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How Does Oversupply Affect Baby?

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You have undoubtedly heard of a breastfeeding mom having a low milk supply. But did you know that there is such a thing as having an oversupply? Oversupply can cause a forceful letdown, which is when the rush of milk from an overfull breast can make nursing difficult and uncomfortable for both mom and baby. If you are struggling with forceful letdown, you may be wondering, "how does oversupply affect baby?"

It may seem like having plenty of milk is always a good thing, but if your baby isn’t able to nurse properly because of your oversupply, it can become a problem. According to Kelly Mom, some moms find that their abundant supply and fast letdown will subside by about 12 weeks. Kelly Mom warned not to try to reduce your milk supply during the first four to six weeks, as this is the time that you should be rapidly producing more milk, and it could cause you to have supply issues in the future.

If you are dealing with the issue of oversupply and forceful letdown, it is important to talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant because oversupply can affect your baby in several ways.

If you are dealing with the issue of oversupply and forceful letdown, it is important to talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant because oversupply can affect your baby in several ways.

1. Baby Stays Hungry

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According to La Leche League International (LLLI), some babies do not get enough milk with an over supply because they aren’t able to handle the strong flow. If this occurs, your baby may need supplementary feedings. You can do this by pumping and bottle feeding your breast milk to your baby until your flow is adjusted.

2. Baby Is Irritable

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A baby can gag, choke, strangle, gulp, gasp, or cough while breastfeeding if the milk is coming too fast for them to handle according to Kelly Mom. This stressful nursing can cause babies to become irritable and even cause them to refuse the breast.

3. Baby Gets Gassy

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Most breastfed babies do not need much burping. However, according to LLLI, mothers who make large volumes of milk find that their babies take in more air while feeding and are gassy from the excess lactose. You should burp your baby regularly to minimize release their swallowed air.

4. Baby May Only Feed For 5 or 10 Minutes

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When you have forceful letdown, your baby can get full too quickly and stop nursing after only a few minutes. According to Belly Belly, some babies may stop feeding after a short amount of time, and then get hungry again shortly after.

5. Baby Can Have Green, Watery, Or Foamy Stools

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The foremilk, or the milk that comes out at the beginning of a feeding is high in lactose. LLLI warned that a baby that too much of this milk sugar can cause stomach discomfort with green watery or foamy stools.

6. Baby Can Have Foremilk-Hindmilk Imbalance

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An overabundant milk supply can cause a problem known as foremilk-hindmilk imbalance. According to Breastmilk.com, foremilk-hindmilk imbalance can cause the baby to get full on the foremilk and miss out on the hindmilk. The higher fat content in the hindmilk helps stimulate your baby’s growth. Too much foremilk can cause an imbalance of lactose and lactase (the enzyme responsible for breaking down lactose.) Your baby can ingest too much lactose and not have sufficient lactase to digest it.

7. Baby Can Spit Up Frequently

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If a baby is swallowing milk too quickly, it can bring excess gas air into their stomach which can cause the baby to push back up the swallowed milk along with burp. Although some amount of spitting up is normal, the Mayo Clinic warned to seek medical attention if your baby isn't gaining weight, spits up forcefully, spits up green or yellow fluid, spits up blood or a material that looks like coffee grounds, or has bloody stools.