Oversupply and the Breastfed Baby

When You Have Too Much Breast Milk

Some women have too much breast milk, and that oversupply can create symptoms in both mother and baby.

You may have this condition if you experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Breast fullness between feedings
  • An especially strong sensation of milk letdown
  • Multiple milk letdowns between feedings
  • Lots of leaking of breast milk between feedings
  • An increased vulnerability to mastitis and/or plugged ducts

Your baby may show some or all of the following reactions and symptoms when you have oversupply:

  • Gulps, chokes or sputters during feedings
  • Has a shocked or frightened facial expression during feedings
  • Is unsettled or seems uncomfortable during feedings
  • Pulls head back or tries to stay latched to the tip of the nipple to slow the flow of milk
  • Arches during feedings
  • Has excessive gassiness
  • Displays excessive fussiness
  • Produces green stools
  • Produces mucus in the stool and occasionally small amounts of blood in the stool
  • Produces explosive stools
  • Experiences reflux
  • Gains weight rapidly because of large-volume feedings or slowly because breastfeeding is so uncomfortable that the baby avoids it
  • Requires feedings of short duration even though the baby gains weight in leaps and bounds
  • Requires very, very frequent breastfeeding because oversupply inhibits the baby's ability to obtain the higher-fat milk that comes toward the end of the feeding session and helps the baby feel satisfied longer between feedings
  • Likes to suck on fingers and/or pacifiers to avoid being on the breast any more than necessary
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