Breastfeeding

Dealing with Oversupply of Milk and Forceful Letdown

“You’re so lucky you have an oversupply of milk!”

Think:

-painful, throbbing, and breasts ALL THE TIME

-blocked ducts, mastitis, and sore nipples

-fussy and gassy baby

-baby gags, chokes, and coughs while feeding

-baby refuses to nurse

-baby pulls off the breast often

-baby bites or clamps down on the nipple during letdown

-baby makes a clicking sound when nursing

Oversupply, along with forceful letdown, could affect your nursing relationship!

Moms who have an oversupply issue would possibly receive remarks such as “Uy swerte!”, “Paano mo ginawa?”, “Gusto ko rin mag-ka-oversupply ng milk!”.

Sure, masarap talagang makitang maraming gatas ang baby lalo na kapag nagpapalaki sila, which usually happens during the first few weeks of their lives. However, oversupply can cause issues both to you and your baby na pwede pang maka-affect sa inyong nursing relationship.

When your body produces milk, it usually produces enough lang para kay baby – ‘yung kaya lang ni baby. After all, breastmilk production is a matter of supply and demand – so what your baby needs, your body produces. However, there are some moms na marami nang milk sa umpisa pa lang and some, possibly triggered ang oversupply (i.e. pumping before milk supply is established).

The result is painful, throbbing, and full breasts ALL THE TIME for mommy.

And since oversupply is usually accompanied by forceful letdown, magkakaroon din ng issues si baby:

✅Kabagin si baby dahil sa sobrang dami ng gatas, nakakalunok si baby ng maraming hangin. The result: Iyakin si baby at mahirap mapatahan sa gabi.

✅ Palaging nabubulunan, umuubo, at sumusuka si baby habang nag bbreastfeed. Sa sobrang lakas ng force ng paglabas ng gatas, maaaring hindi ito kayanin ni baby lalo na’t hindi pa siya sanay. Just imagine, para kang umiinom from a hose na sobrang lakas ng buhos ng tubig, mabubulunan ka rin diba? At kapag nabulunan ka, tendency is masakit sa lalamunan at naisusuka mo lahat.

✅ Dahil nahihirapan si baby na dumede o kaya naman ay na-associate na ni baby ang pagdede sa discomfort na kanyang nararamdaman everytime siya ay magdede, maaaring ayawan na niya ito sa susunod na siya ay magdedede. Remember, most of the time, babies refuse to nurse because they cannot nurse not only because they don’t want to. Baka naman dahil sobrang dami ng gatas mo ay matigas na ang boobs mo. If that is the case, then posible nga talagang ayawan ka ni baby dahil imagine, para siyang dedede sa matigas na kahoy. Gugustuhin mo rin bang sa kahoy din kumain? Mas malambot ang boobs, much better and comfortable for baby.

✅ Madalas din tinatanggal ni baby ang pagkaka-latch niya sa nipple dahil sa malakas ang flow.

✅ Masakit ito para sa mommy dahil may chance na kagatin ni baby ang nipple para mapabagal ang flow ng gatas (yes! Ganon ka-talino ang mga babies!). The result is painful and sore nipples for mommy and pwedeng maging reason ng pagtigil ng breastfeeding.

You can deal with oversupply in 2 ways:

1️⃣By helping baby be comfortable with the forceful flow of milk through a number of ways:

❤️Changing position. You can do laid back nursing. The idea is that you work against gravity para hindi mas mabagal ang labas ng milk. You lay on a slightly reclining position and you have you baby on top of you tapos you feed like that. Trust me, it’s relaxing plus if you do it na nakahubad si baby and you, mas okay because of the skin-to-skin contact.

❤️Expressing a little bit of milk first until letdown or until flow of milk slows down. Make sure that you have a piece of cloth, lampin, bimpo, or a glass that you can use to catch milk with. This is ideal especially if patient si baby and if the oversupply is not that severe. However for us, umiiyak na nang sobra si baby pero hindi pa rin bumabagal yung flow of milk ko because masyado akong maraming gatas. Still it helped a lot na mabawasan ang pagduduwal ni baby.

❤️ Nursing when baby is more relaxed or sleepy. By doing so, baby sucks gently compared to when baby is super hungry na in which baby sucks aggressively thereby inducing forceful let down.

❤️ Burping baby after feeding prevents gas in babies.

❤️ Watching baby for nursing cues. It’s super important that you know when baby is feeling hungry at the earliest time. This is because at this time, baby is more relaxed and feeds gently. If you wait until baby is fussy or is crying inconsolably before offering the breast, then baby will suck more aggressively or might not even feed at all. I remember I’d always miss my Zephy’s cues so we end up fighting each other especially at night. Ms. Anje, a friend and colleague, said she offers the boobies at the slightest movement of her then newborn, Kya. My problem is that, I am a heavy sleeper. Although I have improved since having a baby, Zephy still would wake up

before I would. So ending is, umiiyak na siya before pa lang ako gigising.

Again, mommies, remember to make sure to catch baby’s hunger cues. Abangan and tyagaan lang in the beginning but it will all be worth it in the end.

2️⃣ By reducing milk supply:

❤️ As much as possible, don’t attempt to reduce your supply in the first 4-6 weekswhen your baby is beefing up (nagpapalaki).

❤️ What worked for me was block feeding. I would feed on one side for a block of time (4-6 hour block) before switching to the other side. This works by fooling the other (unused) boob (at the time) that it doesn’t need to produce milk.

❤️ For example, I feed baby on my left breast at 9 o’clock. If after a feeding, she wants some more milk, I wouldn’t give her the other boobie but I will give the same boobie. I would do this until I feel my supply has reduced. Another indicator is when baby doesn’t spit up any more.

❤️ Cabbage for some reasons also reduces milk supply and helps manage engorgement. Nobody knows exactly why it helps but it is said that enzymes found in cabbage (especially when cold) relieves pain from engorgement and helps decrease supply. Be careful when using this in decreasing supply as this could dry you up completely. What I did was instead of placing the chilled cabbage leaves for 20 minutes in my bra, I only left it for under 20 minutes as I didn’t want to dry up.

Having adequate milk supply is perfect but if you have more than what baby needs, then it can be a little too uncomfy.

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