Considering the major problem of weaning is that mothers do not produce enough milk, having too much milk is also difficult for mothers. Termed as hyper-lactation, it is a condition when your breasts are producing more milk than your baby requires. The milk comes out forcibly, leaking a lot, and thus makes it difficult for the baby and she cannot feed properly. Sometimes milk might leak from the breasts too. Lactation is important as it strengthen the love bonds between mother and the newborn. Sometimes overproduction of milk becomes a troubling problem.’ However, having too much milk is pretty easy to resolve, and you need not worry about it.
Excessive milk production displays following signs for the mother as well as the baby:
Your breasts will feel very full, and you may develop plugged ducts or mastitis.
Here are some of the common symptoms seen in the first week after birth of the baby.
Milk is produced from the alveoli or milk producing glands found in mother’s breasts. On an average there are around 100,000 to 300,000 alveoli in one breast, some women tend to be in the higher end range and thus produce more milk. At other times, some mothers pump milk more than required, sending the body the sign that they need more milk. This also causes oversupply of milk. Hormonal imbalances, medications and pituitary tumors can also be responsible for excessive milk production from the breasts.
If one of your breasts is producing excess milk, it is better to nurse your baby more frequently from that particular side. Feed him as many times he wishes because some babies are unable to fill their stomach fully in one feed.
There are few nursing or breastfeeding positions which might help your baby in dealing with the excessive milk flow.
Ask you pediatrician to tell you how to use the nipple shield while nursing the baby. Nipple shield is also very helpful to the baby in coping with milk flow.
Spitting up in babies caused by oversupply is often confused with reflux or gastroesophageal reflux. Reflux is a result of wrong timing of the opening of muscles present at the stomach opening (orifice). In this case it is the letdown that is more powerful than your baby can handle, making her pull away or spit after a few minutes of nursing.
Do not pump or express milk unless you do not have a choice other than this. Expressing milk might provide transient relief but sends signals to your pituitary that the breasts are empty. The body immediately produces more milk and breast become full soon. But if you are pumping milk, start by expressing milk from both breasts till they are just about drained. Then nurse your baby only on one breast for a couple of feeds, the same time. Just relieve the pressure off the other breast by pumping a little milk. This will let your body know that it needs to produce less milk. This technique might show some results in 24-48 hours.
Oversupply of milk does not predispose any adverse effect for the baby. It in fact is an indication that your body is providing more food to your little one for surviving, however, the babies of moms who are producing more milk usually get more fore-milk than hind milk. As such they miss out on the fat, creamier and tastier hind-milk, which helps them put on weight. Babies either become full with the fast flow of fore-milk, or are unable to feed and remain hungry. Sometimes the forceful letdown makes a baby choke and he may gag.’The baby can have colicky and gassy symptoms, and can also pass out green stools. Her weight gain may also be affected.
Oversupply of breast milk can be resolved by adopting proper positions and guidance. If you like, you can take the help of a lactation expert as well. You must not stop nursing at all, but should keep a watch for any signs of mastitis and sore nipples, which are likely as your baby It is good to take advice from the pediatrician on how to feed the baby.