10 Things I Wish I Knew About Oversupply Before I Had It

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Since I didn’t have any oversupply issues with my firstborn, I never sought out any information on the topic after I brought my second baby into the world. Then, all of a sudden, I was producing a significantly higher volume of breast milk. It would pour out of me at an alarming speed any time my son latched on. I was completely surprised, totally overwhelmed, and left wishing I had known more about oversupply before I was, well, swimming in it.

While other new moms I have met had no issue discussing bodily fluids as it pertains to their newborns, I came to realize that none of them mentioned what was coming out of their own bodies postpartum. I could expect to get an earful about the contents of my friend’s baby’s diaper, but I felt like the topic of oversupply was off the table. I never heard any new mom discuss having oversupply or undersupply or any issue with breast milk. So when I experienced an excess of breast milk, I felt like I couldn’t turn to anyone I knew for advice or support. I hunted around the internet, trolling the message boards of strangers to glean any information I could find. The experience was incredibly isolating.

So the main thing I wish I knew about oversupply was that I wasn’t alone. Here are some more things I wish I knew about it, too, especially before I had it:

Ad failed to load

It’s A Blessing…

Giphy

It was a relief knowing I was producing a sufficient supply of food for my infant. With so much milk coming out of my body, I never had to worry about my kid getting enough to eat.

… And A Curse

Except I did need to worry about my baby getting enough breast milk. While I was producing what seemed like a lot of breast milk, so much of it was squirting all over the place as I shielded my son’s face from the forceful spray. It killed me a little to see the milk that misses his mouth drop down the side of the nursing pillow, as I was unable to find a way to contain it and bank it in the freezer in those hectic moments of my powerful letdown.

It's Messy

Giphy

Streams of breast milk spraying across my living room, while a powerful image of nursing moms as the warriors we are, are still messes we need to deal with. Armed with diaper cloths, tissues, and towels, I'd try to barricade my chest to protest the rest of the apartment from the milk storm during my breastfeeding sessions. It was a lot of work, often to no avail.

Ad failed to load

It Will Make My Kid Choke

My breast milk would shoot out of me with the force of a jet stream, and my poor son would start to gag on the overabundance of liquid firing into his face. It was the most violent act of love I’ve ever, unwillingly, committed. I’d have to break his latch and get him out of harm’s way, until my stream slowed to a more manageable flow.

It Will Make Me Never Want To Go Out

Giphy

Because there was so much calculated choreography required to pull of a simple nursing session in the first few weeks of my son’s life, I was reluctant to breastfeed outside the comfort of my home. If I sprayed milk on my couch, I could deal with it. But having to worry about getting milk over other people’s furniture, or figuring out how to cover myself up while pulling him off me to avoid choking, would just take too much mental energy. The only place I remember feeding him outside our apartment when I was experiencing oversupply was the family room at Ikea, which had a door I could lock, a rocking chair, and no shortage of other stains dotting the upholstery. Gross, but at least I could blast milk from my body in private.

There May Be Nothing You Can Do About It…

To help deal with the oversupply issue, I called in the services of a lactation consultant. She advised the use of a nipple shield to help lessen the amount of milk shooting my son in the face when he nursed, but it never seemed to stay on right. In the end, it was just another thing to clean. After a few failed attempts at using it, I shoved it in a drawer, never to see the light of day again.

Ad failed to load

… Except Wait It Out

Giphy

The lactation consultant also told me that I could probably expect my body and my baby to get in synch in a few weeks, which would most likely result in a more manageable output of milk for my son to take in. Sure enough, at the six-week mark my oversupply subsided and my son could nurse without my breasts exploding over his head like milk geysers. I won’t deny it was rough until that point, so I was grateful when we both hit that milestone.

It Can Happen To Any Breastfeeding Mom

I honestly thought I was off the hook for any breastfeeding obstacles since I had nursed my first child without issue. Oversupply with my second baby proved me totally wrong.

It Will Make You Feel Like A Failure…

Giphy

On top of being exhausted, which exacerbated any negative thoughts I was having about my competencies as a parent, I was experiencing oversupply, which added to the stress of having a toddler and a newborn.

Ad failed to load

… But Also A Champ

I survived the inconvenience and frustration of having oversupply. My baby has no memory of those weeks he got rained down upon with milk. In hindsight, the experience makes me realize that I don’t fall apart when life goes less than perfectly. And more poignantly, it illuminates how fleeting these moments of feeling like a failure can be, if we don’t allow them to be the headlines. Yes, six weeks of oversupply was a drag, but it paled in comparison to the four years I spent (in total) breastfeeding my kids. Not everyone will come out the other side of breastfeeding with a positive perspective, but for me, I look back on that time fondly. Sitting in puddles of milk was a small price to pay for the time I got to spend with my children over those years of nursing them. I have no regrets (nor do I have any surefire milk stain removal tips).

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

A Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the te…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

These Photos Of North West Then & Now Will Take You On A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

When Kim Kardashian welcomed her first daughter, North West, with her husband, Kanye West, in 2013, her whole life was changed. The social media and reality TV star became a mom for the first time and her Instagram presence took a very adorable turn.…
By Casey Suglia

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

This Is What It Means If Your Pregnancy Test Changes Overnight

The time between when a woman suspects she might be pregnant and when it is confirmed for sure is the longest of her life. Regardless of whether you are hoping for a positive or a negative result, the odds are good that you are sweating bullets when …
By Shannon Evans

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

This Woman Thought She Had An Eyelash Stuck In Her Eye. Then It Moved.

I'm not a person who is easily icked out. As a kid, I collected bugs and thought I was going to be an entomologist and asked Santa Claus for ant farms and nets to catch bees. I'm still super curious about anything that flies and crawls, which might s…
By Karen Fratti

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

8 "Mistakes" I'm Glad I Made During My First Pregnancy

As an adult, I've learned you never really stop hating being told what to do. When I was pregnant I was getting instructions at every turn, from doctors, relatives, and complete strangers on the subway. I would nod and smile but then go about making …
By Liza Wyles

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack