable and nursing is comforting. Nursing frequently is helping, or will help, so you want baby doing this. On the other hand, if you are exhausted and need a break, baby clearly is gaining exceedingly well and will not starve if you go take a 4-5 hour nap or sleep stretch once a day. Just be careful as you may become engorged.

    but she has also gained 4lbs in 2.5 weeks..
    It means your baby is getting plenty to eat and is gaining faster than average, as would be the norm when a mom has OP. The issue with very fast letdown is not that baby is getting too little fatty milk, it is that baby is getting 'too much" lactose heavy foremilk all at once. Baby is getting plenty of fat or baby would not gain so well- all milk has fat in it. Again, the 'too much foremilk all at once" problem will not cause any harm to your baby, but it can certainly make a baby more uncomfortable than usual until milk production calms down, as it typically does start doing after 4-5 weeks.


    What can I do for her gas? We burp during and after and pretty much all day because she's in so much pain from the gas. We also have to use gripe water because as much as I don't want to, I can't watch her be in soooo much pain and not do everything in my power. Her poop is yellow with some darker yellow. It's not like yellow mustard anymore but more like spicy mustard lol
    Yes I have been there. I personally stopped all gripe water and gas drops as there is no evidence of their effectiveness and they did nothing for my oldest. I also never found lots of active burping all that helpful but I know this is helpful for some babies. I would help baby burp when baby needed help, but otherwise left it alone. What I found helped the most was nursing very frequently and holding baby more or less upright the rest of the time. Also all the colic helpers like changing input may help. (sounds, movement, going outside, etc)

    Poops sound normal. You have OP, that is evident, no need to look further than the problematic fast letdown and very fast weight gain. Again this usually calms down on its own given time, but I do think you might want to look further into block feeding and see what you think. Here is info: http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/artic...dos-donts.html
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; October 25th, 2016 at 05:31 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Oversupply and fast letdown?

    Thanks for your help!! I agree, with the latch statement. I guess I meant that her latch is the best it can be. We do lay back as far as possible while nursing and I tried the scissor thing which didn't seem to help us! She is causing the pinched nipples but luckily not *much* pain. The worst part is everyone tells me I just have to stick it out until her mouth changes.

    We do do body work. CST, chiro, and regularly meet with our IBCLC for check ins. It seems like it is what it is.

    One recommended using a nipple shield during letdown and then removing it for the rest of the feeding. Two said this was unnecessary. What do you think?

    I will read up on block feeding.

    As far as the rest, it is all helpful information! Change of scenery and staying upright for gas (we babywear so this is great for us). Also good to know about milk. As long as she's getting good stuff, I'm not worried about frequent feedings. I am on maternity leave and have nothing else to do!

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Oversupply and fast letdown?

    One recommended using a nipple shield during letdown and then removing it for the rest of the feeding. Two said this was unnecessary. What do you think?
    I agree a shield is not necessary, as baby is gaining fine and the nursing pain/injury is not so bad you cannot nurse, and baby is capable of latching on. Shields were originally designed to assist a baby who cannot latch. But might it help? Possibly. A shield may reduce the flow, and while this is not their original purpose they have been used for this.

    As far as taking it off part way through the feeding, I think whether or not this is needed is not clear. If the shield is helping and baby is nursing happily, you may not want to interrupt the feeding to take it off. Shield use is connected to low production, and this is probably why taking it off is being suggested. But in your case you may well need to reduce production anyway, so? Sometimes shields increase nursing pain and sometimes they reduce it. If you experience an increase in pain then you would probably want to stop using them. There are several drawbacks to using shields, including that sometimes it becomes difficult to wean baby away from them, and this is why they are best suited to very temporary use when needed. But my general thought is shields are relatively inexpensive so it might be worth a try and you can decide if it works for you or not depending on how it goes. Read this article for more about shields: http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/nb-...s/wean-shield/

    When baby latches, are you pretty full? If so, have you been taught reverse pressure softening to soften the areola and help baby get a better latch? More: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/moth...oft_cotterman/

    It seems like it is what it is.
    Keep trying stuff, sometimes it takes several tries for something to work, and it is true that sometimes what does not work at 4 weeks will work great at 6.

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