A few days after I brought my daughter home from the hospital, I decided to start pumping. Breastfeeding had been successful, so I was eager to build up a freezer stash of breast milk. It didn't take long for me to pump 5 ounces in one sitting, which means it didn't take long for me to create an oversupply in my own breasts. Literally, my breasts leaked all the time and until my daughter was about 3 months. Then, suddenly, I woke up to a normal milk production. But what can cause oversupply to disappear overnight? Does it mean your milk supply has tanked? Or should you just praise the milk gods that you can actually run to Target without shoving a breast pad in your bra?
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Leigh Anne O'Connor tells Romper in an email that there isn't always an exact answer — milk supply is complex. "There is actual milk supply issues versus perceived milk supply issues," she says. "Often the body comes into balance and there is no longer engorgement — this doesn't mean that your milk is gone."
Kelly Mom noted the same thing — eventually, your milk supply will regulate and your breasts won't produce as much milk as they did before. According to the website, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your milk supply, it just means that your body finally figured out how much milk your baby actually needs and is making only that specific, necessary amount. On average, this regulation happens around six to 12 weeks post-delivery, but for moms with oversupply, it can take even longer.
Which means, once your body and baby have got the hang of breastfeeding, you may find that your oversupply is now just your regular milk supply. This is a good thing, but O'Connor notes that there could be some reasons your milk supply decreases other than your body simply regulating itself. "Thyroid issues, pregnancy, hormonal birth control, and sleep training or limited feedings could all be reasons," she says. The important thing to remember is that if you think your milk supply truly has decreased, you may need a consultation with an IBCLC to evaluate the issue and come up with a solution. But if your oversupply has simply disappeared overnight, you can chalk it up to your body regulating your milk supply and producing just the right amount of milk for baby. Who knew breasts were so amazing? (The entire world did, actually.)