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Thread: Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    135

    Default Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

    It seems every day I have a new question...

    I seem to have most of the signs of an overactive letdown.. My dd just can't keep up - he only eats for 3/4 minutes every 2.5 - 3 hours and is very satisfied, gaining weight etc, but it takes us usually 30 to 60 minutes to nurse every time b/c my letdown is so crazy. The more my dd pulls away and fusses, the more frequent my letdown - usually at LEAST 2 to 3 times per feed (and usually in the first 10 minutes).. if he pulls away, often milk is spraying across the room and down my shirt and in his face... I've tried every tip - pumping a bit first, spraying into a towel etc etc, which works temporarily but by the time I get him latched on again, it lets down AGAIN! so frustrating for me, and even more frustrating for him. Especially since he used a nipple shield up until two weeks ago and never had to deal with the constant heavy spraying into his mouth. About half of our feeds, he tolerates it not too badly, but the hungrier and sleepier he is, he gets angrier.
    I don't have a problem with engorgement (except for early morning if he has slept longer than usual but then pumping a bit helps that).

    Also, I swear sometimes he just gives up on trying even though he is still hungry. He is a very laid back baby, and it wouldn't phase him not to eat till he is full.

    Any secrets? New tricks I can try? By the time we are done feeding, both him and I are ready for a shower b/c we are both covered in sticky milk! The bf clinic offered me no advice, but I am so exhausted from our insane amount of b/f problems we have dealt with.. we have overcome so many obstacles already, I think this may be the last major one...

    Thanks!
    Lisa

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,178

    Default Re: Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

    Hi There! Just a quick question...How old is your baby? The reason I ask, is that I too have an overactive letdown, and when I breastfed my older child and my new baby, none of the tips helped us either. What ended up happening with us, is that I would put a hand towel under baby's head so we wouldn't get soaked and just work through it. Eventually baby # 1 got big enough to handle the letdown, and baby # 2 (4 mos. old now) was a nursing pro at birth, so he got the handle of it much quicker than baby # 1 did.

    I did notice that I also produce an overabundance of milk though, and that with baby #1 I was pumping and working outside the home for about 4 mos. I think this contributed to the really hard letdown, as there was just too much milk for lo to drink and it just came flying out everywhere. Everything calmed down for us when I stayed at home for good and completely stopped pumping for baby # 1 and only nursed him, no bottles. After a couple of weeks my supply went down enough that I only sprayed him for about 20 or 30 seconds, and he handled it much better and eventually learned to handle it just fine.

    sorry I didn't have any tips for you, but you're not alone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

    Lisa, have you tried nursing "up hill"? ie positioning the baby so that the breast is lower than his head... I can find a link with pics if you want.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

    Thanks everyone.

    My ds is 7 weeks old today - only learned how to latch on about two weeks ago so we are still learning.

    No I haven't tried 'uphill'... I will try anything though. Having said that, we aren't very good at mastering other positions. I can't even feed him without my babysitter pillow

    Lisa

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

    Here's the info on how to do it, with pictures:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

    Good luck!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,931

    Default Re: Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Sara
    Lisa, have you tried nursing "up hill"? ie positioning the baby so that the breast is lower than his head... I can find a link with pics if you want.
    Sara,

    Do you have any tips for nursing uphill besides what is found on Kellymom.com? I also have an overactive let down and oversupply, and we've been through nightmares the past five months with nursing strikes and screaming and crying (me and my DD). With her new ability to crawl and pull herself up to stand this past month I've found she will actually roll over, sit up and then pull herself up to stand next to me (when we are side lying nursing - which we do very often) so that she can try and latch on while standing up over me. However, she can't get latched on very well for long. Her head bobs all over the place, even though I try to help her support it. Then she'll sometimes be able to get nursing with her head lying sideways on my chest, but then my nipple will pop out of her mouth. She clearly enjoys this position ... or would if she could do it successfully. Any other tips??

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

    Another way of nursing 'up hill' is to have them latch on and then you and the baby recline so that you are laying back some, like maybe a 45 degree angle. Then the milk flow fights gravity and that can slow it down some.

    HTH
    Jennifer
    Wife to my Marine
    Crunchy mom to my wonderful boys
    Michael 6/02 c-sec
    Willem 1/05 c-sec
    Gavin 6/07 amazing water homebirth VBAC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

    I too had an overactive let down. I was given a nipple shield from my lactation consultant and that seemed to work well. Once the baby is a little older and your let down not quite as strong you can feed without the nipple shield.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

    You can also try pressing down gently on the top of your breast, near the nipple and baby's mouth, which will point the milk at the top of the mouth rather than at the back of the throat-this is what worked for me!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Tricks? Secrets? Overactive Letdown

    oh i so feel for you! i too fight with the same problems so i can relate. we haven't yet gotten the swing of nursing up-hill but have found that spraying in a towel helps. i also warn baby when let-down is starting. i tell henry, "here comes the milk!" and he stops sucking, then proceeds slowly. then i reply, "good job, GOOD JOB! you're doing it!" this helps when he isn't totally starving. he is only one month and can understand so maybe that could help you? we also do the pressing gently to the top of the breast or the scissor hold to help with the re-aiming or controlling the spray.

    good luck!

    [ j ]

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