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new to breastfeeding got ??

Posted by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 9:41 AM
  • 3 Replies

hey there have been some terms used on here that i dont know what they mean. and i was wondering what they ment.

Letdown? is the one that i was wondering about? i was reading about someone having a powerful let down? what does that mean? also what is the different stages of milk i read something about different stages of milk..

i am wondering all of this because my DD is almost 3 weeks and she is nursing great. but she chokes herself all the time. and i am not sure what i can do about it and if it has anything to do with these terms?

please help??

by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 9:41 AM
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by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 9:42 AM

The letdown reflex is:

Reflex that causes the milk to flow within the ducts inside the breast. This reflex happens as baby's suckling stimulates the pituitary to release the hormone oxytocin, which then causes the muscles surrounding the milk glands contract and squeeze the milk out to the ducts. Let-down can happen when the mother only thinks about her baby. Some moms can tell when let-down happens as a tingling sensation within the breast, and some can't. But if the baby is getting the milk, then let-down did take place. A very strong let-down can cause the milk squirt out of the breast (leaking). Let-down can be forceful/overactive or too slow.

Sounds like maybe you have a forceful letdown.  Not necessarily a problem if BFing is going good other than occasional choking.  Your LO should get used to it and fast flowing milk can make for very efficient nursing when they get a little older.

As for stages...

Breasts don't produce two different kinds of milk. Instead the cells within breasts (alveoli) produce milk all the time and it is all the same. Between feedings, the milk stays within the breast (in the ducts), and the fat globules in milk tend to stick to the walls of the alveoli and to each other. When more and more milk is being produced, it moves towards the nipple, leaving more fat near the back of the breast. So with the next feeding, the baby will first receive the milk now low-fat (foremilk) and later milk with extra fat (hindmilk). If or when the baby nurses very often, this does not happen. Usually moms don't have to be concerned about this distinction but can simply feed their baby on demand in the early months of the baby's life.


by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Letdown (i may not describe this well) is when the milk sort of comes down into the breast. It can really come out ast. when my milk first lets down if my DD lets go it looks like a sprinkler shooting everywhere. LOL  At the age your baby is my DD would constantly choke during let down. I have a feeling this is your problem. The milk is just flowing so fast that they can't swallow it fast enough. She no longer has problems with that. She can handle it.

by on Feb. 20, 2010 at 9:56 AM

You have gotten a good definition of letdown, now as far as your baby's choking, it is most likely caused by what we refer to OAL (Overactive letdown), simply meaning that your milk flows very fast and forcefully. This is easy to fix by nursing against gravity. for example, you will probably notice it much less if you nurse lying down, or when sitting in a chair by leaning back as far as possible and placing baby on top of the breast. It usually levels out on its own within a few weeks when the milk supply regulates.

PS don't mind typos, computer is messed up, LOL!

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