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Thread: Milk wont let down

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Milk wont let down

    HELP! My sister is having problems with let down. She wants to breast feed so badly but is having issues.

    She says that her breasts are very engorged and very painful but she cant get the milk to let down. She has tried all the regular methods of Heat compress, destressing, hot showers, pumping. Nothing is helping and the baby is not having very many wet diapers.

    are there any irregular methods that she can try?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: Milk wont let down

    That is very supportive of you to seek help for your sister!

    How old is the baby, and how does your sister know that she is not having a letdown? Very often, especially at the beginning you can't feel the milk letdown although it's still happening. Also feeling engorged is typical at first, and in some women for several months.

    The way to tell if the milk is letting down is by listening and watching the baby's swallowing patterns. If the baby starts to suck-swallow, or suck-suck-swallow then the milk is probably letting down.

    How many wet diapers is the baby having? 6 wets a day is a good sign. If the baby is having less than 6 wets a day I would definately put in a call to the pedi. Are you in touch with a local LLL leader or IBCLC? They can certainly be helpful in difficult times.

    I experienced difficulty in my milk letting down, and the best thing that I did was to de-stress, which is SO hard when you're worried your baby isn't getting enough mommy milk. Basically I removed all social obligations for 2 weeks and just relaxed in bed with the baby and nursed as much as possible. Sure enough, the letdowns came back!

    Best of luck to your sister and keep us posted!

    Mommy to
    Logan 5-23-07
    Colby 12-14-09

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Milk wont let down

    Quote Originally Posted by Ejohnson View Post
    are there any irregular methods that she can try?
    One of my cousins had a similar problem- she was seriously engorged and could not get the milk to flow. A Russian maternity nurse told her that back in the "old country," a woman in her situation would be given an older baby who was a more experienced nurser. That baby would help the new mom establish her supply and hone her nursing skills. Once things were going more smoothly, the older baby would go back to his own mom, who I suppose had been wet-nursing the new baby in the meantime.

    Any chance that you might be able to loan your sister a baby for a while? I know a lot of people aren't comfortable with wet-nursing, but if you trust your sis and her health status, and she feels the same way about you, I personally think it could be a wonderful gift.

    Hope things start going better for her soon! Please tell her to hang in there!

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