overactive letdown - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-17-2006, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
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We're having major issues, and I am just in tears today.

My dd is 3.5 months old. I have overactive letdown. About 6 weeks ago, she started refusing the breast and nursing for shorter amounts of time. I thought she was just becoming more effecient, but a weight check proved otherwise. I elimated dairy, and a couple of weeks later (2 weeks ago), she started nursing well again. In retrospect, I expect my supply dipped and she was less overwhelmed by the letdown, so she nursed more. Well, now my body has reacted by making LOTS of milk - pretty much engorged on either side after 2 or 3 hours of not nursing. She's striking again, and we've tried pretty much everything in the book. The only thing working right now is nursing in the dark in a rockingchair. She's starting to fight that as well, which scares me. I am very frustrated when she turns away and just screams. I will be devastated if I can't manage to keep her nursing.

I'm block feeding... she gets too mad to latch back on if I pull her off at letdown. Have tried all sorts of different things.. nursing in sling, skin to skin, all different positions, etc.

She's also latching badly - not opening her mouth very wide, but I just can't keep pulling her off to correct it when I never know if she will latch back on again. I've tried both pulling down her chin and giving it a gentle push up to try to trigger the reflex. Neither is working. Today she figured out that she can clamp down on my nipple to slow the flow.

I called an IBCLC, and hopefully she can get me on a phone conversation tomorrow. For now.. help?
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#2 of 5 Old 09-20-2006, 01:53 PM
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Hi there. I am so sorry you are having such a hard time. We dealt with a very similar situation.... overactive letdown, unhappy baby, poor latching as a result, etc. etc. I was in tears often and very discouraged. I felt like I must have been doing something wrong for BF to be such a challenge. I tried all the tricks as well, and to be perfectly honest, what helped the most was time (I know, not what you want to hear) I would say by 3 months, things seemed to get better. DS seemed better able to handle my flow, and I think my flow did slow down after weeks of one-sided nursing. His latch also got much much better once he wasn't being "drowned" by my milk. You didn't mention everything you've tried, but I found that taking DS off my breast and allowing my milk to spray in a burp cloth at letdown helped, so don't know if you're already doing this.
Keep doing what you're doing... you're not doing anything wrong and it will get better. I hope you will see a positive change soon. Do get some help as well from an LC... I think you mentioned you're waiting for a call back.
GL! If I can be helpful in any way, please let me know!
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#3 of 5 Old 09-20-2006, 04:02 PM
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I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time. I am in a similar boat right now- awaiting my babe's weight check on Friday before apt with LC on Monday. (he'll be one month old tomorrow.) Are you having issues with green poo, may I ask? We're week 2 in the green poo...
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#4 of 5 Old 09-20-2006, 05:04 PM
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We had issues with this as well, but not to the extent where DS striked. He would just gag and choke during letdown because he couldn't handle the flow. What helped us most was when I felt letdown, I would latch him off and let it squirt into a burp rag until the flow slowed, and then we would continue feeding. Maybe you can try that? DS finally became able to handle my letdown around 5.5 months, so hang on Mama!
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#5 of 5 Old 09-20-2006, 05:22 PM
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I had this problem too. What was suggested to me, and worked was that you nurse on one side only for two feedings in a row. It was the opinion of the LC I consulted with that there was an inbalance between the the foremilk and hindmilk and that was the reason for the fast letdowns, and also why he was not gaining weight well enough. When I did this he seemed to do much better and he started gaining weight again. Just a thought.
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