So i'm pretty sure I have overactive letdown (I remember my breast spraying my first DS), but the challenge for my newborn is that the choking/gagging comes maybe at the END of the letdown instead of the beginning. I can feel the beginning and he does just fine, swallowing for a few minutes, but at some random later time (that I can't feel), he will start choking and sputtering. It doesn't seem to happen when side-lying nursing, which is what I do at home, but when out and about, I need to sit up and nurse! Is there anything I can do about this? It is frustrating and I am worried that it will get worse as my supply increases as he grows. I've tried block nursing and it helps a little, but it is so strange that this happens not at letdown!
baby chokes a few minutes after letdown
Many women only feel their first letdown of a nursing session (and some don't even feel that!), so it's totally possible that he does okay w the first letdown, and struggles later on when he's less hungry, starting to doze off, wanting to comfort nurse, whatever. How old is he? Your supply will eventually regulate, but maybe longer block nursing when you're out/about so he doesn't struggle with fast flow while upright?
Thanks for your reply, CheriK! He is only 3 1/2 weeks, but I had this problem with my older DS when he was much older (I think even up to 6 months). However, I didn't try block nursing, so I will continue to try that. As for letdowns, I don't really feel subsequent ones, but I do hear him start swallowing when they happen, and this happens at the end of each time that he has been swallowing regularly. I haven't noticed that it is a problem with him dozing off - he generally stays pretty awake when this is happening.
I had this with my last two kids, and I anticipate it with the third. I've struggled with it because 1) baby gets upset and 2) it's hard to balance supply. What ended up happening with me is my kids ended up nursing on one side only, eventually. I have a physical anomaly in that my larger supply side has more outlets for milk, and the lower supply has fewer. I honestly don't know how to help it next time except to let supply fall in the typically larger side, and really work on keeping supply up in the lower side.
What helped in the short term was pumping some off so the flow slowed down. That didn't ultimately help though. But do you know what I'd try with this third baby, having gone through this twice? I would start baby out on the other side more often, and while nursing that side, the letdown would occur on the larger side, leak a lot and calm down some by the time baby is ready for that side. I don't know if it's happening on both sides for you or not, so that may not work.
I agree with all COOKAHM said.
You don't experience leaking? but, is it engorged?.. I agree that you expressed some milk first so the strong pressure of the letdown will be lowered down before you nurse your son.
With Regards to breast anomally or one breast being larger than the other,.try nursing you baby first on the smaller one before the larger one, so the supply to the smaller one will increase again.
My son had the same problem as a newborn. I did nurse twice on the same side before switching, and that seemed to help in the short term. In the long term, he got older and better able to handle a strong flow, and I rather imagine that'll happen to your son too with some passage of time.