There are new mothers who struggle with a low supply of breastmilk and look for ways to increase it. For them, having an abundance of it would be like a blessing. However, having “too much” milk is also as frustrating and stressful. It is said that if the breastmilk is expressed early on (ideally soon after birth), it can help build a robust supply of milk. Soon after a new mom’s breastmilk comes into the picture, its supply is determined by the amount of milk expressed. So, if she removes more milk initially, the supply is more throughout, and vice versa (1).
Within a month or so, a mother’s milk adapts to the needs of the baby. But, this is not the same for mothers who produce an overabundance of breastmilk. Typically, a woman who produces more milk will continue to do so, irrespective of how much the baby needs. That is why such mothers generally produce more milk than the baby tends to drink. Here are some signs that indicate an overabundance of breastmilk:
- The breasts may fill more rapidly
- Recurring blocked ducts
- The let-down reflex may be faster
- The baby seems to produce more gas
- The little one may gain more weight
- The baby might produce copious amounts of poop
- The newborn may spit up more often
Suppose you feel that you have an oversupply of milk, there is no need to fret. We, at MomJunction, are here for you. Here, we bring you some tips to manage this breastmilk overabundance:
1. Optimize The Positioning And Latching
Here, it is all about hit and trial. You need to try a few breastfeeding positions till you figure out what works the best for both of you. Many new mommies with “too much” milk have found that sitting in a more upright position while breastfeeding helps. You may want to consider the “koala hold” position. In this pose, your little one sits upright, facing towards you, and straddling your knees. Even the laid back breastfeeding pose may work. These positions might help the little one cope with a faster let-down reflex that comes along with an overabundance of breastmilk.
2. Block Feeding May Work
Block feeding may help slow down the production of breastmilk in case of oversupply (2). In block feeding, you nurse your little angel from only one breast in a single session. So, you essentially have to feed your baby from one side during one block of time. You determine the block of time on the basis of your degree of overabundance. While only three hours would be sufficient for a few mothers, others may need six hours or even more.
3. Avoid Unnecessary Stimulation Of Breast
Any stimulation of breast that is not needed will have an opposite effect. It may only increase your supply of breastmilk even further. So, please try to avoid unnecessary massaging or pumping of breasts.
4. Herbs And Medications, If Needed
Suppose the oversupply is serious and severe, it is worth having a consultation with a medical professional. You can have a discussion with him/her regarding the ongoing issue since he/she will be able to guide you about the correct medicine and dosage. Some herbs such as oregano, sage, or peppermint are also known to be helpful. However, keep your doctor informed about the same as some herbs may have side effects.
5. Just Some More Time
As time passes and your angel grows up, you will notice that the problem will naturally go away or at least reduce. These little ones get more efficient when it comes to breastfeeding. They become better at handling the supply and flow.
And till the time comes when it gets better, you can keep doing your thing. Just enjoy this amazing phase of motherhood. Good luck!