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Thread: Pumping and no letdown

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    8,591

    Default Pumping and no letdown

    Help!!!! I have been pumping for 4.5 months, bfing for 5.5 months. All was going well until we got the stomach flu. Since then I have not felt a letdown while pumping (ok I have felt 3 but that's it). I usually pump 2x per day, 4 days/wk. It has been 2 weeks and I have managed to go home and feed dd to maintain supply, if I can't letdown, but this can't go on forever. What happened...what am I doing wrong. I never had a problem with letdown before!! The lc I talked to suggested it was supply, but I was with dd all weekend and she didn't eat any more/less than "normal." She has lots of wet diapers, but her poop patterns have changed--she just starting only pooping once every 3-4 days and then boy does she fill it. What is going on? I posted in the pumping group but no one responded. I am really frustrated--has anyone ever been successful pumping for so long and then boom...letdown just ceases?

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    361

    Default Re: Pumping and no letdown

    I pumped for months with my two oldest..never had letdown just stop so I cannot be much help there, but I had a very slow letdown that was REALLY sensitive to my stress level. I found that the more I thought about it and worried about it, the slower it became. Are you stressed? Worried? I will not tell you to relax because that is really annoying. Do you have a picture of your baby that you can look at while you are pumping? Have you tried closing your eyes and visualizing your baby nursing? Some deep breathing might help too. I don't know if any of that helps you..but it worked for me when I was having trouble with let down while pumping. I hope it gets better soon!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Pumping and no letdown

    I totally agree with the PP regarding the stress level. I had your same problem when I first started pumping to go back to work. However, I put a picture of DS (age 9 weeks) in my pump bag, and that helps a lot. I also do a lot of visualization. This sounds silly, but it really works for me: I imagine a river of milk flowing, a nice tall glass of milk, I think about the taste of milk, etc. I wasn't sure that it was going to work at first, but I am amazed at how well it works for me. Also, try turning on the TV or radio while you're pumping - that's also a great distration. Since I'm at work when I'm pumping, I listen to NPR on my computer.

    I think that the more I worry about pumping, the more difficult it is. So, I would suggest just trying not to think about so much and it might be a little easier for you.

    HTH - your're doing great!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    153

    Exclamation Re: Pumping and no letdown

    I don't want to scare you or add to your stress, but I would take a pregnancy test just to be safe. I began having pumping problems after having no problems at all, and was very worried and afraid I was sick or something. I had ovulated and gotten pregnant, as would be discovered 14 weeks later One of the first signs ( looking back ) was an absence of a normally intense letdown. I know its different for everyone... I just don't want you to go through the months of uncertainty and frustration that I did. And if it turns out you are pregnant, don't let anyone tell you to stop nursing. I don't care if you can't express a drop- your baby will still benefit from what is there. And also, your milk will stabilize at a later time during the pregnancy before it changes over to colostrum. ( Info given to me by an LC when it was too late... )

    On a less drastic note, try switching pumps? Perhaps yours has gotten a little worn out. That happened with one of my manual pumps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Pumping and no letdown

    I had been EPing just fine for 3mths and then experienced a sudden decrease in milk supply. My let-down became weak to non-existent as well within a matter of weeks. After drinking Mother's Milk Tea, Fenugreek pills, and eating tons of oatmeal, I was advised to take a pregnancy test. I was about 4 weeks pregnant and didn't know it! That's why I experienced such a drastic change.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    8,591

    Default Re: Pumping and no letdown

    Yikes!!!!--sounds like pregnancy can really affect letdown and supply. I took a test a couple weeks ago, when I started on a new med and b/c I had forgotten a pill, and it was negative, but maybe I need to retake it. My overall supply seems to be fine--dd is eating normal and seems to be satisfied afterwards. I have gotten a couple letdowns and the supply seemed to be fine then too (I actually have had 2 consecutive letdowns yesterday and today, so maybe its resolving). I will have to see how things go the rest of today and tomorrow.

    Thanks for your responses, and keep you fingers crossed that I am not prego--not that it wouldn't be a blessing but just wanting to wait a little while yet before we add to our family. I was hoping for 18-24 months between the two!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

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