Oversupply and Breastfeeding
You may be thinking to yourself that oversupply is a blessing and wonder why am I even including this as part of my series. However this is simply not the case. There are many problems that may arise from oversupply and this post is to help those women who may be suffering from this breastfeeding problem.
I dealt with oversupply with my little one and it caused tremendous havoc on our nursing experience. We were faced with a forceful letdown, acid reflux and a very unhappy baby that hated breastfeeding. There was nothing more heartbreaking than watching my baby scream, choke, and pull away from the breast. It was far from my dreams of a connection and peaceful bond that I had imagined.
Once I found some solutions, our entire experience evolved into what I had always dreamed it would be. We are still nursing today and I am so thankful for this information that I am about to share with you.
Causes of Oversupply:
Oversupply can occur early on before your milk has had a chance to regulate. As breastfeeding is all about supply and demand if you are pumping excessively you may produce too much milk. Most lactation consultants advise you to wait until your baby is around three to four weeks old if possible before starting to pump. This will allow your milk to regulate as your baby will tell your body how much milk to make and will help to prevent oversupply.
A forceful letdown goes hand in hand with oversupply. My little one would nurse until my letdown, then pull off and scream. In the process milk would end up everywhere, and I began to feel inadequate. I was starting to question why was my baby not wanting my milk? Was there was something wrong with me? I didn’t realize that it had nothing to do with the quality of my milk, but instead the quantity.
How to Slow a Forceful Letdown Due to Oversupply:
Here are some of the best solutions to this problem. These have made a tremendous impact on me and my babies nursing journey.
Start by pumping first, once letdown has been achieved put baby on the breast. You can let the baby nurse, then once letdown has occurred, pull baby off to catch it in a burp cloth or towel, then place baby back to the breast. My favorite and the one tip that was a complete game changer for me and my baby is laid back nursing. When you are laying down and tummy to tummy your baby can better control the flow of milk, and they are able to nurse at their pace. Putting these simple tools into place is what changed our breastfeeding relationship and finally got me into a good headspace.
Supply and Demand:
If you have an oversupply of milk you want to be sure to not express more than you need to. If you need relief apply the pump only long enough to give your body some relief.
You can also attempt block feeding to reduce your total milk supply. This is a process where you feed your baby from one breast only for multiple feedings. This will cause the other breast to fill up with milk but in turn will slow the entire production of milk over a day or so.
Green Foamy Stools:
One common complaint of women with excess breast milk is a baby with green foamy stools. This can be caused by foremilk and hindmilk imbalance. Please be sure to let you doctor know of any unusual stools, due to other potential issues like allergies etc. If you have determined their is a imbalance of foremilk vs hindmilk you need to monitor the ratio carefully. The foremilk is the milk at the beginning of the feed and the hindmilk is what is found at the end of the feeding, it contains a higher ratio of fat. If your baby is having a hard time achieving this balance be sure to pump beforehand so you can give your baby more of the fatty milk found in the hindmilk.
Supplements for Reducing Oversupply:
Sage and peppermint oil and spices can be helpful to decrease your milk supply. This can be used in tea, as an essential oil and as added spices during cooking. Be sure to remove oil from the breast before feeding.
As my little one got older my milk supply regulated and she was able to better control the flow. The Laid back nursing position made the most difference for me and my daughter. Our nursing relationship became one that I’ve cherished. I found that I was still producing more milk than she needed so I looked into donation. I highly recommend this as it’s an excellent way to help another in need. I look forward to the day that I can tell my daughter the impact she made in another babies life. I used Mother’s Milk Bank of Austin for my donations. They have several donation sites around the country and more than likely have a location near to you.
Whats Up Wednesday:
I hope yall’s week is going well. We finally broke down and bought my daughter an e- writing board from Amazon. She has been obsessed with coloring lately and I’m happy to report she loves it! The biggest bonus is I don’t have to worry about her changing the color of our furniture! You can check it out here if you are interested. I look forward to sharing with you an awesome recipe on Friday so stay tuned!
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