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Thread: URGENT: No letdown?!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default URGENT: No letdown?!

    I desperately need some help from any veteran pumpers out there pls. I have been pumping exclusively for nearly 5 months without a problem but as of yesterday I can barley get a letdown. I am getting very full and my baby, as ever, refuses to help the situation. I have tried replacing pump parts etc which I had on hand, but everything seems fine with the pump, same level of suction etc as always, I just can't get a letdown. I've tried massage, heat, thinking of baby........Is this something that can happen with an exclusive pumper at this stage? Oh man, this is going to be a very painful drying up if I can't get a letdown. Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: URGENT: No letdown?!

    Have you tried breast compressions?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,653

    Default Re: URGENT: No letdown?!

    Moisture- pumping in the bath or with the shower running- might help. A glass of wine might help, too. In a pinch, I've read about women who ask their partner's help in getting the milk out when the baby was unwilling/unavailable. You also might want to try a totally different pump- I've read that people can become accustomed to a pump and then not let down for it as well.

    Good luck! I hope you can relieve the pressure soon!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
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    Jan 2010
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    Default Re: URGENT: No letdown?!

    Well I have tried everything now, compressions, heat, shower, other pump. I am only pumping half of what I was, although I know there is more milk in there because the letdown stops when the milk is still clearish and I still feel fuller than after a normal pumping. I know that my milk is going to start drying up with this poor emptying and my daughter is only 5 mnths, this is making me so sad. Still just can't understand the sudden poor letdown after 5 mnths of super easy letdowns.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: URGENT: No letdown?!

    Try pumping very rapidly after the flow stops the first time. Increase the speed on your pump and keep it high for a minute or two (literally, it would sometimes take a full 2 minutes for me) and you should be able to get a second let down.

    Also, try to relax. I know it's stressful worrying about it but stress can prevent letdowns, too.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Canada
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    1,096

    Default Re: URGENT: No letdown?!

    This is a tough situation!

    I exclusively pumped with ds1 also, for 13 months, and there were a couple times (usually for a couple days in a row--and I was pumping up to 6 times a day), where this would happen. I know it's not great advice, but for me it was always stress related. Has anything changed? Are you any more stressed/under pressure than normal? Relaxing, and "talking" yourself into having a letdown might really help. Also holding your baby, or thinking about the baby could help.
    This doesn't have to be the end! It'll happen, just keep pumping away (also, give yourself more time to pump--if it usually takes you 10 minutes, pump for 20).
    Mommy to L - May 7, 07' , B - February 7, 09' , and R - August 18, 12'

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: URGENT: No letdown?!

    What kind of pump do you have? Could you look into renting a hosptial pump for a month or so to see if this helps? The Medela Symphony is great! Strong pump with easy switching between let down phase and regular pumping. I had to rent one when my PISA lost suction. I had tried switching out parts and thought they were all ok. Ends up I did really need all new attachments because my pump efficiency increased dramatically when Medela sent new tubing, valves, and membranes.

    I agree about the stress comments. Definitely reduces production, although this usually only happened a day or two at a time for me. I think as long as you keep pumping regularly you should be able to get back to a normal level. Also, have you had any changes in diet? Still drinking lots of water and getting sleep (as much as possible)?
    Cynthia
    Mom to Jaxon born 5/1/09. He would not so we and !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Fantastical So Cal
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    415

    Default Re: URGENT: No letdown?!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Moisture- pumping in the bath or with the shower running- might help. A glass of wine might help, too. In a pinch, I've read about women who ask their partner's help in getting the milk out when the baby was unwilling/unavailable. You also might want to try a totally different pump- I've read that people can become accustomed to a pump and then not let down for it as well.

    Good luck! I hope you can relieve the pressure soon!
    This happened to me. I switched to a manual about two weeks ago and now I get a letdown. I used to not get a letdown at the pump at all!
    Courtney
    Ever 06.26.02
    Lyric 12.26.08 (Holy sheep! Nursing at 30 months and counting!)


    Breastmilk is better than any udder milk! ~Author Unknown

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: URGENT: No letdown?!

    Thanks so much for all the advise. I think it must be psychological because today I had a letdown while I was watching my friend's baby doing something cute while they were here today visiting. I have managed to get a couple of decent letdowns by turning up the pump until it nearly hurts and just waiting it out, but I don't want to do too much damage by continuing on that way. If this continues I will try the Medela pump mentioned and a manual one, both of which I haven't tried. Wish me luck, and thanks again.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,512

    Default Re: URGENT: No letdown?!

    You may also want to try hand expressing a little and then pumping. I had a similar problem at one point with my LO and that did the trick (once I finally got the hang of the hand expressing).
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

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