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Thread: Second and third let-downs??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    11

    Default Second and third let-downs??

    Hi all

    I've had real problems with BF, but about 10 days ago things started to come together. Got the latch sorted and started to have multiple let-downs which managed to satisfy my 8 week-old. Had several episodes of long, deep sucking and swallowing on one breast, which was great.

    Problem is, they've gone away again and I'm left with one let-down in each breast at the beginning of a feed. This leaves my LO frustrated and he starts to fuss terribly. I've tried breast compression and switch-feeding, but these don't really do the trick.

    Do any of you have any ideas as to what I can do to bring on subsequent let-downs. I have one dissatisfied baby here!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Second and third let-downs??

    More switch nursing is probably your best bet. Do it more often, as often as baby will let you. It's the suckling that will stimulate a letdown.

    Pumping might also do it, but babies are warm and cuddly, much better than cold hard plastic!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: Second and third let-downs??

    I have a few different thoughts on this.

    First off, this is going to sound fruity but there's a physiological basis for it, so hear me out. Try visualizing, thinking about, imagining, etc. letdown when you want it to happen. "Feel" in your mind's eye the tighening, tingling, whatever it is that you experience when it happens. Letdown is complicated; it's caused by the stimulation of a certain nerve in your areola but it's also a reflex that can be stimulated by just thinking. I used to have trouble with slow letdown and conditioned myself to be able to do it faster by concentrating. This really does work if you practice. The reflex can also be conditioned by your surroundings; if you're nursing somewhere new it might be harder to let the milk down for some women.

    Second of all, are you sure there's no 2nd, 3rd letdown? Most women only feel the first one. I used to feel several but these days I only sometimes feel even one. If your baby keeps fussing, and wanting to continue nursing, maybe it's a growth spurt? In that case, just plodding through and nursing as much as possible is your best bet, although it does make for a hard week or so...

    It's possible that something else is the problem, you might want to check this link and see if anything else rings a bell...this must be frustrating for you...

    My baby fusses or cries during nursing-- what's the problem?
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Second and third let-downs??

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'm sure the let downs aren't happening - there's no return to the deep sucking/swallowing that follows a let down. I'm trying visualisation etc and will persevere with switch feeding.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Second and third let-downs??

    Hi all

    quick update. my friend visited yesterday and i told her the whole saga about my bf problems and my anxieties about not being able to satisfy my baby. After i'd fed him, he started crying - my immediate response as usual was 'oh no he must be hungry again'. feelings of dread and inadequacy well up. My friend just said 'he's not hungry, he's just having a cry'. For rest of the day LO and I had a great feeding relationship, lots of let downs, v little fussing and i was on cloud 9. Friend has gone and I'm struggling with let downs a bit, but clearly things go better when i feel relaxed and reassured.


    Re multiple let downs, maybe, just maybe they're not happening because he's not sucking hard to trigger one, and just wants comfort? A woman from a bf group did suggest to me a while ago that i might be overfeeding LO - like lots of women i was giving formula (about 8 oz a day) in the belief that i wasn't giving him enough milk. he had 8 week check up this week and he's gained huge amounts. I really do think there's a massive psychological component to this that i continue to struggle with. I really hope I can overcome it

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