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I'm producing too much milk. What can I do?

Whereas some women may feel like they don't have enough milk, others may feel like they're making too much. Some mothers' bodies just produce more milk than their babies need. Others overstimulate their breasts by pumping or expressing milk between feedings. If expressing or pumping to relieve discomfort, remove just enough to feel comfortable but don't empty the breast.

Alternate the breast that you start each feeding with. Let the baby stay at the first breast until either the breast is very soft or the baby is full. If the baby is not satisfied with the first breast, then offer the second breast.

A mom may try nursing on one breast only during a feeding to help to lessen her milk supply. Over time, you should notice your milk supply and "let-down" (the milk ejection reflex) become easier to handle.

Sometimes a woman's let-down is really strong and causes the baby to gag and pull off of the breast. If your baby is staying on the breast and handling the flow of milk, you don't need to do anything. If the baby is pulling off and coughing, then you can sit your baby up in a seated burp position. Pat your baby's back to help him or her regain composure. You can use a burp cloth pressed into the breast to help slow the flow, then latch your baby back onto your breast when ready to resume feeding.

Nursing your baby in a more upright position (head above the breast) also may decrease the force of the let-down. A side lying position also might help slow the flow of milk.

My baby favors just one breast. Is this OK?

Some babies might prefer one breast over the other. If this happens, to keep up your milk supply in both breasts (and prevent painful engorgement), alternate breasts and keep your baby on the first breast until it's soft, then move your baby to the second breast. This ensures that your little one gets the hindmilk, which is creamier and contains more calories than the foremilk, which comes at the beginning of a feeding.

Some babies will always take the second breast and some will be satisfied with just the first breast. At the end of the feeding, if both breasts are comfortable, you don't need to pump. But if either breast is still full and uncomfortable, pump or hand express to comfort.

Of course, if your baby won't latch onto one of your breasts, pump or hand express that breast to maintain its milk supply until your little one is latching onto both breasts easily.

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