Signs of Oversupply - Mom
The following are signs of oversupply in the mom:
- Leaking a lot of milk
- Breast pain from feeling overly full
- Nipple pain usually from infant biting, chewing or clenching down to slow a very fast let down
- Recurring plugged ducts or mastitis
Signs of Oversupply - Infant
The following are signs of oversupply in the infant:
- Gulping, coughing, choking or sputtering during feedings
- Frequently detaching from the breast during feedings
- Fussiness between feedings and/or cuing to feed all the time (even after drinking plenty of milk)
- Frequently spitting up
- Passing lots of gas
- Explosive, green, frothy or watery stools; maybe even mucus or blood in the stool
- Overly fast weight gain
- May be diagnosed with “reflux”, “colic”, “lactose intolerance”, or even “failure to thrive”
Since most mothers and infants have symptoms, treatment is often a two-step process.
- Feedings at the breast must be more comfortable for mother and infant.
- A small decrease in milk production will make feedings more enjoyable for mother and infant.
Suggestions for making a little less milk
The following are suggestions on how to make less milk:
- Use only one side for a three hour block of time, returning to the same breast if your infant cues to feed again in that time frame. Express a minimum amount from the other breast only as needed for comfort, until the next three hour block.
- Gradually increase the time blocks up to 12 hours per breast, as needed.
- There are medications and herbs that can be used if these strategies do not work for you. Call your lactation consultant or The Center for Breastfeeding Medicine at 513-636-2326 for guidance.
Stop these strategies as you decrease your milk supply and feeds become more comfortable.
Suggestions for managing feedings with a very fast milk flow
Here are suggestions for managing feedings with a very fast milk flow:
- Try feeding when your infant is drowsy
- Offer the breast before it gets overly full
- If your breast is overfull, hand express or pump just the initial fast flow of milk and then latch your infant
- Try feeding positions that use gravity to slow the flow of milk, such as a laid back nursing position
- Burp frequently and give your infant breaks to pace him/herself
- Firmly press the pinky side of your hand into your breast (like a karate chop) during the initial fast let down to slow the flow of milk. As your infants sucking slows down, release your hand to allow milk flow.