Trouble with let down, long delay to let down even when baby is nursing!

Patricia - posted on 03/05/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My son is almost 9 months, healthy, normal growth no problems. The trouble all started when last week we went thru a nursing strike, he just didn't want to latch, for almost 3 days, day or night. No crying on the breast, just refused it. We had all kinds of theories as to why it happened but regardless he eventually latched on again. when this started I was upset but I consoled myself by telling myself -- "well at least he can still get my milk if he never latches again b/c I am committed to continue pumping even while at home to keep giving him my milk." Unfortunately though it turns out that the pumping ALSO didn't go well. This occured in the middle of the week and I am very busy at work like always so I ddin't have the luxury to spend more than the usual 20 - 30 min to be waiting it out and keep trying, etc. (He never got formula however, I have extra stashed away.)

I work full time Tues - Fri and I have always pumped effectively at work. I have 2 other children and I nursed them all til past 12 months old while pumping at work and never needed to supplement with formula. But during the nursing strike last week I wasn't getting much milk like usual with the pump. I thought it was a pump malfunction but when I rented a hospital grade pump the same thing happened I didn't let down! So I figured out the problem was with ME not with the pump I just wasn't getting a let down. Even when I was at home and the baby wouldn't latch during the strike, I would pump and get very little. When my son finally did latch again the first couple times he got frustrated easily b/c I assumed, he got used to all bottle for a few days. We had a long weekend together and things seemed to finally improve again. But ever since all this happened things are NOT normal still.

***My main concern now is the time it takes for my milk to really flow (let down) is prolonged now compared to before. I understand that this can happen with the pump but it is happening while he's nursing and it is getting worse! Today he and I were at it for THIRTY minutes before he finally got the milk flowing. I can't believe he hung in there for so long. An hour before he just got mad and gave up so we took a break. Then we tried again and since he was sleepy and hungry he would stop and start and wimper and cry a little and roll away and come back and FINALLY he got his milk! This has happened many times since the nursing strike with let down taking 5, 10, 15 min to come. Even in the middle of the night the crying will start b/c of the delay.

I've discussed with LC already a couple times I figured my milk supply may have dropped due to the troubles we had so I've been on the mother's milk stuff for a few days and for pumping let down she suggested using "rescue remedy" which she called it the "homeopathic xanax" to help me relax and let down. I haven't noticed a difference yet.
I guess I just needed to share with other moms who would understand and see if anyone else has been through this severe let down delay issue. I'm just concerned that I'm going to end up weaning earlier than we expected or are ready for :^( b/c he may eventually just get tired of the struggle and give up all together and since I can't let down consistently with the pump I will dry up for sure.

Thanks for reading the long post! God bless you all!

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Patricia - posted on 10/06/2013

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Wow I can't believe how time flies. I just re-read this after over 3 years later and that baby that was giving me trouble is already 4 y/o and I have since conceived and carried to term Di/Di twin boys who are now 9 months. I'm nursing them too, though not exclusively. Despite all my efforts I simply wasn't able to fill them up but at least I am still able to give them some of my milk. :-) God bless you all

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Patricia - posted on 03/12/2010

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Thanks for the advice and especially for the prayers. My let down finally has consistently improved. He still gets frustrated when he's tired but it's not taking long like before. I purchased the "more milk plus" capsules which are available on line and at health food stores. I think it helped. It wasn't a huge difference for milk supply but as an example, I usually pump less and make less the first couple days of my period. But this time I was already taking the product for a week when period started and I didn't notice ANY decrease w pumping or fullness like I usually do. Thanks again!

Patty - posted on 03/07/2010

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I am going through the same thing. I have a six month old and she gets so mad because I cant get my letdown. I take showers and it works sometimes. I have been taking Fenugreek to try to help with my milk suppy and drinking fennel tea but havent notice much yet. I understand what you are talking about. I wish I had some advice but I will say this to hang in there. I try to tell myself to stay strong and stay relax. This is only my first time BF. I have done great up till now. I just dont know. I will pray for both of us. :)

Ashley - posted on 03/06/2010

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I know it isn't always possible, but u could try a warm shower before nursing or warm compresses while pumping and nursing. this has always helped me especially after nursing strikes. Also, snuggle him a little closer and tighter when u nurse him and nurse him more often when u r at home with him. U may also drink a little extra water to make sure u r staying hydrated. I know u probably know all of this, but these are just things that have helped me.

The warm shower really helps me in times of iffy letdowns.

Alexa - posted on 03/05/2010

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Maybe let him cry a bit before you feed him? Whenever my daughter cries for feeding time I feel letdown. Just relax and don't think about it. Feed your baby, drink your water and relax in a comfy space! :-)

Melyssa - posted on 03/05/2010

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I have been like this since the begininng of february with the return of my period. Since then I have only had one successful pumping session. Poor Izze has hung strong but was getting frusterated, and then my panicing and stress didnt help. I still continue to have problems with let down and now its getting a little better. Wishing you luck dearie! A hint from my mom was to put your feet in warm water. Works for me on occaission.

Jennifer - posted on 03/05/2010

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Sorry you're going through this. Maybe try to relax as much as possible? It's possible that stress/anxiety may be affecting your letdown. Try to do some deep relaxation and visualization just before and during nursing. Hang in there, it will improve.

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