Breastfeeding: Can you overfeed expressed breastmilk?

My four month old is given at least five ounces of my expressed milk at each feeding by his babysitter (two days a week). He seems very happy. Is it possible to overfeed with expressed breastmilk?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Theoretically, I suppose it is possible to overfeed with expressed breastmilk.

If a baby is only being fed expressed milk and it is fed very quickly (using an artificial nipple with a rapid flow), a baby may take in more than he really requires, trying to satisfy his sucking need as well as his hunger.

In your situation, expressed breastmilk makes up such a small part of your baby's diet, that even if he is receiving more than he actually needs, it will all even out.

My only concern is if he receives too much milk while you're away, he may nurse less often or be less interested in nursing when you return home. You might ask your caregiver to only offer a small amount of your milk (two ounces or so) if he is hungry soon before you are scheduled to return.

My best wishes in mothering!

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