What would cause incredibly slow let down/ - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 07-16-2010, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I have enough milk. But my 9m dd has been popping off the breast every 3 seconds and then getting frustrated. She ends up going to bed with no milk. Then I go and pump and get nothing until about 15-20 minutes into the pumping session!!! Obviously she isn't going to suck for 10, or even 5 minutes, waiting for my milk to let down. She just gives up.

I know I can do lots of things like pump a little beforehand, massage the breast etc. But what I'm curious about is WHY it's suddenly so slow after 9 months of being just fine?
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#2 of 12 Old 07-17-2010, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I tend to have a sliencing effect on the Breastfeeding boards.
I'm considering supplementing with formula. Anybody? Any advice? I hate putting the baby to bed without a good nursing session.
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#3 of 12 Old 07-17-2010, 01:46 PM
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Are you sure she's getting no milk? I think you should do a before and after feeding weigh-in to see how many ounces, either at the doctor's office -- or if you think it's just at night, can you rent a baby scale from the hospital or a pharmacy near you?

Are you not pumping enough to supplement with EBM?

My 2mo has started popping off, too, and acting really frustrated. I think she has a little reflux -- could that be your issue too?

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#4 of 12 Old 07-17-2010, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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She doesn't have any other signs that point to reflux. (She's 9 months old and it's never been an issue).

I'd much prefer to supplement with BM. But, I can't seem to pump more than an ounce (but I think maybe my pump motor is slowly dying? It was passed down to me from my sister so it's a couple years old).

She latches on for literally 2 seconds (one one-thousand, two one-thousand) and she's off. Then immediately wants to latch back on. She would do this for over a half hour if I let her. (And, I have let her because I just figured I'll just be here, available for however long it takes, and see what she does). I can't imagine she'd be getting much at that on/off rate. And even if she was...what is the reason for the on/off? It's beyond being distractible. SOMEtimes, when I just let this go on and on and if she doesn't get frustrated to the point of giving up, the milk seems to come in and out of the blue she starts nursing well and finishes up! (That's why I think the milk is there - just very slow to show up)

It mostly happens before bed. But it also happens throughout the day. (But not EVERY time...not a consistent pattern at all).
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#5 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 02:28 AM
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I am a new to breastfeeding, but wouldn't compressions help stimulate a let down?
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#6 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 11:13 PM
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Could your little one be teething? My daughter has been having a heck of a time teething and does the same thing. She won't stay latched long enough to get a let down and that just makes her more upset. Just a thought!

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#7 of 12 Old 07-18-2010, 11:14 PM
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Stress is a big inhibitor for let down. Is there anything going on in your life right now that is causing stress, or are you finding that you're busier than usual and feel like you don't have the time to sit and nurse?. Unfortunately, the more you stress about it, the worse it gets. I went through periods with my daughter where she was very impatient with my let down, and I had to do a lot of deep breathing and conscious relaxing combined with visualizing my milk letting down. Lowered milk production can also affect let down. Has your period started recently? have you changed birth control? could you be pregnant?
Chances are, as long as your little one is gaining weight, meeting milestones, having appropriate diapers and is generally content, it is nothing to worry about and there is no need to supplement. Changes like these are usually temporary.
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#8 of 12 Old 07-19-2010, 10:10 AM
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As to why it is so slow now after being fine for 9 months, stress really does make a huge difference, so that would be my first thought. You probably know this already, but really make a point of relaxing for every feed and for when you pump. Also, maybe it was always kind of slow and your baby is just getting pickier, more distractable, etc.

Teething is also a possibility as is just being easily distracted. If you give her a toy or something, does that help or make it worse? Some babies will happily play with a toy or hold something while BFing, others it will be even more of a distraction. Are you minimizing other distractions as well? Putting music on helps my 8 month old sometimes when she is getting distracted and popping on/off.

Also, not sure how long since her last feed, but maybe she isn't that hungry so she isn't really wanting to wait?

And just because it takes awhile for the pump, doesn't mean you aren't having letdowns quicker with your baby. And you may be having a smaller one that she still isn't satisfied with.

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#9 of 12 Old 12-28-2010, 05:27 PM
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I know its been a while but I hope you still get this and get a chance to respond. 


My son is 5 months old and I am having the exact same problem that you mentioned in this post.  I don't know what to do!  He had been breastfeeding perfectly up until a week ago but now he just pulls off and screams and cries.  I've been pumping but it can take up to 10 minutes for a let down!  No wonder he is so frustrated.  I don't want to stop breastfeeding.  Could you please tell me what it is that you did to remedy this situation?  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


thank you!

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#10 of 12 Old 12-30-2010, 01:01 AM
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I reg. for this site just to see how this issue got solved.


My baby will be 5 mo. next week and the same thing has happened to me.  For teh past week it takes FOREVER to get a letdown.  One time it took 2 hours of trying to get her to eat.  I did get my first PPAF but it was not a normal one as I only had light bleeding for 3 days with no cramping or other AF symptoms. Now AF is gone Im still not having faster letdowns.


Luckily, my DD is super patient and just hangs out there until it finally happens but I've tried everything! 


Please tell me this gets better!!

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#11 of 12 Old 05-13-2011, 04:48 PM
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oh this is so my situation!! my son has been BF perfectly up untill the last week! He was born at 11 1/2 lbs and is now 23 1/2 so he is growing great and meeting milestones - but here is a sample of how nursing is going in the last week:


7 am - nurses fine (1/2 asleep)


11:30 - nurses fine


1:30 - I pump while he is asleep


4;30 pm - I attempt to nurse him and he pulls off & screams for about 45 min (so it's been over 5 hrs since he nursed) so I give in and give him the milk that i pumped at 1:30 - and he takes it fine (but is a little fussy at the end) - reflux??


 6 pm - so now i am trying to pump and not get anything out - I think b/c I am so utterly frustrated with the situation - he is sitting in the swing smiling at me ! ! he really is an overall happy baby.


is it possible for a baby to only nurse 2 - 4 times a day (including at night) and be ok??  if he is refusing to nurse in the evenings (that has been the pattern) should I just hold out until he decides to take it or just give him a bottle??


I breastfed my first son for 2 1/2 yrs and he basically nursed every 2 hrs around the clock that whole time ! This is a totally new and incredibly maddening experience - anyone else with similar experiences?


please tell me there is hope for him to decide to like nursing again and that my supply won't diminish ! (i am taking herbs and pumping more so that it doesn't)

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#12 of 12 Old 12-12-2011, 05:46 AM
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I would be interested in what's causing this too! I know this is an old thread.

 I'm at 8 1/2 months nursing my second, and I remember going through a slow patch with my first, but nothing like this. 

I have been a bit stressed out lately and not sleeping well; I had my first-ever bout of IBS last week. So I'm trying to eat really healthy -- especially nutritious foods. But is there any supplememt that would speed this along? B vitamins? 

Ahh, I will try relaxing more, but it doesn't always work!

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