Science's Explanation For Why Your Oversupply Disappears Will Make You Less Anxious
Breasts are amazing. They're like fluffy, complex human-feeding machines that you carry around in lace bags. I remember the awe I felt the first time my breasts shot milk across the sofa all on their own. Great party trick — but it's not all fun. Oversupply can be seriously intense and the weirdest part is, sometimes it totally disappears, leaving you panicked about the state of your milk supply. But science's explanation for why your oversupply disappears will make you less anxious.
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) Jennifer Rosenbaum tells Romper in a phone interview that oftentimes, oversupply just corrects itself. "Breasts have a way of compensating for baby's needs. If they're not nursing as much, or if their latch has improved, oversupply can decrease — sometimes almost overnight, it seems." She adds that the body is shockingly good at regulating for the needs of the newborn, shifting and adjusting as necessary. "If you start out with just a ton of milk, and you notice after a little while that your breasts are emptying faster and you're not pumping as much, that probably means that your body knew it was creating too much, and backed off."
So is it OK if your oversupply disappears drastically? When should you worry? According to Rosenbaum, "If your baby still seems hungry after a feeding, and they're not wetting at least six diapers a day, you should call your pediatrician and lactation consultant to address a possible low supply issue." She notes that this is less common than you'd think, and you're more likely just on track to well-regulated production.
Breastfeeding U.S.A. noted that at around three months postpartum, it is quite common to see a drop in breast milk production because milk stops being regulated by the mother's hormones and becomes a supply-and-demand system. This may cause moms to worry that they're no longer producing enough milk, when instead, it's just their bodies' natural biologic process continuing along a pre-determined path.
If you notice, however, that your child isn't having as many dirty or wet diapers and they're crabbier than normal, than you need to contact your provider and discuss what's going on. Breasts can be tricky, even though they're clearly amazing.