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let down 'disappeared'; at 19 months! what is going on?

(11 Posts)
weasle Tue 28-Jul-09 05:18:49

hi, i'm bf my 19mo ds2, and suddenly don't seem to be able to get a letdown so he is getting no milk! My let down is always slow, but this is ridiculous. It is difficult as he bf to sleep usually, so now he won't go down for his nap or at night. this is the 4th day.

he will latch on and suck, but after a while shakes his head, tries the other side and same again. Maybe this is just the end? we have been trying now for 40mins swapping sides and still no let down. he had a bit this morning i think, when he was sleepy, but not very much.

i even did a pg test (don't feel pg though) in cae that was the reason and it was negative.

anyone have any experience of this sort of thing?

TIA

piscesmoon Tue 28-Jul-09 08:48:18

I will bump it up for you but I would have just thought it was just natures way of finishing.

whomovedmychocolate Tue 28-Jul-09 09:12:33

Hello, yes that's normal - you get to a point where your boobs are very adept at feeding. I'm tandem feeding and never feel letdown but my son has shot off the top of the growth charts so clearly something is going in.

It's got bog all to do with your son being ready for weaning. I would suggest you take him to the GP and check out his ears for infections or look for molars (the usual reason for pull offs and head shaking).

HoppityBunny Tue 28-Jul-09 09:29:26

I certainly have. I demand BF all my children till they were 2-3yrs of ages. I have noticed the let-down disappeared after about the time of the last stages of breastfeeding. The last stages was when I was controlling the no. of feeds.

But if I squeezed my breast I would still find milk there. I think what was happening is that my body had reached to a certain point and was saying to me "OK, you won't get any breast problems if you stop now.", like block ducts, mastitis etc.

Are you bfg on demand? Offering your DS2 too many drinks and snacks affects your milk supply. You can easily bring your full supply back again, by offering and expressing milk and cutting out your DS2 extra drinks, snacks slowly. But if your DS2 is happy the way he is, then it's looked like you have both unintentionally weaned without realising it. This happens a lot.

HoppityBunny Tue 28-Jul-09 09:36:20

"Whomovedmychocolate" could have a good point also there. I must admit I have noticed the 'let-down' decreased in strength over the time and years on each baby, this was just my breast adapting and tuning in.

Have you tried asking your son is there any milk there? But beware he is only small, his answer isn't reliable!

whomovedmychocolate Tue 28-Jul-09 10:48:08

If I squeeze my boobs nothing comes out - unless I do it for ages then get a few spots. It's best to ask 'is the milk all gone?' tots are better at saying no (as sadly you will find out only too soon hmm) than saying yes.

HoppityBunny Tue 28-Jul-09 11:26:55

At the end of the day it is really significant whether the milk is gone or not? What matters, Weasel, is are you and DS still enjoying your moments together BFG then if you are then there's no reason to stop that little bond is there?

weasle Tue 28-Jul-09 12:10:22

thanks all.

yes, maybe it is the end. i thought i would be ok about this after bf for so much longer than i originally planned, but I'm not! Perhaps because i thought the end would be happier than this...I thought we could do morning/night feeds only and carry on.

I don't think it is just the sensation that is not happening, but the actual let down. DS2 shakes his head, says 'ner, ner' (his no) does all gone sign and he is not swallowing and then when he comes off i can't squeeze out any milk, but usually i can when there has been a let down.

he has been decreasingly interested recently and not really fed in the day much for the last 10 days as we have been on holiday. i have always offered him more bf than he will have. my let down has always been really slow, and as he has got older he often has a couple of sucks, no milk comes then he comes off and walks off. but he usually is happy to lie down at bedtime and have a feed to sleep, but not now.

nap and bedtime today (i am in Australia) have been miserable for both of us. he ended up not having his 1230 post lunch sleep until 5pm in pram coming home from park, he got so irritated with my attempts to latch him on...

decided i do feel a bit sick, but second pg test also negative.

sorry for long post, but i have no-one in RL who will understand why i am so upset, so bit of an waffle. Thanks.

HoppityBunny Tue 28-Jul-09 18:32:06

I was upset every time my BFG came to an end with each child. It feels like a mourning, a bereavement for an end of an era with your child, and these feelings are real. Also the hormones in your body play a part too, they returning back to 'normal' and while it's doing that, that in itself can make you feel a bit depressed or a bit touchy for a while.

And your child will probably be missing the experience too. I have heard other children describe their end of BFG experience like they have lost their mummy or even said it feels like mummy had died! Just reassure your child you are still there and you are still the same mummy. And that you and DS will still flourish to do other enjoyable things together.

HoppityBunny Tue 28-Jul-09 18:34:22

P.S. I also BF while pregnant 3 times, it doesn't reduce your milk supply till a lot later.

I hope you and DS will find a way. Good luck with everything.

weasle Sun 02-Aug-09 13:00:42

Thanks hoppity. I've thought about it and decided neither of us seemed ready to stop. so i have reintroduced feeds in the day and stopped giving him any water around bedtime, and we seem to be back on track now. still have a slow let down, esp on one side, but this is normal for me and at least it is now happening at all.

perhaps my always lowish supply just can't cope with morning & night feeds only.

thanks for all the advice smile

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