Got Milk? How to Deal with an Over Supply
Before I had my daughter, I heard a ton of unpleasant stories about breastfeeding: mastitis, problems latching, cracked nipples, baby not getting enough milk, etc. For some reason, I never really paid much attention to them. I just assumed it was not going to be a problem.
And I was right—that kid latched right on and went to town. She was 95th percentile in weight and height the entire time she was breastfed. Other than a day or two in the very beginning I was never even sore. My body and my baby were 100 percent in sync, except for one small problem: I produced enough milk for two or three babies.
My friends complained about only being able to pump out an ounce or two in 20 minutes while I was pumping eight ounces in five minutes at my breastfeeding peak. So why, exactly am I calling this a problem? If you’re an overproducer, you know exactly why. Here’s how I handled the overproduction problem.
1. Buy good pads for your bra and wear them always! While most of my friends said goodbye to leakage by the time they were a month or two into breastfeeding, I had to wear mine for six or seven months! I found Lansinoh pads worked best, but towards the end I was able to switch over to a lighter pad. It’s a good idea to keep some in your diaper bag just in case you forget them. Better safe than sorry!
2. Don’t pump too often: If you need to pump bottles for dad or a babysitter to give, try to do it in place of a feeding. Pumping causes more milk production, exactly what you don’t want!
3. Wean slowly: I spent about three months weaning my daughter. I started replacing an afternoon feeding with a snack (that was easy), next I dropped the afternoon nap nursing session. I was nursing her to sleep, so this was a little tougher. She got the picture pretty quick though, so when I dropped the morning nap session, she was fine. That left morning and evening. I dropped the morning feeding and replaced it with breakfast and milk in a sippy cup (she was almost a year at the time). The night feeding was the last to go and easier than you might think. I just put her in bed and let her cry a few minutes … and that was that. We’ve never looked back!
4. Invest in good bras: Those soft, unstructured sports-bra type nursing bras did nothing to help my leaking issues. I had to revert to the trusty old underwire. Be careful to get the right fit though as you don’t want it to pinch your breast and cause a clogged duct.
5. Have a feeding schedule: As soon as you can, get your baby on a schedule. It will help regulate your milk flow and give you an idea of how long you can go before getting engorged.