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Too much breast milk

Some mothers do have too much milk. This can cause their breasts to feel engorged and uncomfortable, and to leak.

  • Babies sometimes have a problem coping with a very fast and forceful let-down reflex. They may have fussy behaviours or spill milk.
  • Babies may occasionally also have greenish and loose bowel motions due to lots of lower-fat milk filling them up before the higher-fat milk has a chance to fully come through.

The amount of breast milk needs to be reduced so a baby can have a comfortable breastfeed with a good amount of the high-fat hindmilk from later in the feed as well as the earlier foremilk.

Treatments for oversupply

If you have too much milk

  1. Express both breasts as fully as possible using a breast pump.
  2. Latch baby on the breast for a feed. They can be offered both breasts and will receive a lot of the fatty hindmilk.
  3. The next time baby wakes for a feed only offer one breast for the next three-hour-block period.
  4. The day is divided into three-hour blocks and you alternate which breast you offer in each block. Time blocks can increase as necessary.
  5. Good positioning and latching is important too.

Sometimes when the above treatment is used only one full drainage is necessary with a continued block of one breast feeding for around the three hour period.

If baby has trouble coping with a fast let-down

It can help to recline backwards while breastfeeding, with baby feeding on top. In this position, gravity reduces the milk-flow a little. This makes it easy for baby to keep up.

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