Whoever thought that having too much breastmilk would be a problem for a mother and her baby? Unfortunately it can. While low milk supply can be a problem so can over milk supply. Before going into the midwifery profession, I never imagined that there was even a problem. Mama, I really do not want you to give up. Lets at least try before giving up. Breastfeeding works so well when you have a balance in your milk flow. Before you try this though , how do you determine that you are in over- supply mode? You would know simply by observing that you are producing more milk than your baby is able to manage.
Did you know that there are three basic categories of supply when it comes to exclusive pumping:
- Undersupplied (or Underproduce): Makes not enough milk for baby. e .g. Check this out: If a mother gives her baby 4 ozs and the baby wants more, she is an under supplier.
- Just Enough: Makes just the right amount to manage baby’s needs. e.g. If a mother pumps 4ozs and her baby is satisfied and the baby sucks all that is given, we have a balance here. This is what we want.
- Oversupplied (or Overproducer): Makes much more that is required for baby to handle during a feed. e.g. A good example is if a mother pumps 5 ozs and her baby only sucks 4ozs, she is over supplied
What Are the Disadvantages of Over Supply For Baby
- Baby gains too much weight at a higher rate or
- Baby does not gain weight too well, due to lower intake of milk fat.
- Gulps rapidly, and may choke or cough frequently during a breastfeed due to the forceful let-down
- Babies are really smart ;they have the capacity to control the nipple by pinching it. They know that this slows down the flow? Yes they do, but this leads to another problem – sore nipples😫. That’s another problem right?
- You may notice your baby going off and on the breast or cannot latch on properly. Spits up a lot (reflux)
- Your baby may belch or pass wind often.
- You may notice green, watery or shooting stools (symptoms of lactose overload) and lots of wet and dirty nappies
- Seem irritable, fussy and restless, may hold himself stiffly or scream
- It may be very difficult for him to settle and enjoy breastfeeding and just fall asleep.
- Inverted or flat nipples. Your nipples might be unlatchable and difficult for baby to grip.(Affiliate)
What causes Oversupply Of Milk?
There are many women who have a very rich supply during the early weeks, especially if they breastfeed right away after birth. This is normal; as the milk. The volume of milk normally settles down over time so that the breasts only make the amount needed by the baby. Possible reasons for a mother to still seem to have “too much milk” after the early weeks include:
- Following strict rules about breastfeeding such as how often to feed, how long to feed for and how many breasts to use per feed instead of following a baby’s cues so they can self-regulate the milk supply. Following your baby’s cues is best.
- Lots of milk making tissue. The more glandular (milk making) tissue in the breast the more breast milk a breast will be able to make and store and, depending on how breastfeeding is managed, this may take a bit longer to settle down.
- Overstimulation. Sometimes milk production can be overstimulated by too much pumping or by taking lactogenic herbs. e.g. fenugreek
- Medical reasons. Occasionally medical causes contribute to oversupply or hyperlactation. For example hormonal issues including thyroid disorders, certain medications, a prolactinoma (a benign tumor of the pituitary gland) or any condition affecting the part of the brain that regulates the pituitary gland (hypothalamic-pituitary disorders). Your doctor will help diagnose these situations.
- Poor latch. How a baby is latched (attached to the breast) affects how easily they can get the milk they need. A poor latch is sometimes thought to add to excess milk production if a baby feeds very frequently to try to get the volume they need. In many cases however, a poor latch will tend to reduce a milk supply over time.
Here Are Some Tips To Help You Win The Challenge:
Always seek the help of a breastfeeding specialist if you suspect oversupply.
1.Only allow your baby to breastfeed on one side for each feeding.
2.Continue to offer that same breast for at least two hours until the next full feeding, gradually increasing the length of time per feeding. Should the undrained breast feel uncomfortably full before the next feed, expressing just enough milk to stay comfortable will prevent engorgement.
3.If the other breast feels unbearably full before you are ready to breastfeed on it, hand express for a few moments to relieve some of the pressure. You can also use a cold compress or washcloth to reduce discomfort and swelling.
4.Feed your baby before he or she becomes overly hungry to prevent aggressive sucking. Learn your baby’s hunger cues.
5.Burp your baby often if he or she is gassy so there is more room in baby’s tummy for milk. Burping gets rid of air that may be trapped in your baby’s stomach. This could cause pain and lots of baby crying and sleepless nights for you both.
Burping your should be a normal routine!
6.Avoid over pumping- pump only what your baby needs with each feed. Try baby led feeding. Let your baby tell you when she is hungry.(affiliate link)
7.Perform a short breast massage before the breastfeed, or breast compressions during breastfeeding, can help to release more fat-rich milk (hindmilk or cream) and increase the calorie content of breast milk. Its the fat in the milk that keeps baby satisfied.(Affiliate link)
9.Drinking sage tea, drinking peppermint tea and parsley are thought to reduce milk production. Make sure you get your doctors ok😃
10. See a pediatrician to determine if your baby has any underlying issues like tie tongue, or medical problems that is causing over supply.
I really hope that you are breastfeeding successfully. That is my wish for you. If you have any comments or questions I would be happy to reply. Feel free to use the box below. Thanks for stopping by and do come again. I have provided some affiliate links with wonderful recommendations to promote your experience with your breastfeeding issues.
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