Breast milk supply-Do you make too much milk?

28 May
My Mommy's Milk

Image by hoi polloi via Flickr

We talked a lot about low breast milk supply but what about those moms who have an oversupply of breast milk. I had so much milk that there were times that I thought about  donating milk to a milk bank for less fortunate babies. My daughters would choke at every feeding and come up gasping for air.  Now my toddler when she nurses her dolls she says “mommy my baby choking on my milk” and does the back blows because that’s what I would do with her sister.

How do you know if you have too much milk?

  • Your baby chokes a lot while drinking especially during a let-down and will let go of the breast.
  • Spit up a lot of milk
  • May cry a lot because because he/she cannot settle down to nurse and as a result  gets hungry
  • Nurses on and off during a feeding session so as to be able to the handle the strong milk flow

How to handle too much milk?

  • Offer one breast per feeding. Some moms do the same breast for 2 feedings before offering the other side. The other breast will get full which will signal to the brain to make less milk since the milk is not being removed.
  • Do not let the breast get too engorged as the baby will have a hard time getting a proper latch and will have too much milk which will of course lead to choking.
  • If you have to pump, pump when the baby would normally feed.
  • Change your nursing position.  Try a more semi-upright position with the baby’s head  position higher than the breast. I would use a recliner and put the baby upright on me to nurse. I also found nursing while laying down helped as she would allow some of the milk to leak out on the side.
  • Some herbs like peppermint and parsley are known to slow milk production. Sage is also good but should not be consumed in large doses or for long periods of time.
  • Stay away from milk producing herbs like fennel, alfalfa, fenugreek, blessed thistle, nettle etc

As the baby gets older, they also learn to deal with the supply issue and the milk seem to have a way of regulating itself too as the months go by.

Based on several mom suggestion I am updating this post to include donating your milk. A few places to start

Please share any other links you might know of

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3 Responses to “Breast milk supply-Do you make too much milk?”

  1. perfectingmotherhood June 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

    And if you produce too much milk, you can pump it and share it with other babies than yours. I did that after both of my pregnancies to help out other moms who had production problems, and it’s a great feeling.
    http://perfectingmotherhood.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/10-things-people-dont-tell-you-about-breastfeeding/

    • naturalpureessentials June 1, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

      That was awesome that you did that!!. I wish more people were open to using donated milk before reaching for formula. None of the moms I knew breastfed so I got milking mamas information to donate milk but decided not to because I was going back to work. I worked in a rather stressful place and I did not think I would be able to keep up with the quota. Your post made my day!!!

  2. Jill June 15, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    I had too much milk. I donated to the Ohio Milk Bank. I produced 10oz per feeding from my right breast and 8oz from the other…every single feeding. My babies of course could not eat this much, so I had a freezer full! I decided to give it to others that needed it as well!

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