Overactive letdown

Overactive letdown

Her daily breast milk shower, otherwise known as a forceful letdown! A forceful or overact letdown is when your milk comes out too fast and hard at the letdown. 

Every baby is different in their ability to manage a forceful letdown. Some babies can tolerate a forceful letdown without needing much support from you while other babies get frustrated or colicky/gassy. If your baby demonstrates any of the signs below, they might need help adjusting to your flow.

Signs of overactive letdown

  • Gags, chokes, gulps, gasps, coughs while nursing as though the milk is coming too fast.

  • Pulls off the breast often while nursing.

  • Clamps down on the nipple at let-down to slow the flow of milk.

  • Makes a clicking sound when nursing.

  • Spits up often and/or tend to be very gassy.

  • Periodically refuses to nurse.

  • Dislikes comfort nursing.

What you can do to support your baby:

The first 2-8 weeks of breastfeeding can be a bit challenging as you and your baby find what works. It’s possible your baby can figure it out without much effort on your part. 

  • In addition to being patient, you can try clamping down on the areola to slow the milk flow (squeeze down on your areola to slow the milk)

  • Laid back or side-lying nursing- I posted about this previously. This position gives your baby more control over the flow of milk since they don’t have to fight gravity; the milk can slowly dribble out the side of their mouth.

  • Feed upright in a baby carrier- offers same benefit as laidback nursing.

  • If you can feel your letdown, pull baby off for 15-30 seconds until the letdown is complete and then re-latch baby. 

  • Ask for help!

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