When it comes to breastfeeding, many moms know how it feels to question their milk supply. If your baby nurses too frequently, you might think your supply is low, and if your breasts feel too heavy, you might think you have an oversupply. If you think you are making too much milk, you want to know, what is considered an oversupply of breast milk?
Jennifer Jordan, Director of Mom and Baby at Aeroflow, tells Romper that if you're regularly feeling uncomfortably engorged or your baby doesn't need the amount of milk your body is producing, you may be experiencing oversupply. She adds that having an oversupply can be uncomfortable for both mom and baby.
According to Kelly Mom, if you find that your baby is gulping, choking, or gasping while nursing, your breasts may be making too much milk. Kelly Mom also suggested that if your baby is making a clicking sound while feeding, refusing to nurse, spitting up or pulling off the breast often, or clamping down on your nipple during let-down, it might indicate an oversupply.
According to La Leche League International (LLLI) some women may naturally tend to create more milk, while others may have an oversupply due to excessive pumping or nursing, or not emptying one breast before switching to another.
LLLI suggested that if you do find that you have an oversupply, its a good idea to try feeding on one breast exclusively for two consecutive feedings and then switch to the other for the next feedings. They also suggested hand expressing for about 20 to 30 seconds to relieve your discomfort, but not to pump or express too often, because that will just increase your supply even further.
If you do have extra milk that you have expressed, Jordan suggests storing it or donating it to a milk bank for babies in need. Either way, it's important to remember that milk production is all about supply and demand. The more you empty your breast, the more milk you will make. Looking for the signs of an oversupply, and using the correct techniques can help reduce your supply as well. If it is still a concern, enlisting the support of a lactation consultant can help, too.