How to Handle an Oversupply of Breast Milk

Learn what to do about an oversupply of milk from lactation consultant Melissa K. Nagin in this Howcast video.

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Breastfeeding is wonderful for both you and your baby, but it can be intimidating for new moms. That's why we asked breastfeeding expert Melissa Kotlen Nagin to show you the ropes and answer all your breastfeeding questions. Check out what she has to say and pick up some great breastfeeding tips in these Howcast videos.

 
 

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With an oversupply, we want to be able to drop back the amount. The grass is always greener, the moms with the low milk supply always want the oversupply, moms with the oversupply is always want a low milk supply. In cases like this, you might find that the baby, when the baby nurses, sort of gasps and sputters within the first five minutes of the feeding when you have your milk ejection reflex, which is also called a letdown, and it's like the floodgates just being opened all of a sudden. The baby's nursing, all of a sudden this rush of milk comes at them, and they might choke, they might sputter. You pick them up, they're breathing fine, we put them back on. In cases like that, one way to avoid that is by leaning back and not having gravity work with you, but against you. And so leaning back with the baby can really help that. In addition to taking a little bit of that fore milk, which is so heavy in the very beginning, and really what's causing the baby to gasp like that, when those floodgates open. In order to avoid that, is taking off by hand expression, or even pumping three minutes or so before the feeding, will take off that adage, and then the feeding should run a lot smoother. If your oversupply is simply uncomfortable for you, we can try to drop it back a little bit by some of the same techniques that we would use for weaning, which are starting to take a little bit, you can drink maybe a little bit of sage tea, and maybe use a little bit of Cabo cream, which is a cream that you can buy to apply to the breast as well, but I want you to be very very careful in using that, because if you start to do too much, your body really might start to wean. So if your body's uncomfortable, and we really feel that you cannot keep up with, the baby cannot keep up with you at all, and that you're just constantly pouring out, you can always try some of the same methods as weaning, which are drinking some sage tea, or trying the Cabo cream, but we don't want to diminish your supply completely. So we just have to be very careful with that.

Expert

  • Melissa K. Nagin

    Melissa Kotlen Nagin is an international board-certified lactation consultant and registered lactation consultant (RLC) but, more importantly, the proud mom of three beautiful children. Over the last eleven years, Melissa has assisted hundreds of women on breastfeeding issues in private, classroom, mother's group, volunteer, and hospital settings. Prior to entering private practice, Melissa completed her training and clinical work at The Mount Sinai Hospital. She was an expert reviewer for The Essential Breastfeeding Log and her breastfeeding expertise has been featured on CBS News and in American Baby, Parents and Parenting magazines to name a few. Melissa has a B.A. in French and English from Skidmore College.