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Sudden loss of let down at 7 months

(11 Posts)
catbertha Mon 26-Sep-16 10:57:35

I've been happily EBF my DD and she's nearly 8 months old. We started weaning at 6 months and that is going well. About 3 weeks ago suddenly at her evening breastfeed there was no let down. She was sucking away and nothing happened - this led to lots of tears etc. For the next few days after this the feeding was a bit hit and miss - sometimes I had let down and sometimes not. I was super-anxious which obviously didn't help. But then things gradually improved and all seemed to be OK again.

But then yesterday it happened again - mid-morning feed suddenly no let down and again in the afternoon. In the evening, in the night and this morning it was OK, although a bit slow to come. But now I'm super-anxious each time we come to feed (which I know doesn't help - but telling yourself to relax doesn't work!).

Any advice / experience of this? I tried having a shower, heating breasts, massaging breasts, doing skin to skin and drinking mega quantities of water. I have tried hand expressing and pumping but neither of these achieves let down - I haven't expressed for a while and it doesn't seem to get much out.

tiktok Mon 26-Sep-16 17:32:51

Hmmmm.....are you absolutely sure you have 'diagnosed' the issue ok? Lots of women don't feel a let down, especially with established breastfeeding. By this time, breastfeeding is robust and reliable.

If all you are going on is your dd's behaviour, then I'd be doubtful it is let down that's creating the issue. She's just kicking off - maybe because she is not actually wanting to stay on for as long as you think she 'ought' to be on. Plenty of older babies take what they need in a very short time. What certainly makes them upset is being offered the breast when they have tried to say 'no thanks' smile

Expressing is not a good indicator of the let down - plenty of women can't get much out, especially if you have not expressed for a while, and with this sort of pretty well established bf.

If you really do feel it is let down, don't bother with the shower, heating breasts and water drinking (this last is particularly pointless sad ) . Just stay calm, breathe gently, relax your whole posture and wait. Let down can fail with acute stress (it's a bio-chemical thing). So work on not being acutely stressed.

Hope it gets better soon.

tiktok Thu 29-Sep-16 18:00:02

Any response, op?

catbertha Thu 29-Sep-16 19:58:03

Sorry! Thanks for your comments. I'm pretty sure it is let down. Sometimes it takes a while and I can definitely feel when it happens.

I think stress is definitely an issue after it has happened once - I do find it very stressful when I can't feed my dd and I worry about it before each feed. But it is why it happens to start with that worries me. Because if it happened before it could happen again!

JellyWitch Thu 29-Sep-16 20:05:14

You do often loose the feeling of let down the longer you feed and it can take longer to happen too, particularly if you aren't relaxed. your nursling will still be getting milk while waiting and so long as her weight is fine then there shouldn't be anything to worry aboutz

catbertha Fri 30-Sep-16 09:29:32

Thanks tiktok and JellyWitch. It has mostly been OK over the last few days. And I know that you're right - she won't starve as she eats OK and is putting on weight.

I guess the issue is more mine - I now worry before each feed about it not working. And I know that the feeding does soothe her and if she can't feed, especially at night, then that upsets her. And my stress adds to the whole problem. I just wish I could relax, but having a baby isn't a very relaxing experience, I find!

tiktok Fri 30-Sep-16 14:53:21

Catbertha, worrying about each feed with a healthy BF baby of seven months is not right sad.

By now, BF is mainly plain sailing and not usually a trigger for anxiety ( unless the baby has problems).

Did you have a difficult start with BF? Was there a period when you were worried about supply?

Honestly it does not sound to me at all like you have a problem with let down. It is absolutely normal not to feel every let down. But I do think it might help to share that your emotional well being is a bit shaky with your Hv or GP....hope you get good help soon.

Closetlibrarian Fri 30-Sep-16 15:17:44

I think I had this issue with DS. My let-down definitely slowed down around this time (actually a bit earlier). I then got worried about it, vicious cycle, etc. I found drinking a massive glass of water before each feed helped. I think I read that tip on here. I'm sure it was 99% psychological, but hey, it worked.

ChocChocPorridge Fri 30-Sep-16 15:37:44

I used to lose my milk just before my period - and with my second it came back as early as 7 months. The milk came back again a couple of days later each time.

Do you think your cycle might be starting to re-assert itself?

Orsono Fri 30-Sep-16 16:54:23

I stopped feeling let down after a few months with DS1 and fed him until he was 18 months. Same seems to be happening with DS2 who is 4 months, the let down sensation is beginning to lessen. I think your breasts just 'learn' to do it without so much fuss!

catbertha Mon 03-Oct-16 19:05:24

Thanks v much for all the comments. I am pretty sure that, on these occasions, I definitely did not have let down. I can still feel when it does happen and I can tell from my daughter's sucking action and frustration when she doesn't get a feed!

Closetlibrarian - I think you're right about it being psychological and I have been drinking water before each feed.

ChocChocPorridge - that's really interesting about it linking with your period. The issue did start just around the time my period started. So maybe there is a link. Thanks for that. Although I'm not sure what I can do about it!

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