How To Manage A Breast Milk Oversupply…
Some moms who have dealt with having a low milk supply know how stressful and frustrating the feeding process can be. But, what they do not know is that dealing with an oversupply can be just as difficult and overwhelming. Oversupplies can make newborns miserable and uncomfortable during and after a feed. So let’s start by what is an oversupply? I have heard people explain an oversupply as a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance or that the supply and demand function between a new mom and baby is out of sync. Mothers with an oversupply continue to make more milk than the baby requires; this can be a natural occurrence. Usually by 4-6 weeks of age, a mothers milk supply tends to adjust to her newborns needs and requirements because surges in your prolactin hormones will gradually decrease.
A few of the signs of symptoms you may possibly be experiencing an oversupply are your baby is gulping, coughing, choking or sputtering while at the breast feeding. You may notice your baby may clamp down at the nipple to try and stop or slow down the rapid flow of milk, causing sore, cracked or creased nipples. Some babies will also detach and pull away from the breast frequently during the feeding session or have gassiness and colicky symptoms after. Occasionally, a newborn may start to reject the breast out of frustration. Mothers may have frequent bouts of clogged milk ducts or mastitis from an oversupply.
So how do we manage an oversupply, first we establish a feeding pattern that allows a baby to control the volume. During a feeding session we offer one breast as the meal allowing it to be untimed, the second breast is dessert and we let the baby choose when they are done. Babies may choose to feed on only one breast at a time, mothers must remember to pump for comfort and to prevent clogged milk ducts on the other breast. Adjusting a feeding position such as lying down during a feed, can help prevent babies from drowning in milk by easing the extra force from gravity and offering a more comfortable, less overwhelming experience. Some mothers have also reported a laid back position has been successful for more sufficient feeds. Consult with your primary care provider before trying any herbs such as sage, or peppermint teas and oils, and over the counter medications like pseudoephedrine to try and decrease your milk supply.
If you believe you may be experiencing breast milk oversupply, then I would suggest scheduling an appointment with us at Feedwell so we can offer guidance and support.