Hyperlactation and strong let down

Alisha - posted on 01/21/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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*Daughter will be 5 months on the 24th*

I know this is not the norm, but I have a very strong let down and usually have to pump some just so my little one doesn't chock. I've had a few mornings when I've pumped and gotten well over 20oz between both breasts. I usually pump in the morning and have a bottle for daughter so that we can get out of the house on time and then the sitter feeds her.

In the beginning I had to exclusively pump since daughter was born 4 weeks early and just couldn't get the hang of latching on. I continued to try and at 2.5 months she finally caught on! :D
She typically takes about a 5oz bottle at the sitter's and I can easily pump 6-9oz on one breast. Has anyone else experienced this and is there anything I can do to help my body get on track with her? My poor freezing is overflowing with EBM and half the time I have to pump and dump when we run out of room.

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Jennifer - posted on 01/24/2010

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20 oz??? wow! have you considered donating some of that liquid gold? you mention an overflowing freezer and discarding milk because you run out of room, perhaps you'd be interested in donating some...

find info on donating breast milk here: http://www.hmbana.org/

So onto the over supply and fast letdown:

1st - by pumping, you may actually be doing more harm than good. when you pump, you are telling your body to make more milk.

To avoid her choking on the fast flow, try reducing gravity's pull on your milk by nursing uphill. you can recline in recliner chair or slide your bum forward in a normal chair and lean back. you can even lie flat on your back with your daugher lying ontop of you, literally having to pull the milk up and out of your beast.

Make it easier for her to swallow all that milk when you are sitting up by positioning her more vertically than horizontally. By 5 months, she can probably nurse sitting upright while strattling your lap or one leg. this creates a straight path down for the milk to flow, rather than her having to try to move it horizontally.

Adjust her latch so that is is more bulls-eye (straight on) rather than assymetrical (more breast tissue below the nipple in the mouth than on top). This reduces stimulation on the nipple reducing flow and supply.

Reduce overall stimulation of milk supply by block feeding. designate a block of time or a number of feeds adn use only one breast for that period. so for example if she is nursing every 2-3 hours, start with say a 5 hour block and use only your right breast for that time. even if she gets hungry again during that period, you go back to the right breast. gradually increase the block of time or number of feeds until your supply is down to a manageable level. you have to find your personal balance here, so as to avoid mastitis due to becoming overly engorged. you can express *a little* by hand from the unused breast to avoid becoming painfully engorged. also apply cold. this process may take several weeks before you see a marked reduction.

Sage when taken as a medicinal herb can reduce supply. check out kellymom.com for directons on how to use this herb to reduce supply. lots of great info on this site. use "oversupply" as your search word.

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-l...
http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milksuppl...

Once you get your oversupply undercontrol, the fast letdown will likely improve too as the two usually go hand in hand.

Have you had your thryoid checked? sometimes thyroid or other hormonal problems can cause the kind of oversupply that you are experiencing.

Also sometimes having an IUD put in can cause oversupply...


Some things to think about for you, hope this is helpful.

Good luck and post back if problems persist.

BTW, I've had massive oversupply with all 3 of my kids so I know how frustrating it can be and as a Breasfeeding Councellor I've helped lots of women through it, so do know that it can be managed.

Kristin - posted on 01/24/2010

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I could easily get over 30oz a day when i was pumping for my daughter. I never got to the point of having to throw it out, i just couldn't buy and put anything in my freezer :) I was pumping 3 times a day while at work, and after every feeding session (for 17 minutes at a time as per my lactation consultants advice). I gave up post feeding pumps, and my supply settled. According to my lady the pumping after feeding was tricking my body into thinking i had twins, and so my body needed to produce more, and produce it did : ) After giving up the post feeding pumping sessions, her demand was more in sync with what i was producing. Good luck, and be grateful that too much milk is the problem

Nicole - posted on 01/24/2010

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Have you ever thought of donating? Since you were blessed to be a superwoman, I can get 4oz a day if I'm lucky, maybe check out if there is place where you can donate some milk so it doesn't go to waste.

Alisha - posted on 01/24/2010

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Thanks Jessica! Great article. I had talked with a LLL a few months ago and she offered some of those tips. I've tried a few of them and will have to try some of the other ones as well. My oldest daughter was off the charts and I always pumped a lot but never quite had such a forceful letdown continue this long. Morgan (5 month old) is only in the 50th% for height/weight and she can def. put away some milk. LOL

Thanks again!

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