Difficulty expressing and overabundant supply: Why?

I think I have an overabundant milk supply. My baby is gassy, fusses at my breast, has greenish stools and my milk sprays everywhere. If this is true, then why am I still having so much trouble getting any decent amount of milk out with my Medela mini-electric pump?

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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

It is interesting that many moms with an overabundant supply seem to have difficulty expressing a significant amount of milk -- but I have found this is often the case.

The amount of milk that you are able to express is definitely not a good indicator of your milk supply. A baby who nurses efficiently will be taking in much more than even the best pump available.

Successful milk expression has a lot to do with your ability to let-down to a pump rather than your baby. This is affected in part by how comfortable you are in your surroundings. Of course the pump you choose is very important too.

What one mom considers a "decent" amount of milk, another might consider a huge amount. The amount of milk obtained while expressing can vary greatly from one woman to the next. One woman may normally express only two ounces while another routinely expresses eight ounces.

If you are only getting drops, your milk probably has not yet ejected. It may be helpful for you to hand-express enough to get your milk flowing. Then you can begin to pump. You might also want to try expressing some milk while your baby is nursing on one side (unless you're following one-sided nursing per feed to help with your overabundant milk supply). You might have better success when expressing their milk first thing in the morning. Your breasts are probably very full at this time, and you may find it easier to obtain a larger quantity of milk. Best wishes!

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