over active letdown - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 09-26-2013, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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My LC came by and diagnosed my baby's occassional screaming at the breast as an Overactive letdown. He also often gulps, chokes on milk, gets sprayed in the face with milk and has liquidy poop. She suggested manually expressing into a cup until letdown calms. I don't think I'm good at expressing, I only get a tablespoon or two tops, and baby is screaming away. I can't feel when my milk is letting down. I do often feel short fireworks in my breasts, but rarely while nursing.

Any advice on how to deal with this? Baby is 3.5w old, I'm FTM.
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#2 of 7 Old 10-01-2013, 04:00 PM
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Does baby still fuss at the breast after you've manually expressed?
If not, then I'd say you're getting enough out.
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#3 of 7 Old 10-03-2013, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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LC followed up and suggested that I try reclining. That seemed to be working. But now his poop is green. Ive contacted LC for more advice.
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#4 of 7 Old 10-06-2013, 12:31 PM
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Reclining never really helped me. The only things that helped were:

- express or pump a bit of milk before feeding. I of course made sure not to express to much in order not to increase milk production and only used this method if my LO did not want to eat for a longer time.

- once baby pulls away due to let down, I used burping cloth to take the worst and fastest flow.

- feed in horizontal position (on a bed) seems to slow the flow.


I still have over active letdown, but my LO seems to be more used to it. It still causes some problems, but is much better now.

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#5 of 7 Old 10-08-2013, 06:19 AM
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I agree with Mette, having a burp cloth for when the baby pulls away helps. I wasn't very good at manual expression either, I ending up buying a cheap manual pump (avent brand, turned out to be a livesaver multiple times!). I would just pump a little bit right before nursing, typically for one letdown (I always get a little pain/"fireworks" when I let down, but you could probably tell when your output increases for about 30-60 seconds). Other things that worked for me, was to nurse right after showering or a warm bath. Seemed by DD was able to latch better and I would leak a little during shower/bath, so I was not so full.
Maybe ask your LC about Block Feeding? I believe it helps for over-supply and may help for overactive letdown too.
Good luck!
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#6 of 7 Old 10-08-2013, 06:49 AM
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I had this too. I mostly kept a cloth handy for when she'd pull off. I didn't pump beforehand. Her poops weren't always green, but some days we'd get green ones, and she still seemed to be gaining well, so I wasn't too concerned about a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. 

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#7 of 7 Old 12-07-2013, 07:54 AM
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As an LC and a Mama with Overactive Ejection, I found the best way to treat this is to simply let he baby start nursing then take the baby off the breast once the ejection starts. It will take between 20 seconds to a minute for the milk to stop spraying, then it is safe to put the baby  back on the breast for more milk that will have less lactose, less force and more fat in it.


I found pumping only increased my supply and simply letting the baby do the work, then removing her and letting the milk spray until the first ejection as over worked for me and for nearly all my clients with OER.


Despite OER, I was never a great pumper either. I also prefer low tech solutions when we can use them, and for most Mamas using the baby to start the initial let down (I use "ejection" and "let down" interchangeably, as they are the same thing) is easy and works for most mama/baby dyads.


I personally, also, never found "nursing uphill" to be helpful for myself and my babies, I teach this, because it does work for some mama/baby dyads, however. I also like "block feeding" which is to use ONE breast, as much as the baby likes, for a 3-4 hour period, then switch to the other breast and use that one for the 3-4 hour period, of course taking the off the breast during the first ejection of each feeding, especially the first feeding of the morning and the first feeding of the block.

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