What is Milk Oversupply?
It is common for a new mother to produce more milk than their baby needs. Most mothers consider this to be a good problem. In reality, however, this can have far reaching effects to both the mother and child.
How Does Milk Oversupply Affect a Baby?
Some of the effects of consuming too much milk include the following:-
- Adding weight too quickly
- Choking during feeds
- Improper latching
- Short feeds
- Bringing up a lot of milk when burping
- Diarrhea and nappy rash
- Excessive urine
- Colicky Behavior
Effects of Milk Oversupply on The Mother
If the mother is producing too much milk, the following might unsettle her.
- Leaking a lot of milk in public
- Explosive milk ejection reflex where milk actually sprays out. This can be a concern when feeding in public
- You could develop Mastitis
- Weaning early if it goes undiagnosed.
Parents who have encountered oversupply are usually aware of the symptoms. New mothers, however, need guidance on what to look out for and how to handle it. A diagnosis can be made by a lactation consultant if the following symptoms are present:
- Engorgement of the nipple.
- Sore nipples
- Very full and hard breast
- Spraying of milk when your baby comes off the breast
- Your baby may have green foamy explosive poop
- Feeding time is a battle with baby refusing to suckle
It’s important to note that a tongue tie in your baby may lead you to assume the problem is over supply. Read more on tongue tie here and how to know if your child is affected by it.
How Can Oversupply Be Treated?
In time, your milk supply may regulate or reduce due to various factors. In the meantime, consider doing the following:.
Block feeding is the restriction of a baby to one breast for a duration of time. This is done in blocks of 3 hours or more. Block feeding reduces milk supply by letting the brain think that the breast are full thus slowing down on milk production.
How to Practice Block Feeding
- Choose a time frame.
- Feed your baby from one breast for 3 -4hrs
- Change to the other breast for the same duration
- Practice this for several days.
Many mothers resolve to pumping, stocking up and freezing the excess milk. The only challenge this might bring is that it your brain will assume that it is your baby who needs this much milk and thereby keeping milk supply on a high.
Please note that development differs from one child to another.
Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019