Please help! I seem to have a lot of milk! My milk comes out very fast, and my baby has a hard time emptying my breasts. Why is this happening, and what can I do about it?
It sounds like you have an oversupply and overactive letdown.
This is fairly common, especially if you used a pump in addition to latching during the first few weeks after birth. Oversupply means your body is making more milk than baby needs. Not every mother who has an oversupply has a forceful letdown, but a forceful letdown often goes along with oversupply.
If you leak a lot between feedings, always feel full and hard, or notice your milk gushes out when feeding, you might have an oversupply.
With an overactive (forceful) letdown, your baby might choke on your milk when feeding. These babies often have more gas, seem fussy before burping or being laid down and have trouble pooping. They may also gain a lot of weight quickly.
With a normal milk supply, once the baby empties fresh milk from the breast, they start pulling fat that has been collected in the milk ducts. This fat keeps the baby full longer, aids in digestion, and steady weight gain.
In babies whose mothers have an oversupply, they tend to snack more frequently because they fill up faster. This does not leave much time for fat to collect in milk ducts or for the infant to drain the fat from the breast.
To correct this, hold off on additional pumping and nurse the baby on the breast only! Be sure the baby empties the first breast before switching to the other. This may mean feeding off only one side for an hour or two.
To be more comfortable, massage your breasts during feeding to loosen the milk ducts. Use cool packs on your breasts to help with swelling. Instead of pumping, try hand expressing a small amount until you are not in pain. Over time, using the right tips, your oversupply will regulate to a normal supply.