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Overabundant milk supply - anyone experienced this? Could it be our problem?

(20 Posts)
aamia Fri 21-Sep-12 13:24:35

Saw an article on this while looking for something else, and it seems to fit the symptoms dead on. I have very engorged breasts that leak when he feeds and randomly if it's been a while since a feed. He often gulps/hiccups/coughs initially, feeds for a short time before being sated and sleepy, and is having real trouble with gas and frequent bowel movements. His latch has been checked and is good. If given a bottle, there are no problems at all - happy, content baby. To express, I hardly have to press at all, it pretty much just leaks out in huge drops. There is quite a bit of the watery foremilk first though, and the milk has a yellowy colour. Have been trying to get hold of a midwife/someone to talk to, but no luck so asking on here to see if anyone has experience. I already do only one breast per feed. Thinking of trying expressing a little before he feeds, would that help?

Iggly Fri 21-Sep-12 14:30:52

Yes I have!

Expressing is a no no really as will create a vicious cycle as your boobs make more then you'll need to express more.

Your supply might settle down by 6-12 weeks. Mine didn't so I found feeding off one boob only helped. I think it's worth trying. Also:

- feed with baby in an upright position. Well make sure their head is higher than their bum while keeping their spine straight etc.
- take baby off just after letdown and catch the excess milk in a muslin. Once the flow calms, pop baby back on. It can take a while to master though.
- feed so you're more reclined and baby is on top of the boob so milk has to go uphill. At night I would feed lying down.
- make sure baby is thoroughly winded after a feed. I used to lie dd on her left hand side across my lap (so facing me, her head on my right leg) and gentle stroke her side towards her head. This used to get wind up, as did carrying her upright and rubbing/patting her back gently.

aamia Fri 21-Sep-12 15:24:08

Thanks Iggly! I phoned one of the bf helpline thingies and she said similar to you about the taking baby off after letdown but said you can also express a little of the foremilk first for a minute or two then pop them on (so sort of similar I guess). I pretty much leak milk atm so letdown not an issue! I tried the expressing thing and there was no hiccuping while feeding; he's now sleeping soundly with no wind issues at all. I guess long term we either crack this or he gets formula. It's not fair on a tiny baby to leave them wailing in pain just because 'breast is best' - I'd rather he was happy.

So - for the moment am gonna try feeding lying down more so he's above me, getting rid of some of the foremilk before he feeds (although how would you know how much is what I'm wondering), and seeing what happens. Also things seem worse if I go too long without feeding.

Zimbah Fri 21-Sep-12 21:59:34

I had oversupply with DD and it was difficult, I had to do most feeds lying down for several months. I started block feeding as well, which is where you feed on one side only for a certain amount of time - start with e.g. 2 hours of only feeding on the left side, then switch to the right side for subsequent feeds, then back again. You can do this up to around 4 hours. There's lots of good info about oversupply and block feeding here kellymom

amillionyears Fri 21-Sep-12 22:03:35

I regularly got mastitis beacuse of this.
Nothing much could be done for me if I remember correctly.

schmee Fri 21-Sep-12 22:06:14

I would be careful about feeding with the baby on top of you as the weight of the baby can block ducts and lead to mastitis. Just make sure there isn't any weight pressing on your boob.

Victoria2002 Sat 22-Sep-12 00:05:19

Iggly did it ever settle? My baby is 8 weeks now. He feeds every 3hours ish but for about 10mins max! (Total) he's gained weight well by the way. Am suffering with this same as OP I think I also have over active let-down (milk spraying and making my baby gulp and squirm.) Does anyone know if one causes the other? Or is it a separate issue? I am block feeding and letting the foremilk spray on a muslin etc but am STRUGGLING! I wanted to be able to feed at playgroup/Starbucks etc but lying down is by far the best and all the spraying foremilk is not something I feel too comfy with in public. I too feel it's a battle and my baby is crying during feeds and windy and does 10 poos a day! (I'm tempted to express and bottle feed, but don't wanna give up yet). I do have a couple of tips: Johnson breast pads and medela silicon cups. The cups collect any leakage from the other boob, if like mine it leaks while you feed or express. I also express a bottle for the evening feed as it's a tricky time of day and ds would end up screaming.

thezoobmeister Sat 22-Sep-12 00:18:35

Yes I have been suffering from same issues with DD2 (7 weeks). Block feeding has worked really well for us - in longer blocks of 6 hours.

Also its best to feed little and often - not leaving hours between feeds. Reason being that long gaps make for feeds with higher proportion of lactose, which is what causes the wind/discomfort for baby (including green explosive poos if you're seeing any if those).

JollyToddler Sat 22-Sep-12 00:27:04

My oversupply issues didn't settle completely until 6 months, I'm afraid, but I think this is pretty unsual. I could leak more than 6ozs from my non-feeding boob during a feed.

Look at for info on how to deal with oversupply.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 22-Sep-12 07:59:48

Oversupply often goes hand-in-hand with a forceful letdown.

And block feeding can help with both - I think has a good section on it.

aamia Sat 22-Sep-12 13:27:36

It's working smile. I'm hand expressing just until the flow slows, then popping him on so his head is higher than my breast. Seems to have solved the problem so far and I can see his point - it comes out SO fast to start with! Desperately hoping the improvement continues!

Iggly Sat 22-Sep-12 13:55:11

Yes it settled down but with ds I could only feed from one boob and use the same boob twice in a row! With DD, my second it was even worse and I ended up only feeding her from one boob. Other boob is now redundant grin. Even now at 9 months my letdown is mad but she can cope as she's bigger.

Yes little and often was much better for feeding, much better.

Iggly Sat 22-Sep-12 13:56:12

That didn't make sense. With ds I swapped boobs every other feed, so one boob for two feeds then other boob for next two. With DD it is only ever one boob.

Victoria2002 Sat 22-Sep-12 17:16:30

Jollytoddler well done you for persisting. 6OZ!?

JollyToddler Sat 22-Sep-12 20:26:17

It was ridiculous. The HV was impressed I'd expressed that much. When I told her it had just leaked out her face was a picture. I lost the baby weight without effort though because my body went mad producing milk!

Still feeding at 17mo though and supply is spot on now, thank goodness.

notjustamummythankyou Sun 23-Sep-12 11:05:28

Yes, I had similar over supply issues too, and agree with all the advice here.

By the time dd was 12 weeks old, the vomiting and hiccups when the milk hit the back of her throat had stopped. She's now 7 months old and copes very well with the 'soda siphon' at the start of the feed, although I do think I've slowed down a bit too.

Keep going - it does get better!

fapl Sun 23-Sep-12 20:44:37

I also had oversupply. Tongue tie (posterior) was diagnosed. Lactation consultant said she does often see over supply, possible over stimulation from the bad latch. Just another avenue to possibly consider and rule out.

poppy283 Sun 23-Sep-12 21:03:37

Lansinoh breast pads are the best imho, anything else doesn't last 5 minutes!

MrsMeeple Sun 23-Sep-12 21:18:55

I had oversupply problem and v painful letdown. I did block feeding a la Kellymom, and it really helped.

Just want to say that I've heard the opposite to thezoobmeiater. Too many short feeds can lead to problems with too much lactose. My sister had this with her DC2 who had a very poor latch. Better to try and make sure they do get into the hind milk, not just the watery foremilk. So if this is an issue for anyone, they should check this further.

thezoobmeister Wed 26-Sep-12 10:08:42

Oh sorry, to clarify Mrs Meeple is right short feeds swapping boobs each time could mean higher lactose feeds. But I meant frequent feeds on one boob = more fat rich feeds.

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