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Engorgement or fast let down?

(8 Posts)
LeeMiller Sun 06-Jan-19 18:31:42

DS is 3 weeks old. He has been feeding well since birth, putting on loads of weight and hospital and community midwives and lactation consultants have commented from the start on how well he latches. We are feeding on request and not really in any kind of pattern yet.

In the past few days my breasts have been hard/full more frequently and when this happens he gulps down milk, grabbing or punching my boobs frantically, and milk seems to be coming out the sides of his mouth. He is hiccupy/gassy/posseting afterwards.

Is this engorgement or a fast let down? Will it last or settle down once feeding is established? And how should I handle it to avoid discomfort for him? I've been massaging my boobs and letting out a bit of milk before latching him on but I'm really not sure how long to do this for - or what else I should be doing... Please help!

OP’s posts: |
ForumUsername Sun 06-Jan-19 20:47:53

I had a very fast letdown and a bit of over supply
Am a FTM and DD is 11 months and we are still happily BF

DD would be gagging sometimes, I'd have to sit her up to catch her breath

Messaging before helped a bit but like you never knew how long to do it
Feeding either lying down on our side so excess could come out her mouth easily (I had a towel under us) or feeding her on top of my chest while lying back also helped as she had to suck against gravity

It does settle but took mine a few months
If DD came off I'd squirt everywhere so always had a Muslim handy to catch

You sound like you are doing a great job
It's still fairly early so would be wary of trying anything too much
Just keep feeding on demand and enjoy how little he is, it changes so quick!

By week 8/12 things will gradually become much easier although we never tried a schedule a routine did develop x

LeeMiller Mon 07-Jan-19 07:24:16

Thank you Forum! Is is good to know it settled down eventually. It's so hard knowing my milk is making him suffer, I worry about him getting a negative association but so far he thankfully seems keen to feed when the gas has passed.

We are using those positions and I think they have helped slightly. My worry is that hand expressing some milk will mean my body will keep producing the same amount, not less - or is it too little to make much difference? And should I be doing it before a feed or when I feel the shooting sensation which I'm guessing is let down? Or maybe I'm overthinking this!

OP’s posts: |
ForumUsername Mon 07-Jan-19 07:52:27

I think you could be over thinking a little.
It's so hard not to though 😊

Yes hand expressing can lead to making too much more milk but it would depend on how much

I used to sometimes take DD off if she was struggling at let down and catch the forceful bit in a muslin then pop her back on again
I could only do this if she wasn't really hungry though

This article on Kellymom is great
https://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supply-worries/fast-letdown/

But I wouldn't do anything to effect your supply just yet as it's so early x

LeeMiller Tue 08-Jan-19 07:07:42

Thank you so much for the reassurance. It feels like he's been here forever but i know in reality it's very early days in terms of establishing feeding so I won't do anything that could interfere with my supply.

He was less gassy today so I think the reclined/side lying positions are helping, along with squirting some milk into a muslin when it's flowing fast and the other breast starts leaking (I think this is let down?!).

Thanks for introducing me to the kellymom website too, it looks really helpful!

OP’s posts: |
ForumUsername Tue 08-Jan-19 08:07:23

No problem!
Kellymom is brilliant! But sometimes asking someone a question and getting a more direct response is just more reassuring 😊

I found my local breastfeeding group so helpful.
We even started a WhatsApp group so as our babies got older and our situations changed (feeding, work, moving) we've stayed in contact. It's lovely having a group of women with babies similar ages to reach out to locally.

Authenticcelestialmusic Tue 08-Jan-19 08:13:02

I had a fast letdown initially on one side but it did settle. I fed lying down with a towel underneath.
My youngest twin would let any excess fall out of her mouth onto the towel (she is still quite resourceful!). Ds would pull on and off. My other twin was never really bothered (she was a very fast efficient feeder). I found it funny how they were all so different.

Kellymom is a great resource on this.

LeeMiller Wed 09-Jan-19 17:56:13

Thanks Authentic, it is reassuring to know your DC weren't put off feeding, I worry about DS rejecting breast feeding as it seems to make him really uncomfortable at times both during the feed and afterwards. But hopefully his body will learn to manage it better and my supply will adjust.

OP’s posts: |

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