I can't let down- xposted in BFing challenges - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm cross posting here because there's more traffic and I really need some advice.  For the past 3 days, I haven't been letting down.  Whether I try to nurse my 5 month old, or pump, I just don't let down.  I know I'm stressed and sleep deprived, and that is probably effecting things, but I don't know what to do!  Has anyone had this issue before?  I am definitely not pregnant, I have been exclusively BFing my 5 month old since birth, and I nursed my first son for 14 months and never had this issue.  Last night, I woke up to nurse after being asleep for 3.5 hours (so I was totally relaxed and sleepy) and my daughter latched great and suckled for 25 minutes, but nothing!  What is going on?  I have a doctor's appointment to discuss later today, but any other mamas with thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!


 


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#2 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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Is it that you just didn't feel the letdown?  Because it's normal to stop feeling it even after you have been.  I never felt it in the 22 months I nursed DS, and felt letdown strongly the first couple of months with DD, but not since then.


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#3 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 10:26 AM
 
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I'm far from an expert but couldn't read and not post. Are you sure that your LO isn't getting any milk? I know you aren't getting any when you pump but I know at about 5 months old my DD had me so well-regulated that I couldn't pump at all. (I didn't ever pump much but after 5 months old it was pointless.) Maybe your DD is getting milk when she nurses but you aren't feeling let down?

Are you staying hydrated? Water is critical for my supply. 

Do you have any mother's milk tea? 

Hope someone here can give you some more help. I got a stomach virus when DD was 6 months old and my supply tanked for several days. We got through it but I remember that stress very well. Wishing you the best.

 


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#4 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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If you haven't letdown for 3 days, meaning your baby is getting very little milk, she would be crying continuously and dehydrated by this point.  If she's been wetting adequate diapers, you are letting down.

 

I would also recommend caution when asking a pediatrician about breastfeeding, as most have very little education about breastfeeding and are likely to push formula at the first sign of concern.  I would recommend contacting a certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) instead, though if your baby is content and peeing and pooping as usual, I don't think there is a problem.


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#5 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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As your body and milk supply matures, you may stop noticing let down. It can really change. At the same time, your breasts might get a little smaller which is also normal.  A lot of women freak out when it happens because they think they've lost their milk supply. I wouldn't panic. It is totally normal to not feel or to feel let down and it can change. As long as baby has wet diapers, I wouldn't be too concerned about the change.

 

The pumping issue is distinct I think and probbly more related to stress and lack of sleep. If you can, skip if for a day.

 

 

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#6 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post

If you haven't letdown for 3 days, meaning your baby is getting very little milk, she would be crying continuously and dehydrated by this point.  If she's been wetting adequate diapers, you are letting down.

 

I would also recommend caution when asking a pediatrician about breastfeeding, as most have very little education about breastfeeding and are likely to push formula at the first sign of concern.  I would recommend contacting a certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) instead, though if your baby is content and peeing and pooping as usual, I don't think there is a problem.


This.....if you hadnt letdown for 3 days you would have a sick baby on your hands.

 

 

Also, I've NEVER felt letdown in almost 8 years of nursing....NEVER. I don't get engorged...ever. And I didn't leak, except for the first few days with my first two children. I've leaked more with the third...but then, just a handful of times. 


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#7 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's not just that I'm not feeling the let down, it's not happening.  I can tell because of the way Emma is suckling.  She's not swallowing any milk.  I have been supplementing with (expressed BM) bottles so she is getting enough to eat.  It's not my supply...my boobs are engorged and when I pump I do get milk, but only 2-3 ozs when, if I have a let down, I get 6-7.

 


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#8 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry for the doubl post, I'm having formatting issues when posting.  My ped is great, luckily, and very supportive.  She's looking into nasal oxycetocin drops that were recommended by a IBCLC I called.  Hopefully those help short term, I'm just worried because Emma gets frustrated when she doesn't get any milk and is already a finicky nurser.  I don't want this let down problem to harm our BFing relationship.


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#9 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, and I'm definitely drinking TONS of water and started back on MM tea today as well.  It's definitely not a supply issue though.  In fact the only time she has been getting milk from the breast is when I'm so engorged I'm leaking and so she suckles and swallows.  I may even be letting down then and just not feeling it.  But times like last night when she suckles and suckles and doesn't swallow and I can tell there's still milk in my boobs, that's when I'm fairly certain I'm not letting down and don't know why :(


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#10 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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I am not recommending this - just passing on an observation from a friend who also had a period of difficulty with let down from stress, that compounded with the stress of not letting down! One afternoon she said she was at the end of her rope and sat down outside with a beer. Her husband brought her the baby soon after and she had a great let down, and from then on things went well.

 

If I was in this situation I would definitely avoid bottles and if my baby was not getting enough milk I would supplement with an open cup. I'd also let baby nurse as long as I could tolerate it - it could be a growth spurt and you are building up supply.

 

Did you start supplementing because you saw decreased wet diapers, or because you thought baby needed more milk?

 

hug2.gif I'm sorry this is so stressful and hope you get it figured out soon!

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#11 of 19 Old 04-19-2011, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I started supplementing with the bottle because she went 14 hours without nursing at all, and had no wet diaper overnight.  She's also sick, so I know she needs the milk more than usual.  But I didn't think to supplement with a cup instead.  I'll do that from now on if I feel like she needs milk and won't nurse.  I just don't think it's going to help anything for her to not eat for so long and then be starving and frustrated at the breast.  But on the bright side, I did get a prescription for this nasal spray that is supposed to encourage let down, so I'm praying that works!


 


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#12 of 19 Old 04-20-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YayJennie View Post
I just don't think it's going to help anything for her to not eat for so long and then be starving and frustrated at the breast. 


Oh yes - getting milk into her in any form is so important. Hopefully the cup feeding will encourage her back to the breast, and when she is nursing longer and more often you will get back to normal. And in the meantime hopefully the prescription will help too!

 

Edited to add: When my little guy was on strike (also because of illness) he would take breastmilk popsicles =- cubes of frozen breastmilk in a mesh feeder bag) as well as from an open cup. Other moms have said that slushy or semi-frozen milk off a spoon has been appealing for their LOs.

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#13 of 19 Old 04-20-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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What kind of sickness does the babe have? Is her nose plugged, if so have you tried a nosefrida? Makes all the difference for us.

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#14 of 19 Old 04-20-2011, 06:40 PM
 
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Can you just cuddle up in bed with her and try nursing skin to skin?  Get rid of all distractions for a few hours?  Maybe you are just too tense and too stressed out and it's causing you to freeze up.  


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#15 of 19 Old 04-21-2011, 04:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YayJennie View Post

It's not just that I'm not feeling the let down, it's not happening.  I can tell because of the way Emma is suckling.  She's not swallowing any milk.  I have been supplementing with (expressed BM) bottles so she is getting enough to eat.  It's not my supply...my boobs are engorged and when I pump I do get milk, but only 2-3 ozs when, if I have a let down, I get 6-7.

 


This is exactly what I experienced when DD was a newborn.  Unfortunately we never solved it and had to switch to formula.  Sorry for the lack of help, but I'm curious to hear others' suggestions...

 

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#16 of 19 Old 04-21-2011, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update: I got the prescription for the oxytocin nasal drops and they worked like a charm.  I used them the past 2 days and today have been letting down without them.  Hurray!  We're still having some issues witih Emma refusing the breast, but we're definitely on the mend and I know we will make it through this nursing strike/stress.  I do think the major reason I wasn't letting down was due to stress and sleep deprivation.  And Emma was sick, so her stuffy nose made it hard for her to nurse and then me not letting down made her refuse the breast.  Series of unfortunate events, but it appears we're going to be OK :)


 


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#17 of 19 Old 04-22-2011, 04:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YayJennie View Post

Update: I got the prescription for the oxytocin nasal drops and they worked like a charm.  I used them the past 2 days and today have been letting down without them.  Hurray!  We're still having some issues witih Emma refusing the breast, but we're definitely on the mend and I know we will make it through this nursing strike/stress.  I do think the major reason I wasn't letting down was due to stress and sleep deprivation.  And Emma was sick, so her stuffy nose made it hard for her to nurse and then me not letting down made her refuse the breast.  Series of unfortunate events, but it appears we're going to be OK :)


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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

 

awesome news!
 

 

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#18 of 19 Old 04-22-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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Terrific. Great news. Sounds like you had access to a great IBLC. I've never heard of them before and I've been ready these boards for a long time.

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#19 of 19 Old 04-22-2011, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah I am very lucky to have a great support network.  Not only is my family (mom, dad, siblings, and husband) really supportive of breast feeding, but so is my GP (who is also our ped) and I have a great palygroup as well.  I'm so glad to have the support, because otherwise I really might have thought she was "self weaning" at 5 months old!  As of right now, she has nursed great all day, and hasn't had a bottle in over 24 hours.  Yay!


 

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