I think I get as many questions about oversupply as I do about low supply. Of course, having too much milk probably sounds like a good problem to have, huh? Think again. Ask any mother who has struggled with oversupply and she will tell you that it is not a good problem to have.
Sometimes I think that mothers are obsessed with having too much milk. I once had a mother contact me because she was concerned about supply being too low – she was “only” pumping 4-6 ounces at a time when at work. Needless to say she was very happy when I told her that she has a fantastic supply and it is not low by any definition. Most babies do not eat 6 ounces when they feed at the breast, so why should you need to pump that much? You should have what the baby needs, too much can and will cause problems.
Some women just make a lot of milk. Other women, for whatever reason, may start pumping too soon and encourage more milk than the baby needs. Regardless of how your supply becomes so abundant, you may need to slow it down or risk plugged ducts, mastitis and a baby who may struggle with too much milk at feeds.
There are ways to slow down supply, but the easiest thing is to not encourage too much from the start. Easy to say, right? Sometimes you have to pump in the beginning – maybe baby doesn’t latch well or is separated from you. In this situation pumping is a must. Unfortunately this can alter what your body would normally produce for the baby and before you know it, you are full and uncomfortable and your baby is choking and pulling off the breast whenever the milk lets down.
Sound familiar? Check out this week’s podcast and learn more about oversupply and some tips on how to manage it. You will also learn about some consequences of oversupply that may have been mistaken for something else. Don’t miss it!