But … Signs that a baby is struggling to cope with the flow of milk in a fast let-down might include: The symptoms of fast or forceful let-down listed above are often seen in babies whose mothers have too much breast milk or “oversupply” however this is not always the case—a baby may struggle with flow without oversupply. Sitting in a chair. There are several ideas to try if a baby is struggling with a fast let-down. It can be normal for a newborn baby to cough or choke occasionally with the let-down while they are still learning how to breastfeed1 and to can be quite normal to spit up excess milk (have reflux) after a feed. It is possible to make breastfeeding more manageable for you both. If baby has only the nipple in his mouth rather than a good mouthful of breast it is more difficult for him to control the flow of milk. Forceful milk flow Coping with leaking Too much milk How oversupply happens Reducing your milk Dealing with engorgement Oversupply with blocked ducts or mastitis Adjusting to the new normality. and contact your breastfeeding specialist if you’re considering using a nipple shield for a fast let down. If block feeding is not working after a week, it may be helpful to. Try letting the fast flow subside. If you feel you have much more milk than your baby needs see Oversupply of Breast Milk alongside this article for management ideas. If a fast let-down is associated with having too much breast milk, steps can be taken to reduce the milk supply a little, and this in turn can help to slow a fast let-down. Such a fast or forceful flow is not necessarily a problem for a baby—many babies love the faster pace—and it is quite normal for milk to spurt from the breast. You could also lie or lean back and feed with your baby on top of you, in a laid-back breastfeeding position, so you can use gravity to slow the flow down. Some mothers express a little milk before baby comes to the breast so the flow is slower. In addition, skin-to-skin contact initiates baby’s instinctive reflexes to latch and feed unto … Avoid extra breast stimulation, for example, unnecessary pumping, running the shower on your breasts for a long time or wearing breast shells. When a baby breastfeeds they coordinate their breathing with sucking and swallowing in a carefully timed sequence so they do not swallow the wrong way causing milk to enter their airway instead of their oesophagus. If milk flow is fast a baby may need to let go of the breast occasionally to breathe. Colson concluded that human babies, like hamsters and puppies, feed best on their tummies. Swallowing milk quickly may mean you baby needs to burp frequently. Where appropriate, reducing your supply a little can help resolve some of the difficulties. Information is provided for educational purposes only. See Oversupply of Breast Milk for more information and check with your IBCLC lactation consultant before reducing your milk supply. A forceful flow is often associated with having “too much milk”. Between feedings, try applying cool compresses to the breast (on for 30 minutes, off for at least an hour). This works agains gravity so the milk isn't flowing downhill into their moth as much. Remember to place a towel underneath you to catch any excess milk! Or is it about babies’ feeding reflexes? A fast let-down is not always a mother related problem (i.e. Did you know that a baby can crawl to the breast and latch themselves, a few minutes after birth? Thanks to gravity, baby’s chin, torso, legs, and feet automatically stay in contact with mother’s body and mother’s body supports baby’s weight throughout the feeding. Try leaning back in reclining positions. Look for early feeding cues (sucking fingers, searching with an open mouth) or try offering a breastfeed while baby is still sleepy and relaxed. Relieve pressure. Nancy Mohrbacher. This article should not be construed as medical advice. How well a baby can handle a fast let-down or forceful milk flow can depend on their latch (the way baby is attached to the breast), their positioning (the way they are held) and how well they can coordinate suck, swallow and breathe.
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