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Thread: Problems with Let down? Among other things.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Unhappy Problems with Let down? Among other things.

    I never knew breastfeeding would be so difficult! It seems like I’ve been having problems with let down. I don’t think its supply though I’ve been taking Fenugreek, alfalfa and eating oatmeal just in case. The only time my little one (6 weeks old) eats well is in the early morning, other than that she eats for 8 minutes with good let down, and after that its difficult for her to get some milk. When I’m lucky I can feed her for 10-12 minutes but I know that’s not enough because she’s still extremely hungry. I have her on my breast often and I sleep with her so that there is skin to skin contact.

    After having everyone urging me to give her some formula I finally got tired of arguing and gave her some formula last night. She ate 4 1/2 ounces! This is after I tried feeding her for an hour!! I pumped my milk while she was drinking. (This is another problem b/c I can only pump 1 ounce from my two breasts a session, but that’s another story).

    I would rather not feed her formula but in the meantime I don’t want her to starve. I’m giving her my milk and if she’s still hungry and my milk is not letting down I will give her formula once a day, though as soon as the situation improves I intend to stop the formula.

    It really seems like nothing helps! I keep reading that having her suck on the breast simulates more milk production but if this was true than I would have a lot more milk!

    Also, she used to dirty enough diapers but a couple 2 days ago she started pooping only once during the day and at night she lets it ALL out.

    The lactation consultants at my hospital are incompetent. I had scabs on my nipples the first week after labor and they said that was normal, and so was the excruciating pain I felt. I knew I was doing something wrong and finally learned how to latch my baby correctly. This was no thanks to them though.

    I don’t know who to turn to for help or what to do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Problems with Let down? Among other things.

    First of all, great job sticking with it this far!!
    Breastfeeding is not always the nice, easy, natural thing you think it will be, and you really do need support and help sometimes! It took my ds 10 weeks to "get it;" we had a terrible time but I was determined to make it, and thanks to my friends at LLL we figured it out and are still goin' strong! You are doing a great job, and you are giving your baby the best start possible by trying hard to make bfing work for both of you. Kudos.

    Some of the invaluable lessons I learned have been:
    -don't watch the clock when you are nursing. Some babies need to nurse for 5 min to get everything they need, and some take an hour. Let your lo be your guide.
    -BF babies at 6 wks start pooping less often; your bm is the most perfect food for your dd and her body uses it well! Seeing a "dirty" diaper only every few days is not uncommon. Wet diapers should not decrease though.
    -# of wet diapers/day and baby's weight gain since birth is also a good guide to how well she is eating. Are these #'s normal?
    -Some mom's don't respond to pumps. This is not necessarily representative of how much milk you are actually making.

    I don't know much about the let down issue, I had the opposite problem. But hopefully these other tips will be helpful to you. They're straight from my local LLL leader! Thank God for her, and all of you ladies, without whom I would feel so alone in this FF world!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Problems with Let down? Among other things.

    what are the babies wet diapars like? Some times babys at 6 weeks start to poop less often its normal for them and not something to worry about as long as the poop is soft. Giving formula might have something to do with her pooping less.
    I always set out 6 diapars in the moring and it got to be supper time and the baby hadn't used them all I would plan an extra feed before bed.
    Some moms have trouble getting breastmilk out with a pump! It realy does take practice, and your baby is much beter at getting milk out then the pump.

    hows the babies wait gain?
    A leader could help you get the baby off the formula if thats what you want. Give your local leader a call.
    some babies have a growth sput at about 6 weeks and want to eat round the clock. Just feed on demand and trust that the baby knows when to eat.
    Sometimes they want to eat 12 times or more in 24 hours. And then in a few days you'll notice all their clothes are too small.
    1 oz of milk is a great pump output for a mom with a baby your age!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Problems with Let down? Among other things.

    I don’t know the babies weights gain though it was pretty slow the first 3 weeks. However I can tell she’s gained weight.

    Her wet diapers are regular (about 6-8) and I know its not the formula that causes her to poop once during the day because it started happening before I ever fed her formula.

    I do feed on demand but the problem is that my baby sucks and sucks and nothing comes out. It seems that she feeds better when I make her wait than when I’m constantly feeding her because my breasts feel so empty and nothing is coming out.

    I felt so happy last night because I didn’t need to give her formula, but this morning at 5:30 she woke up to eat and she couldn’t get enough milk. She would suck for a good while and nothing would come out and she would get so angry. I could tell she was ravenous and after an hour of trying I gave her an ounce of milk I had pumped previously and an ounce of formula. (By the way, how do you warm up milk? Do I need a bottle warmer?)

    I don’t get it though, when I squeeze my breast milk drips out, but then she cant get anything out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Problems with Let down? Among other things.

    Hi, I hear your frustration with feeding your little one. I also had terrible problems with my lactation consultant at the hospital. But I think the other pp had really good advice. The number of dirty diapers decreases at about your LO's age.

    With regards to feeling like your LO is not getting enough to eat, there is a good way to tell if they are getting anything from you. Look in the corner of their mouth when they are drinking... if you see a bit of milk in the corner you know that milk is going in. Even if you do not always see milk that does not mean that they are not getting enough to eat. Another reason why the LO may seem constantly hungry is because of a growth spurt.

    With regards to your let down. Let down is a matter of being relaxed and calm. It sounds like you are understandably pretty upset about the problems you are having. These feelings can definately inhibit let down. Have you noticed that when you are relaxed that bf goes easier? I would recommend that you take some time and a few deep breaths before you start with feeding.. and then close your eyes and try to find some warm fuzzy feelings or place. Silly I know, but it definately helps me. I have noticed that when I am all worked up about something I do not let down which drives my LO crazy.....In any case definately look up your local LLL leader and make an appointment or meeting... they can help you and answer your questions...

    I live in Germany and I was told to drink Fennel and Anise tea with a bit of basil mixed in to increase my milk supply. Another thing that also helped me was a malt "beer" it is almost completely alcohol free and wow did my breasts get full!!!!

    So take a few deep breaths... try not to judge yourself (I know easier said than done) and don't give up... Breast milk is best and you can do this!!!! I know you can!!!

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