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Thread: Help me understand let down/MER

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Help me understand let down/MER

    Hi guys,
    My story is posted here somewhere, but here it is as it relates to my
    question... My baby was born at 25 weeks, I immediately started
    pumping. I experienced engorgement around day 4. By day 10 I was
    getting 1.5oz a day. Bad news!!! LC suggested power pumping etc. I had
    a massage right after pumping around this time and could feel that my
    breasts were really hard and full as I lay there on the table. That is
    when I realized that I wasn't getting the milk OUT of my breasts. I
    did some research and started breast massage/compressions during
    pumping. By 6 weeks of power pumping (for an hour 8X a day) I was
    getting 8oz. I started Dom at that point and maxed out at 20oz a day
    at that strict schedule. Almost all my milk comes from my left breast
    (3-5X more milk than the right)
    So, when my baby was 7 weeks old I held him for the first time. We
    kangarooed, so I held him on my bare chest. So, I get this intense
    almost crampy pain in my left breast and then I leaked on my robe. I
    realized that was let down/MER. I guess I only let down for my baby
    and not to the pump. Now this leaking was drops, not squirts or
    anything, I am a low supply mama
    The NICU LCs did say that there are probably multiple reasons for my
    low supply, but not emptying my breasts for the first two weeks really
    didn't help things. After a while I did start to let down to the pump
    (on my good side) but I still need to massage out the milk.
    Now I am pumping 3X a day and getting 8-9oz a day total. My baby is 7
    months old and not nursing. I am getting let downs constantly. Like 6X
    a day. I feel this intense "pain" and look down (there is a delay) and
    see drops coming out. What gives? I don't have to be thinking about my
    baby or with my baby for this to happen. Is Let down/MER more
    complicated than it is explained? Any insights ladies? I guess since I
    have almost gotten over the intense grief of not being able to nurse
    it is weird to get this "reminder" of nursing/not nursing all the
    time. Just wondering what is going on with my body!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Help me understand let down/MER

    Glad things are going well after a hard start. Eventually your supply will get in tune with the output you need and you won't leak as much if at all. If you notice the let down at certain times consistantely, then you could try to adjust your pumping schedule to accomidate for that. Otherwise keep pumping (I thnk pumping for 1 hour is , but I'm not an authority) maybe pump more time less length (8-9x per day for 15 minutes) and your body will adjust. MOst of us don't leak after a while.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Help me understand let down/MER

    There are visualization techniques you can use while pumping that can get you to let-down easier. Not everyone responds to the same thing. For instance I never let-down when I heard my daughter cry or any baby for that matter, but I would let-down if I thought about nursing her. Some women let-down thinking about a waterfall of milk. It sounds like you are going to do just great despite this rocky start. You are doing great!

    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)

    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

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