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Thread: No idea whats going on!

  1. #1

    Unhappy No idea whats going on!

    Hi all,
    I have a 6 week old and am having some real challenges. I haven't been able to get in to see a LC yet but could use some help in the meantime. The last couple weeks she has started nursing 3-6 minutes and then coming off crying and super fussy. I KNOW i have fast letdown because it sprays far and intensely when I take her off during letdown. I have tried all the strategies suggested to me to help; taking her off during letdown, nursing reclined, nursing laying down etc. Nothing seems to calm her down after that initial 3-6 minutes. I try to burp her and she often will burp a few times and I try to re-latch her. Sometimes Itry on the same side, sometimes on the opposite. Maybe I will get a minute or so out of her if I'm lucky. But she always comes off crying and screaming. She seems like she wants to re-latch but she won't and if she does she just cries and comes off again. I initially thought maybe she was just done but she never ends nursing seeming content . She has always been a spitter but has gained weight well. When I weighed her myself a week ago she had gained 2.5 lb over birth weight. So I just literally have no clue whats going on. It is so stressful i have considered exclusively pumping because I just feel stressed all day. It just seems like she hates nursing and finds no comfort from it. She also has been having what seem like painful mucousy poops (normal in color)

    The only exception to all of this is in the middle of the night for her 2 nursing sessions when none of this happens !

    Please help me ?!
    Last edited by @llli*sam.fischer; April 18th, 2017 at 01:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,695

    Default Re: No idea whats going on!

    Hi and welcome. Since you know you have a fast letdown and everything you describe can be explained by fast letdown, let's assume for the moment that is the problem.

    Here is what causes fast letdown- mom making more milk than baby needs, and/or baby not nursing frequently enough for that situation, because in this situation, baby probably needs to nurse more often than average even if baby is gaining great.

    Over production is something that is very common in the early weeks and tends to peak somewhere between 2 and 6 weeks. After 4-6 weeks, unless the overproducing mom is telling her body to make more milk than baby needs by pumping or taking galactagogues, then her body will get the message that milk production can be ramped down and the body will do this on its own. This usually takes anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months for demand and supply to exactly meet, but it should become pretty obvious things are at least improving if not "perfect" within the next few weeks even if you do nothing else.

    In the meantime, keep trying the laid back nursing and sidelying nursing, and taking baby off when the milk begins to flow.

    Additionally, I would suggest encourage baby to nurse frequently night and day and let baby nurse one side at a time if that is what baby prefers, and if session are very close together go ahead and offer the same side again as you prefer. You can also try hand expressing a little milk into a cloth before baby nurses, so the initial letdown is over before baby starts nursing.

    But in my experience the easiest and most effective method for dealing with fast letdown is very frequent nursing. A baby whose mom is making lots of milk may actually cue less often than average. This is why this is a situation where mom may need to actively encourage baby to nurse more often. This helps because the less time milk has to build up in the breast, the less severe the let-down will be. It does not hurt, because baby needs what baby needs and frequent nursing in the situation of OP does not tell the body to make more milk overall, like additional pumping would.

    Spit up is normal, short sessions are normal, and cluster nursing (nursing several times in a short period of time) are all normal in the newborn period. Poops being copious and mucousy and explosive are not unusual or harmful and are often another resultof fast letdown/over production, so again this will reduce when the OP and fast letdown reduces.

    Some moms have such extreme OP that nature does not take care of the problem on its own. These moms can try something called block nursing to reduce milk production. You want to be 100% sure this is necessary before trying it, because again milk production should reduce entirely on its own in the next several weeks. Telling your body now to make less milk means you really will make less milk, and sometimes when moms do this they end up making not enough milk!

    The other problem with block feeding is it may actually make the effects of fast letdown worse, at least for a period of time. What happens when a mom block nurses is she nurses one side only for two or more feedings, so the other side starts to fill up. That full feeling in the breast is what tells the body to make less milk. So at some point, she switches sides so the other breast can be "blocked." At that point the "blocked" breast" will be very full so fast letdown at that point may be very extreme. So in other words things might get worse before they get better when block nursing.

    Additionally block nursing can result in plugs or mastitis if mom is not taught how to avoid those things.

    I am not saying you should not block nurse, I am just saying, be very careful of doing so, learn about it first, and be careful of your expectations about how fast it "works" and what it is meant to do. My best suggestion if you are going to block nurse is do so under the guidance of an experienced lactation consultant. I am linking more info both on LCs and on block nursing below.

    I have had three children and OP and fast letdown issues with all of them. This is a temporary issue that usually resolves on its own over time. There is no reason this problem should spell the end of your nursing relationship if you otherwise would like to continue nursing your baby. There are many benefits to both mom and baby of baby nursing at the breast that cannot be entirely replicated with pumping and bottles.

    What to expect at a consult with an LC: http://www.cwgenna.com/lconsult.html

    Block nursing info and cautions: http://www.cwgenna.com/blockfeeding.html and http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/artic...dos-donts.html
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; April 18th, 2017 at 02:10 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: No idea whats going on!

    I have been pumping around 930pm so her dad can give her a bottle and me a break from the chaos and so i know she has a full feed before bed. I don't nurse after that until around 145am. Do you think thats adding to the issue?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,695

    Default Re: No idea whats going on!

    Generally speaking, bottles and pumping can be very problematic when mom has OP and tend to increase the related problems. However, every situation is unique. So, before I answer that, can you tell me how much overall you pump when you pump once a day, and how much baby takes in the bottle?

    You pump at 9:30 and baby takes a bottle at the same time, then baby does not wake for at least 4 hours? Is this longer than usual? What is the typical amount of time between nursing sessions?

    Do you ever not give a bottle and nurse instead at this time, and if so, what is different?

    Do you feel less full for longer after pumping?

    Is it the nursing session that comes at 1:45am one of the "good" sessions? If you can tell me, when about are the "good" sessions and when does baby start being fussy again?

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