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Fast letdown and oversupply leading to miserable mum and baby

(35 Posts)
Ibu1986 Thu 16-Jul-15 08:19:23

I have a 10 week ebf DS who is gaining weight well (started off on 10 percentile and now on 95 percentile!). He usually feeds every 2-3 hours except from during the night when he feeds 2/3 times in 12 hours.

I have had fast letdown and oversupply from early on. I usually let him latch on then when the letdown comes in he unlatches himself and I spray into a muslin. I sometimes hand express at the start if feeling engorged and at night I sometimes use the pump especially when he only feeds 2 times.

Usually he is fussy feeding before bed e.g. crying at breast, latching and unlatching constantly but I expect this as he's tired. This week he's started to do the same every morning. Today I offered him milk at 2 hours (we were out so wanted to feed him before driving back) but he wasn't interested. Once returning home I tried to feed him and he screamed for about 45 mins. I knew he must have been starving but every time I calmed him down he screamed again as soon as I put him in cradle position. Eventually he fell asleep and I fed him whilst he was asleep. By this point he'd gone 5 hours without feeding.

Every time this happens I'm in tears. I'm worried he isn't getting enough milk and eventually he'll refuse breast altogether. We've been giving him a bottle of expressed milk every day since week 5, but he only takes it about half the time. I literally feel like the world's worst mum who can't even feed her own baby.

If anyone has had fast letdown, does it improve and if so when?

I don't think he has reflux as he doesn't do this all the time and can lie down happily on his play mat for up to 20 mins.

Sorry for the long message- feeling very emotional right now.

tiktok Thu 16-Jul-15 09:46:04

sad sad this sounds exhausting....but there are lots of things that could help, and you may not have tried them.

The episodes of refusing the breast could be due to anything - it may be connected with your over-supply/fast letdown, but sometimes babies do this because they get themselves upset for some reason and then find it hard to regulate downwards enough to latch on and feed. It happens to most babies a few times. It does not mean you cannot feed, it does not mean you are a terrible mother, it does not mean he is not getting enough milk, it does not mean he will eventually refuse breast altogether....I wonder if a chat with a breastfeeding counsellor would help and maybe enable you to feel reassured about this, and not so worried?

Decreasing your supply may be an option - this usually slows down the let-down, too. There are ways to do this.

Have you talked about the whole thing with anyone?

monkey2014 Fri 17-Jul-15 04:41:59

My little boy does this a bit too. I find sometimes he just doesn't like cradle position - I feed him lying down if he is tired or fussy and he much prefers it.

avocadotoast Fri 17-Jul-15 05:00:37

I have fast letdown too, it can be a pain.

Apparently changing your feeding position can help - so using gravity to slow the flow a little. Some useful info here:

Where I can I try to lean back while feeding. If DD pulls off and milk is spraying I press a muslin firmly against the breast (like you would to stop something bleeding) until the flow has stopped.

McBaby Fri 17-Jul-15 07:20:09

I had fast let down and over supply with both dds. I found that block feeding really helped to reduce my supply to a more manageable level for us. Have a look at kelly mom. I would also get help from a lacation consultant just to make sure you downy reduce supply to much it's also helpful to talk through the problems your having.

Reclined feeding also may help as it's harder for the milk to travel up hill.

And you can feed your baby and you are. It does get tricky or frustrating at times but I think this happens with every baby not just when you have fast lst down.

Ibu1986 Fri 17-Jul-15 12:39:15

Thank you for all your responses.

I've tried both uphill and lying down positions in the past but he really didn't like them. It might be time to try again. I have noticed he's extra fussy when tired too. I already block feed by offering only one breast per feed but it doesn't seem to have helped the oversupply issue. If anything it seems to have gotten worse recently. I don't know if it's perhaps the gap widening between feeds?

I also wonder if he's got a belly ache today as his poo is slightly green which I know is a sign of too much foremilk. He also saw the osteopath yesterday which can make him extra unsettled.

I'll be seeing a lactation consultant in a few weeks so hopefully that'll help.

Those who did have oversupply and fast let down- at what point did it get better? Does your milk supply and let down ever calm down?

tiktok Fri 17-Jul-15 13:28:21

Block feeding sometimes needs to be extreme, Ibu - see what your lactation consultant thinks.

Emmie10 Fri 17-Jul-15 13:42:48

I've suffered with over active let down and oversupply with both my children. My dd had silent reflux and a lip tie and my supply didn't ever settle. She did lots of screaming at the boob, writhing around and suffered with terrible wind. With my ds (5 months) I get the odd engorged day now but my supply settled around 3 months. I try not to express at all as it makes the over supply issue much worse.

stargirl1701 Fri 17-Jul-15 23:38:17

I had oversupply and forceful letdown with DD2. It was a fucking nightmare. She wouldn't feed unless we were lying down so I was pretty much stuck in the, stuck in my bed for bloody weeks.

I did block nursing which then led to blocked ducts. Total fucking nightmare. I started on soya lecithin supplements for them but turned out to be allergic so switched to sunflower lecithin. Eventually, after block nursing for 7 hours per side the right Breast sorted itself out. The left carried on being crazy until 7 bloody months.

Honestly, bf is easier than ff. Bullshit!

Savoy cabbage helps with the engorgement between feeds. Sage tea may reduce supply. Sudafed may reduce supply. 4-7 days combined pill may reduce supply. There is also something called full drainage which I looked into but didn't end up doing.

Good luck! winethanks

stargirl1701 Fri 17-Jul-15 23:39:24

stargirl1701 Fri 17-Jul-15 23:40:38

stargirl1701 Fri 17-Jul-15 23:42:14

stargirl1701 Fri 17-Jul-15 23:43:09

stargirl1701 Fri 17-Jul-15 23:46:28

stargirl1701 Fri 17-Jul-15 23:47:23

Ibu1986 Sat 18-Jul-15 06:33:34

Thanks for all the links stargirl.

I'm going to try block feeding with longer periods today. Had a really stressful morning out where I tried feeding him but the letdown was too much and he refused to go back on. He ended up again not having a full feed for about 5 hours. Luckily when we got home he fed for about 40 mins lying down. He must have been starving. It's left me feeling so deflated and inadequate as a mum. If he'd take a bottle I'd express for him but he won't even do that!

BumWad Sat 18-Jul-15 08:53:50

I had an oversupply issue too, DS was on the NNU and I had been pumping every few hours which obviously was too much for him.

Block feeding worked, only took 5 days max and now it is settled.

Justyouwaitandsee Sat 18-Jul-15 09:43:33

What time is he going to bed? My dd is 10wks and suddenly became much more agitated in the evening. We started putting her down to sleep much earlier in the evening and she now sleeps 9-6 without waking up or having a feed. Perhaps your DS is ready to sleep longer? She wakes at 6 and then goes back to sleep until 8-9 when she feeds again. She takes longer feeds during each of her daytime feeds and feeds every 3-4hrs in the morning and every 1-2hrs in the late afternoon/evening. As your son is up to the 95th percentile he is obviously getting plenty of food, maybe he actually doesn't need so much. Are you waking him up for nighttime feeds? If not, perhaps try letting him sleep through and see how long he goes. If he is still waking up in the night, maybe try feeding him then as normal but putting him down to sleep earlier? I have really noticed feeding patterns chance as they grow - my dd has naturally dropped from 15 to 6/7 feeds per day.

Justyouwaitandsee Sat 18-Jul-15 09:45:24

Oops - long post, sorry! When I asked if you are waking him up for night feeds that should have read if so rather than if not

MrsDumbledore Sat 18-Jul-15 09:54:47

Op - can really relate to a lot of what you have said. My 8 week old is similar - I don't think oversupply as not getting engorged, but definitely fast let down. Am going to have a good look at the advice and links on here.

Ibu1986 Sat 18-Jul-15 12:50:04

Bumwad- how long are your blocks? I'm trying 6/7 hours after 3/4 made no difference. So for the night feeds (approx 12:30 and 4am) I'll do left before starting on right again when he wakes up for the day.

Justyouwaitandsee- he goes down every night between 7/8pm and sleeps around 12 hours with 2/3 feeds. His number of feeds have definitely reduced throughout the day. My DH tries to reassure me that he's not starving but I hate seeing him distressed. Even more, I hate feeling like I can't feed him.

After this morning's drama he has fed really well off my right boob with me reclining. It appears he finds my left boob harder to deal with.

Thanks again for all the responses. It really does make me feel better.

helloelo Sat 18-Jul-15 20:08:57

I had oversupply and fast let down with DS, did full drainage (you pump both breasts completely) every week + 6/7hours block feeds lying down or reclined, dealing with blocked ducks by massage, until 12 weeks when I got his posterior tongue tie diagnosed and snipped. It's been great great great since then.
Your milk is great, your boobs are great, it is going to get better I swear. And if you doubt yourself, you can always do a full day and night naked in bed with him with boob as much as he wants, it's great for confidence and attachment.

daisydalrymple Sat 18-Jul-15 20:20:40

Hi ibu, my ds1 actually wouldn't feed at all between 9am -5pm for a while, it really used to stress me out.

My midwife friend looked at his pattern of feeding the rest of the time and he was feeding regularly and getting all he needed through the evening and night feeds, and had mixed his day / night pattern up. (Not unusual due to the lovely milk made at night apparently!)

I'm not sure if you think this could be a possibility for him? I know you've already had brilliant advice here, so my post may be irrelevant, but I just thought I'd mention it incase. (I ended up lying on my bed with him in the day for his naps for a couple of weeks and feeding then at those times when I felt he would be due a feed, ie if he'd gone say 3-4 hrs and not wanted to feed). We did switch it round eventually.

Nyancat Sat 18-Jul-15 21:27:48

I had both and it was a real pain, did all the usual like block feeding, reclining etc but I also used colief, just used to express onto a spoon and mix a couple of drops in before I fed ds. it's not for everyone and I know some think it's useless but the difference in ds was night and day, so much more settled as without it he was very uncomfortable and squirmy all the time.

5YearsTime Sat 18-Jul-15 21:37:34

I have both too and it dies get better. Are feeds just getting shorter? I remember at one stage thinking there was something wrong but baby has just got quicker at feeding and I was repeatedly putting an uninterested baby back on the boob!

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