Thursday, August 25, 2011

Over Active Letdown (OAL)

So we know that breastfeeding isn't always easy, and for most of us (me included) it does not come naturally. (A couple of my friends never had issues and I have to say I was JEALOUS!!!!!! hehe) But the best thing about breastfeeding problems is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Someone, somewhere out there has suffered through (or is suffering through) and most likely has some tips for you.
**(Enters stage left....Mummies Nummies!)**

One problem I had (because Lord knows I had my fair share) was Over Active Letdown (aka Forceful Let-down or Milk Ejection Reflex.) Over Active letdown means too much milk, too fast, too soon. Simple right? Seems harmless right? NOOOOOOO. So very the opposite. Overactive Let Down can cause many issues, with nummie lover and Mummie. Let's talk about the signs you could be suffering from "OAL." (Over Active Letdown)

If your Nummie Lover does any of the following (while nursing or shortly after)

*Gags, chokes, gulps, gasp,s coughs while nursing as though the milk is coming too fast
*Pulls off the breast while nursing
*Bites or clamps down on your breast while nursing. (Your Nummie Lover might be doing this in order to slow the flow)
*Makes a "clicking" sound while nursing
*Spits up often and or is gassy. (Over Active Letdown can highly irratate Reflux.)
*Refuses to nurse at times
*Does not seem at ease while nursing

Kelly Mom has a great article that helps explain Over Active Letdown. But I wanted to give you my personal experience and tips as well. Pooker had pretty bad Silent Reflux and Kit Kat had LOUD Reflux. With Both girls I had OAL.... but more so with Kit Kat. With Pooker I pumped two feedings a day so that helped with my OAL. But Kit Kat was not one for artificial nips... so pumping was out! I did however find a trick. I would hand express into a towel before I latched her on. I kept hand expressing until my flow slowed down and then I would latch her on. However I was tired of soaking a towel EACH feeding so I moved from a towel to a plastic cup. Plus I hated wasting the breastmilk I was expressing, so using the cup was better. I was able to drink the milk (warm nummies is always yummier) so nothing went to waste! I had to do this for a month or two before Kit Kat was able to handle my letdown.

I also used what I called "The Souders' Sit" position. I never nursed my girls with them laying down. For reflux babies... that is a big no no. It is better for them to be as upright as possible, while nursing, to help "encourage" the nummies to stay down. The same goes for OAL. Being upright helps the little Nummie Lovers to swallow the volcanic like flow of breastmilk coming at them. The Souders' Sit position is just that...... a sitting position. Have your little nummie lover sitting as much as possible on your lap while you nurse. (You can change the name of the position if you like.... go ahead, I give you permission!)

It will take some time (took two months for me) to control your Over Active Letdown..... but if you go with the flow (PUN INTENDED) and stick it out your flow and your nummie lover will be best friends. I mean think about it... would you like a fire hose put in your mouth and being turned on? Scary huh? Gives me "the wiggle shakes" just thinking about it!

Hang in there!


  1. I think I do have AOL. Matter of fact today while nursing Wyatt spit milk out his nose. He was half asleep and I think I just had too much of a let down. He wasn't ready for it and choked.

    Since he was a week old we've been nursing in a recliner. That has really helped me. We do this especially in the mornings when I am the fullest.

  2. Oh my...I remember those first few weeks and my babies about drowning in milk. I've accidently hit my husband with it several times when the baby unlatched because the let down was too strong. Funny looking back on it but not so much now.

  3. this article was made for me! my babe pulls off the boobie and just sprays himself in the face until it slows down then relatches. i usually have a cloth near me so it isnt just spraying his face but.. i didnt realize it was an actual issue. but totally makes sense!


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