What Can I Do About My Fast Let-Down?


What are some good nursing positions if you have a fast let-down?




Dear Alanna,

When moms have a very fast let-down, babies often have difficulties tolerating the fast and furious flow.  Some choke and sputter at the breast.  Some pull off and get sprayed in the face.  Others pinch down on the nipple, as if trying to put a kink in the water hose.  All of these can cause somewhat uncomfortable feedings for mom and baby.

So this is what you want to do.... Work with gravity!


Recline and lean back

When you lean back, it can slow down the flow a bit, making it more comfortable for your baby to feed. Place a pillow behind your back on the couch or your diaper bag behind you while nursing in public.  Then slide your bottom to the edge of your seat and you are now reclined.  


Position your baby in a diagonal or upright position

When your baby is laying on his side, it is hard for him to coordinate his suck, swallow, breath when the milk is pouring into his mouth.  Think about it... have you ever tried to drink a glass of water laying down on your back?  I'm choking just thinking about it!  So, sit your baby up a bit and let gravity help him as well.  This works well when the baby is facing tummy to tummy, either sitting in your lap or somewhat diagonal.



Now, I realize that this goes somewhat against the above two suggestions, since you are no longer reclined and baby is now on his side, but check this out.  When you feed in the sidelying position, any milk that cannot be swallowed by your baby can just slide out of his mouth, while he is feeding.  Sure, your bed or couch might get a little wet, but just place a towel under the two of you and nurse away!

For more information about this topic, check out our recent article: Foremilk vs. Hindmilk: The Unnecessary Controversy

For other terrific photos of laid-back breastfeeding, check out the Biological Nurturing Web site.