One of a breastfeeding mom's biggest worries is that she will somehow "mess up" feeding her baby by giving them too much or too little milk. After all, mothers of bottle-fed babies know exactly how much milk their baby is drinking. For mothers of breastfed babies, however, knowing the sign you're spending too much time exclusively breastfeeding, or EBF, is a little bit trickier.
Breastfeeding moms are constantly told that you can't overfeed a breastfed baby. Although this is true is the majority of situations, there are situations when your baby may be getting too much to eat from too many nursing sessions. Most breastfeeding moms nurse on demand which, according to La Leche League International (LLLI), is healthy and ideal in most cases. The article noted that, since babies digest breast milk quickly and have small stomachs, it makes sense that you'll need to nurse often. If your baby is happy, content, and gaining weight at a normal pace, there's nothing that you need to worry about. Continuing to feed your baby when they show hunger cues or get fussy is a good plan to stick to.
Overfeeding through too much nursing, though not as straightforward as you might think, is possible. If you nurse your baby every time they cry without thinking of other possible causes, you may run the danger of overfeeding them.
According to The Bump, babies are overfed tend to spit up more than usual or even projectile vomit. They also become overly irritated. Baby Care Advice also noted that excessive weight gain combined with gastrointestinal problems like reflux or flatulence can be signs of overfeeding.
Although you don't necessarily need to have a feeding schedule for breastfeeding, having a general timeframe of how often you feed your baby (and not feeding them in between) can help curve the temptation to nurse every time they fuss.
Similarly, an oversupply of milk can cause you to overfeed your baby as well. Another LLLI Piece noted that the symptoms of an oversupply are similar to the symptoms of an overfed baby because the two issues are closely linked more often than not. Sore, engorged breasts along with an overly fussy baby may be indicative of an oversupply.
As always, if you're unsure of how often to feed your baby, checking with your pediatrician to double check their weight gain and other symptoms can help them get to the bottom of their fussiness.