How to reduce choking during breastfeeding?

Janice - posted on 10/28/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )




My son is one month old now and everytime I nurse him, he always choke and then feel frustrated as he cannot suck smoothly. Is there any method how to reduce choking? I already use the recline position when I nurse hime, but did not help much. I tried to pump out some milk but it is too troublesome and I am afraid I will make more if keep pumping. Please advise. Thanks in advance.


Emily - posted on 11/02/2010




I had an aggressive let down and my midwife/lactation consultant told me to do a "cigarette" hold on my breast to slow the flow of milk. It worked like a charm. I also did a version of block feeding, just offering one side per session. The milk came so quickly and abundantly that he would be full after 5-10 minutes on one side anyway.

Sarah - posted on 10/30/2010




Here is my advice for Overactive Letdown... Just start pumping or manually expressing for maybe a minute or so, until your breast lets down and starts squirting out milk on its own... then just let it squirt. Until it is a slow drip... then give baby the breast. This way, you won't be pumping a whole lot and you probably won't make much more milk (if any) AND your baby will get a tad more of the nutrient-rich hindmilk. And as previous posters have said, he will grow into it... I had problems with this too, and my son is now almost a year old and still breastfeeding successfully, now able to handle letdown just fine. A combination of OALD and a tiny mouth still working out how to nurse efficiently. Imagine pouring a whole cup of a beverage into your mouth at once... wouldn't you have trouble? LOL :D Get the letdown under control and your son will have a long, happy breastfeeding experience.

Ericka - posted on 10/30/2010




hmm . you can manually express some milk out before nursing, but chances are he will catch up to it soon. just do your best to help him out, but at this point, hes only a month old, and hes probably still getting used to it. so just do what you can, and your baby will be ok.

the good news is that breastmilk is the perfect substance for babies, and even if some gets into his lungs, its not going to hurt him. :) breastmilk is good for just about anything. so no worries. i know its scary to see your son choking but remember that babies have STRONG reflexes, including the choking reflex, so hes likely not in danger, its just his body reacting to protect him.

the only other thing i can think of is if his mouth is unusually small, and your breast might actually go in too far, triggering that gag reflex. i wouldnt think that it would help to do a whole lot for that because you might end up with sore nipples, but do what you can

:) you are being a great mommy; just keep it up! he'll grow into it and this will be a distant memory! :)

Nicole - posted on 10/31/2010




This used to happen to me until we found out online that its an over supply of milk. I had to lay down on my side to feed my son. We also fed on each breast twice in a row to make sure we were getting to the hind milk & fully emptying each breast. Hope this helps! Look it up on la leche league website, that's where I found the info that helped us! Good luck & don't give up!


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LeAnn - posted on 11/01/2010




A friend of mine is a La Leche League leader and I asked her this same question. She said it is a sign of oversupply of milk and a strong milk ejection reflex ("let down"). She suggested I nurse my baby on one side until she is full and comes off the breast herself. If she demonstrates signs of hunger within 2 hours, offer the same breast again. This will help cut back your milk supply and your baby won't choke. This process takes a few days to a week to adjust. I would also suggest visiting La Leche Leagues website It will direct you to leaders in your area who would also be happy to help you! Good luck :)

Rachel - posted on 10/31/2010




yeah, you are probably making so much milk he's overwhelmed by it. try expressing some of the excess first, then offer to him.

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i had the same problem when mac finally latched on. But i had been pumping and the milk was too much too fast. If you are pumping stop and you will slow down for him. If you are not pumping soorry not sure

Jessica - posted on 10/30/2010




I had the same problem with my little guy; I had an oversupply during the first month and a half, when I was home with him. I reclined and that helped some (I was almost laying down flat), and I stopped pumping and that lowered my supply. You might want to check your local hospital for breastfeeding support groups or one-on-one meetings with lactation consultants.

Jennifer - posted on 10/30/2010




I had this problem for quite awhile with my son. The only thing that helped a bit was to press one finger on either side of my nipple to slow the flow a bit while he was feeding. He eventually 'grew into it'. Make sure when you let go you do it gradually so they don't get a rush of milk

Jennifer Ann Saunders - posted on 10/30/2010




My son would choke when my milk was comign out too fast, and sitting him up seemed to help with the flow. Someone told me that you can feed off of the same breast back to back feedings and then switch to the other for two feedings and it would slow down the flow. Hope this helps!

Myetta - posted on 10/29/2010




I dealt with OALD as well...I swear my daughter would be drowning in breastmilk would feel so darn bad...but within a few weeks we got everything under control and now it's a smooth transition

Amanda - posted on 10/29/2010




Have you tried the football hold? I don't know if that's what you call the recline position as it is kind of reclining. If you do have overactive letdown, I would suggest to hand express your milk first and if you have a bag or even a bottle to collect your milk to save then put your baby on. You could also pump for about the first five minutes to help with your oald. If you can find one, see a breastfeeding specialist, not just like a LC, but an actual doctor that specializes in breastfeeding and breastfeeding medicine. They are very instrumental in helping with anything dealing with breastfeeding.

Charlotte - posted on 10/28/2010




i had over active let down! is one of your breasts slower? i have a "sleepy boob" that always sends eloise to sleep because its so much slower than the other one! its very handy! i tried all sorts but in the end i just had to be patient, babies are very quick learners and he will soon get the hang of nursing. he might cough and splutter but each time its teaching him how he should do it properly, i forget at what age she got the hang of it but it was certainly a month or so! Your milk supply will sort it self out soon aswell. Gosh, i'm just remembering how much milk i used to make, i never expected it either and for the first few weeks i was always in wet bras or top becuase i jus thad so much milk, luckily i found it funny and encouraging that my body was working so well at its job! anyway, sidelined a tad... keep going and well done for breastfeeding :-) and it does get SO much easier, before you know it itll just be second nature and niether of you will even think about it!

Christina - posted on 10/28/2010




Oh gosh, I dealt with overactive letdown too. It can be very frustrating. I tried all different positions without much luck. I found it helpful to take baby off the breast as soon as you feel the letdown and let it squirt out into a towel or burp cloth, and when it slows down, put baby back on. With time, it will get better, I promise!

Melissa - posted on 10/28/2010




On that link it will mention block nursing- try it in combo with the reclining position. I had OALD so I feel your pain (we did a lot of laundry from spitting up) but it WILL get better over the next 2-3 months. We went from OMG how am I going to get through this to "I love bfing!" and it ended up taking 4 years for her to wean. LOL GL!
Oh, and rather than pumping, have you tried hand expressing? Don't worry about making more (esp at this age lol) because your lo will have a growth spurt soon enough and you'll be caught up. :-D

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