I'm getting ready for my 2nd and trying to prepare myself for some issues I had when breastfeeding my 1st. My DS is now 16 months old, and I was only able to breastfeed him for 6 months (not nearly as long as I had wanted to). I had an overactive let down and breastfeeding was rough. As soon as my milk let down he would let go, gasp for air and loose interest/give up. I knew he was only getting the foremilk and always giving up before the good stuff got flowing. It also meant that he was still hungry and we needed to "try again" all day every day. I was so worried that he wasn't getting enough nutrients that I would often pump before hand and then tube feed so that I could regulate the flow and the quality of the milk. By the time he was 2 months old I was pumping full time and bottle feeding. I'm a stay-at-home mom so pumping was never a necessity, just easier and less worrisome.
Long story short, feeding time was all the time. By the time I pumped and fed him, it was time to pump again (or so it felt). Leaving the house was near impossible. In the beginning I had tons of milk, so much so that I had a large supply in the freezer and fridge at all times. I soon found myself skipping pumps here and there, which of course led to less and less milk production until I had to start supplementing with formula. :( Once I introduced formula, the cycle only got worse and I lost my milk altogether.
This time I am determined to stick it out. No pumping!! Have any of you successfully overcame an overactive let down? Can they eventually handle the overflow? Tips for getting through a feeding?
This may sound silly, but has anyone experienced an overactive let down with one child and not another (I can dream right?). :)
Thanks for reading.
Side lying nursing helped a lot with my DD. She would let the excess milk dribble out the side of her mouth (and nose!). Reclining also helped a little. It did get better after a few months. She still pops off sometimes when my milk let's down, but she doesnt cough and gag every time like she used to.
August 2010 ; April 2009; m/c 2008
That happened with my baby, I felt like he was drowning in milk :( I don't have a no pumping solution but what worked for us was eventually I decided to stick the baby to one side all day and pump out the other, that way when he wanted to nurse 20 mins later he got the same boob and the thicker milk, plus pumping on the other side while nursing is kind of like multi-tasking. I had to use the football hold and the boppy pillow tho to fit both the pump and the baby on my lap. To keep the boobs level, I switched the pump/baby sides daily. Sometimes at the first let down of the morning or after nap times I used a cloth diaper to soak up the initial let-down gushing and then latched the baby back on. HTH
I had the same problem with DS1 and DS2. I solved the problem by 1) having a washcloth or cup nearby to catch the initial spray of milk and when it had slowed to a drip, I put baby back on and 2) feeding on one breast at a time so that baby gets a good balance of both foremilk and hindmilk. I found that if I fed on both breasts at each feeding, then baby would get mostly foremilk and the oversupply would only get worse, plus baby tended to vomit after feeding. Good luck and keep us updated!
Mommy to an exuberant 3 yo and a new one!
When your milk lets down, let it spray into a towel so it's not as forceful for the new LO. Then latch him/her. Repeat this every time baby gags/chokes. Definitely try block feeding, as others have suggested. Try not to pump any more than you have to.
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