Recently I’ve been seen a couple of moms dealing with oversupply.
I know families out there dealing with low milk supply might say that it is a blessing, but believe it or not, oversupply can be as problematic as its opposite.
In my practice, I’ve seen that mothers dealing with oversupply are the ones who need the most support from all. They’re frequently desperate, and they feel exhausted and hopeless. They’re also more prone to suffer complications, and ultimately quit breastfeeding.
Babies dealing with mommy’s oversupply often bring up milk, are gassy, fussy at the breast, and frequently choke, especially if you have forceful let-downs. Sometimes these babies arched back when the milk starts flowing. In many cases, they look to nurse a lot (but at the same time, they’re gaining weight). Their poops often look greenish and frothy, instead of yellow mustard.
From mama’s side, it’s not pleasant either. Oversupply moms feel constantly full, even right after nursing. They may leak a lot, and suffer from sore nipples, plugged ducts, and mastitis.
As you may see, symptoms are diverse, and you and your baby may experience all or some of them. Also, some of these symptoms are common in other problems. So, before doing anything to fix it, be 100% sure that you’re dealing with oversupply.
Here’re some tips that may help you to cope with oversupply and forceful let-downs:
1. Nurse frequently to prevent engorgement.
2. Don’t wait until the baby is too hungry, as he might be frustrated and lack patience, which will make him hard to latch.
3. Breastfeed in a reclined position or side-lying, so the flow goes against gravity.
4. Drain well the breast before switching to the other side. This will increase fat intake and make your baby less gassy.
5. In some cases, blocked feeding may help.
This technique aims to decrease milk supply on each breast. It consists of spending first, two hours nursing from the same side, and only after that time, switching to the other side. Apply this for a few days, and if you don’t notice any change, increase the time spent on each side.
To relieve painful engorgement caused on the no nursing breast, pump or hand express to the point to alleviate discomfort but never to drain it completely.
1. Lots of massages will prevent plugged ducts.
2. You may hand express a few drops before nursing, to soften the area.
3. Pump only to relieve painful discomfort, but not to the point to drain your breasts. This aims to avoid overstimulating your breasts.
4. Clean cold cabbage leaves.
Apply them under your bra for 20 minutes a couple of times a day may relieve swollen. This remedy can be very powerful and effective in decreasing milk supply, so it must be applied with extreme caution and moderation. Please don’t keep them all day, start for 20 minutes a couple of times daily and wait a few days to watch the results, before increasing the applications.
The good news is that after the first weeks, with appropriate management, the body regulates the supply to meet only the baby’s demands.
I hope these tips help you, and if you know someone dealing with oversupply, please share; it can make a difference for her too.
Ps. The content of this post is mainly educational and does not substitute any professional advice. Each case should be managed with unique recommendations that address a particular situation.