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What To Do With An Overactive Letdown And Oversupply

“At least you have enough milk for you baby, many women don’t produce enough milk for their baby so you should be grateful!”

Have you ever been told this? Don’t let others dictate your nursing experience. Having an oversupply can be uncomfortable for you and difficult for your baby to manage. Don’t let this misconception of being “lucky” to have an oversupply keep you from finding strategies to lower your milk supply.

We hear so much about how to increase supply and make your sure baby is getting enough. But the other side of the spectrum—an oversupply—is hardly ever discussed. So, let’s discuss it!

Today I’m going to be talking about what to do with an overactive letdown and oversupply of breastmilk.

How can I know if I have an oversupply or overactive let down?

Does your baby pull back, clamp down, or bite and chew at the breast to attempt to slow your flow?

Does your baby continuously come on and off the breast during a feeding?

Is your baby gaining weight extremely fast?

Does your baby seem unsatisfied and fussy between feedings?

These are all signs of an oversupply and/or overactive let down. These are often mistaken for other concerns in a baby--such as colic, acid reflux, or even breast aversion.

How can I cope with an oversupply?

Here are some ways that you can cope with this problem and make breastfeeding more manageable:

1)     Try a feeding position that helps incorporate gravity. Gravity will be your best friend when it comes to coping with an oversupply. Try feeding in a laid-back position so that your flow slows down a bit and is more manageable for your baby.

2)     Offer the breast more often. Your milk ejection reflex is going to be the strongest when your breasts are extremely full. The more often you offer the breast, the less full your breasts are and the easier your flow is to manage.

3)     If you are already feeding around the clock and can’t add any more nursing sessions, try hand expressing a bit before the feeding.

4)     Introduce feedings when the baby is drowsy or sleepy. Babies simply eat better when they are tired, so use it to your advantage!

5)     Take frequent breaks to burp your baby during the breastfeeding session. Babies tend to swallow a lot of air with both oversupplies and overactive let downs.

What are some strategies for better regulating your milk supply?

Dealing with a fast flow or overactive let down can be difficult, but here are some solutions!

1)     Only offer one breast per feeding or for a 3-hour period. For three hours, every time your baby is hungry, offer the same breast. When that three hour block is finished, switch to the other breast.

2)     Full drainage and block feedings. Use an effective breast pump to fully drain your breasts in the morning when you get up. Then feed from one breast for 3 hours straight before you switch to the other. Baby still struggling to manage the flow? Slowly increase to 4, 6, 8, or 12 hour blocks until you are comfortable.

***Always make sure to hand express or pump if you are getting too engorged on the side you aren’t feeding from. No one wants clogged ducts!!!

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