Oversupply or hyperlactation can occur for a variety of reasons but is most common when early and excessive pumping, galactagogue (herbs and foods to promote lactation) use, and exclusive pumping.
You may notice engorgement past the first few weeks, pain, plugging, mastitis, or your baby may sputter or choke on your milk flow or even have a lot of spit up after feeds.
Once baby has reached two weeks of age, they only need 2-5oz per feeding (or about 1oz per hour). If you are finding that you need to pump after feeds or are producing significantly more than 5-6oz with exclusive pumping, you may have an oversupply.
An oversupply puts you at risk of an inflammatory breast condition called mastitis which can develop into an infection which ultimately will reduce your supply.
Work with your Lactation Consultant to address your oversupply. In the meantime, you can try a few things on your own.
- Cool packs after nursing
- Positioning in a side lying or reclined position while feeding
- Reduce your pumping time by half or switch to hand expression. After a few days, reduce the pumping time by half again.
- Herbs to gently reduce supply: peppermint tea or sage.