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Any advice for dealing with overactive letdown?

(12 Posts)
StuntNun Sun 05-Aug-12 06:35:03

I am currently pregnant with my third DC but had problems breastfeeding my DS1 and DS2 so I am trying to find out what went wrong so that I can prevent it with this baby.

DS1 refused the breast from day one. When he latched on he would spit out the nipple immediately and cry. I ended up feeding him through nipple shields but he was very colicky for the first few months. He was exclusively breastfed (with the nipple shields) for four months then supplemented with one bottle of formula from four months until eight months when he just lost interest in bfing so I continued with follow-on milk.

DS2 did a lot better and didn't need the nipple shields but he would sometimes come off the breast and cry and then the milk would spray across the room (sorry if tmi.) He had six or seven green mucously nappies a day and would cry when he was passing them in evident abdominal pain. I started him on solids at four months and the green nappies cleared up within a week. I suspect that he was given a bottle of formula in hospital after he was born although the midwives denied it but other than that he was exclusively breastfed until nine months when he lost interest. He would never take a bottle, even of expressed breast milk.

Now I have Dr Google to turn to it seems that these problems may stem from overactive letdown so I am looking for advice on how to deal with this from day one. Does anyone have any tips on a strategy to use, e.g. positioning, block feeding, expressing, etc. to help with this issue. My experience with my last two DCs is that the midwifes, health visitors, GPs and breastfeeding support group were of no practical use. I asked my mum (a health visitor) about overactive letdown problems and she was amazed because she's never heard of it, she says it has never even been mentioned at any breastfeeding lectures she has been to.

Trazzletoes Sun 05-Aug-12 06:54:32

What's over active letdown? IME it's fairly normal for milk to shoot across the room near the start of a feed if DC comes off...

StuntNun Sun 05-Aug-12 06:58:52

Hi Trazzle see here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overactive_let-down. I'm not certain that it is what went wrong with my first two but it seems to fit the problems I had. I am hoping to have a plan of attack this time to prevent problems before they occur but I'm worried that I might end up accidentally creating different issues, e.g. by block feeding.

StuntNun Sun 05-Aug-12 07:01:05

Actually La Leche League have a much better explanation www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvsepoct95p71.html. There are tips for how to deal with it but they are methods for when the problem is already occurring where I want to have a strategy in place before the baby is born.

Suckeddry Sun 05-Aug-12 14:52:17

I had oversupply & forceful let down. I feed one boob per feed. I also will latch DS on then take him off & let it spray into a muslin when it particularly bad. DS fed prettying hourly for the first 12 weeks which helped lessen it too.

Kellymom has some good info on it here which I found really helpful. By 10-12 weeks it had settled down a lot. Still spray everywhere but DS can cope with it now smile

MigGril Sun 05-Aug-12 14:54:15

Did your DS2 gain weight well. Because the green nappies to me suggest oversupply to.

Have you come across Kelly mom website, there is lots of good information on there about over supply and forceful letdown.

StuntNun Mon 06-Aug-12 15:49:24

MigGril both babies gained weight following their percentile. I'll have a look at the Kellymom website thanks. I'm all too aware that I need to have some kind of plan in place before the baby is born as afterwards I may not be in a fit state to cope with problems as I kind of expect to get PND again this time.

MigGril Mon 06-Aug-12 16:52:05

good luck this time round, things maybe better. i'm sure I had oversupply with my first but it was no where near as bad second time round.

mawbroon Tue 07-Aug-12 16:10:23

I wonder if your first two were maybe tongue tied?

have a read of this to see if any of it sounds familiar.

Mothers of tt babies often have oversupply

StuntNun Tue 07-Aug-12 18:24:13

Thanks Mawbroon that makes very interesting and scary reading. Both my boys had terrible trouble with weaning and are still poor and very slow eaters. My DS2 has to be taken into the lunch room first and is usually the last one out with food left in his plate. Definitely worth looking into, I will ask my Health Visitor about it. I know my BIL had a tongue tie but I don't remember anyone looking for it in my kids.

mawbroon Tue 07-Aug-12 20:07:36

From what you say about weaning and slow eating, coupled with your breastfeeding histories, I would say that tt definitely should be investigated in your older two.

As you will see from the Milk Matters article, it is often missed by health professionals, so expect that your HV just might get it wrong, especially if they have posterior tongue ties.

Have a look under their upper lips too. Lip ties and tongue ties tend to go hand in hand, so if they have lip ties (which are easier to identify than a posterior tongue tie), they are likely to have tongue ties as well. Do either of them have gaps between their front teeth?

Do they have any other issues? Gut problems? Allergies? Poor sleeping? Dental problems? High palate? All these are linked with tt as well.

DS1 had undiagnosed tt until age 6, he also has a high palate because of the tongue tie and he has had loads of things wrong with him which are directly linked to the tt. There are pictures of his on my profile, but of course there are so many different types of tt that the chances of anybody else's looking exactly like his are slim.

catherineangelmusick Tue 23-Jul-13 10:29:19

Hi everyone. I have this problem too, at the moment with my first little one. I went to the breastfeeding clinic yesterday and they suggested lying back when feeding so that the milk spray is going against gravity. Am in the process of trying that out now...

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