“My 12-week-old is 16 lbs and healthy but often VERY uncomfortable due to extreme overactive let-down when I breastfeed. How do I control this or reduce my milk supply!? I never thought too much of a good thing could be SO hard to handle. Thank you!”
When a mother has a forceful let-down reflex, the baby may swallow a lot of air during feeding, and this can lead to some colicky symptoms: he may spit-up regularly, pass gas, choke or gag while nursing, have difficulty settling down to nurse, and he might arch away from the breast when the let-down reflex hits.
Another difficulty with over-active let-down is that baby gets mainly high sugar, low fat foremilk, without getting to the high fat hindmilk. All this extra milk sugar can make a baby gassy and fussy.
Here are some tips on handling this problem:
- Empty your breasts by pumping both sides for 5-7 minutes each morning.
- Feed your baby on only one breast for the next two to three feeds and then switch to the other side for the following two to three feeds. This gives baby more hindmilk.
- If the breast you aren’t nursing from starts to feel engorged, place a cabbage leaf over it for an hour or two. This will slow the milk down a bit.
- You will eventually be able to pump less often in the mornings as you feel less full.
- When you’ve been able to decrease the pumping to only about one morning each week, you can probably stop pumping.
- Another trick is to make gravity work in your favor. Make baby nurse “uphill” by lying on your back and placing baby’s head over your breast so he has to draw the milk up. This also may slow down the milk flow.