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