Oh, The Letdownalismith
Breastfeeding: It tends to be the blessing and the bane of my motherly existence. To tell you the truth, it kind of stresses me out.
First, I’m self-conscious about nursing in public. And not because I’m embarrassed or uncomfortable—at least not in the way you’re probably thinking. It all comes down to letdown, and let me tell you: It does anything but let down me, or Baby Girl.
Rather, my letdown tends to be on hyperdrive. While most nursing women worry about producing enough milk, I find myself on the opposite end of the spectrum. I’ve been known to have letdown as much as three times an hour. (And right now, it’s still the toe-curling kind. When will it get better?) I’ve learned to handle my abundant milk supply a little better, since Baby Girl is baby number two, but this little thing called hyperlactation, or overactive letdown, still isn’t easy.
The problems: Aside from being as top-heavy as can be (which makes any sort of cardio exercise a real challenge), I’m a leaky mess. My baby is a leaky mess. Nursing in public is a leaky, spit-uppy mess than can necessitate a change of clothes for the baby as well as myself. My babies get too much foremilk, which means they get hungry more often, which exacerbates the problem because the more often I nurse, the more milk my body makes.
Also, sometimes my babies have poop that’s foamy and green. True story.
The solutions: Try to not nurse my month-old baby more often than every three hours. Nurse laying down so gravity is on my side: This slows letdown and also allows baby to drink more slowly, thusly (ideally?) getting more hindmilk. De-latch baby during letdown so she doesn’t choke/gag or fill up on foremilk.
It’s surprisingly easy for me to complain about too much of a good thing. And I hate doing it, especially when I have the cutest little set of eyes beaming up at me during feedings. I’ve considered strictly pumping, if only to spare her choking, but am not yet willing to sacrifice these tender bonding moments.
Do any of you experience hyperlactation? How do you get around it?