Dealing with a Forceful Letdown in Breastfeeding

forceful letdown, breastfeeding, overactive letdown, oversupply breastfeeding, breastfeeding oversupplyI remember holding the plastic baby to my breasts, awkwardly perched on the couch of my breastfeeding class, trying to perfect the football hold. Following this single 90 minute class I was obviously a breastfeeding guru, equipped with all the knowledge I needed to nourish my baby.

Cut to me actually having a tiny, living, breathing, screaming, hungry baby. My real child was way harder to wrangle into the football hold than the well-behaved plastic baby I used for practice. No worries. My type-A personality decided that everything would be better once I was home in my chair, with my Pinterest-inspired basket of breastfeeding necessities within arms reach.

Once my milk came in I was like hell yeah, I’m a rock star, I make milk with my body. And I made a lot of milk. Like a cow on steroids. I went through breast pads like a teenage boy goes through Kleenex. I hadn’t stuffed my bra that much since middle school. Nevertheless, I figured all the milk was a good thing, since my baby was excessively hungry.

But she hated it. See, I didn’t know it at the time, but I have a forceful let down. When my milk lets down it’s like Old Faithful erupting. If you are ever going to a Super Soaker party, just bring a lactating chick with an overactive letdown. First off, no one will want to get sprayed with that, second, you’ll definitely win.

Anywho, imagine a newborn baby having a Super Soaker full of milk shot into their mouth. Depending on where you are in your pregnancy/postpartum journey that will either make you laugh or cry. I’m laughing, sorry. Still, most babies obviously aren’t into that and there’s really nothing you can do.

I remember feeling like the world’s worst mother. I read online that my baby would “get used to it eventually”. All I could think about was how I was torturing my daughter in the meantime. She choked, coughed, sputtered, gagged and pulled off my breast. It felt like I was feeding her Mountain Dew out of a broken beer bottle and she reacted accordingly.

God forbid she pull off my breast after a let down and things got out of control. She got shot in the eye, I got shot in the eye and I was screaming for my husband to bring a towel. Everything was constantly wet. Everything. I just kept telling myself to try to make it one more day. foreful letdown, overactive letdown, breastfeeding, funny breastfeeding, breastfeeding memes

And here’s the crazy thing.One more day kept coming and going and before I knew it months had passed. During those months, my daughter truly did get used to my forceful letdown. Somewhere along the road I stopped needing breast pads. The Lanolin is lost in my daughter’s room, and my super useful breastfeeding basket is no more.

There are some great tips on dealing with a forceful letdown, the hardest of which is giving it time. It’s the last thing you want to do. I wish I had some super awesome advice that would make everything better., but I don’t. The thing is, no one really does. We’re all just trying to make it and do what’s best for our babies and our families.

I can tell you this though. It DOES get better. Breastfeeding because painless and easy and beautiful. Even if you’re in the trenches, even if you don’t feel like you can do it one more second, even if you’re ready to give up, just make it one more day. As each of those days passes you’ll become stronger, you’ll heal, your baby will adjust to life outside the womb. And if it doesn’t, you’ll know that you lasted on your breastfeeding journey one day longer than you thought you could.

I’m learning that no one really has answers, but we do have this amazing bond of motherhood. It’s a bond that gets politicized and embattled, but at the end of the day, it’s a bond that shows us we can get through the hard times. That there are women just like us who survived and lived to tell the tale. So here I am, just one of those women on this crazy journey called motherhood here to tell you it will be okay. Just give it one more day.

Advertisements

5 Ways We Save Money As New Parents

5WaysTake a seat, grab a drink (probably alcoholic) and let’s begin. Okay, so the arbitrarily decided upon cost per month of having a baby is $1,000/month for the first year. Since we’re just talking about new parents I’ll stop there. Plus, we don’t have enough time or alcohol to go beyond a year right now.

Friends, we could have had one sweet ass car for that price, but we choose the family track in the game of life. If you have a spare $1,000 laying around in your monthly budget, good on ya. Take your drink, click X in the upper-right hand corner of your screen and head out to the pool, there’s nothing here for you. If not, hang tight, because my 5 months of parenting have obviously made me a child-rearing financial expert.

1. Breastfeed 

Dude, before we start some obnoxious mommy war, let me be clear. These are the things my husband and I are doing that help us save money. I totally get not everyone can breastfeed. There are TONS of ways to save money on formula, too. Anywho we haven’t noticed an increase in our monthly food bill, my pump was free through our insurance and I haven’t needed to buy more milk storage bags yet, so our net cost so far has been $0. It’s great for mom, it’s great for baby and ladies, you have an excuse to chill on the couch looking at Instagram like 100 times a day. Win.

2. Cloth Diapers

Again, not for everyone, but it does save money in the long run. There are some startup costs, but you can even minimize those by buying diapers on sites like clothdiapertrader.com. Start-up costs can range from $60-300+, but from birth to potty training you could save up to $2,500 using cloth diapers. It cost us about $300 to get started and we bought one-size diapers that will last until she’s potty trained. Our water bill went up $0.14/month, so that hasn’t been a huge factor. We also haven’t needed diaper rash cream or baby powder since we started cloth. Now blow-outs either, and if you’re going to be washing shit either way, at least save some money.

3. Homemade Baby Wipes

Let’s all agree that wipes are one of the cheaper expenses associated with having a baby. You can buy in bulk and get coupons to save yourself some money. But, you’re usually little chemical laden squares to wipe on your child’s ass. My daughter got one hell of a chemical burn from Huggie’s. Not cool. Making homemade wipes costs about $2/month and takes about 5 minutes. You’ll save about $20/month and that adds up over time. (Unless you spend that $20 on Starbucks. Which I definitely don’t do…)

4. Consignment Shops

Here’s how it works: bring all the stuff you don’t use anymore to a consignment shop (make sure it’s in decent condition) and sell it for cash or store credit. Then use that money to buy cheaper (but still awesome) baby stuff and clothes. On our last transaction we brought in a bunch of clothes and random things and got $44, we bought her a bunch of clothes and ended up still making back $12. We were literally paid to shop. What we couldn’t sell we donated to a local pregnancy shelter. Everyone wins.

5. Baby Toys/Gear

Babies come with a lot of stuff. Our small apartment looks like the baby section at Target, but our small space makes us truly consider what we buy. We aren’t getting a jumperoo, a walker or an activity yard. We haven’t bought her every baby toy that struck our fancy. As much as I want to spend gobs of money on my baby, we are trying to use money where it counts. Rather than buy our daughter expensive things she won’t use in the span of months we take her to do fun things or save that money for something better down the road. She will literally play with anything, so I prefer to give her interesting household items to explore rather than a mountain of $40 plastic toys.