How do you know if you’ve got too much breastmilk?
Your baby may appear to choke, gulp and bring up milk, or to ‘fight the breast’. Your breasts might feel full with lots of lumps that doesn’t improve after a breastfeed. Breastfeeding in these situations can seem difficult. Usually this settles down after a few days. However, sometimes, depending on the cause it can take a little longer.
What to do if you're producing too much milk
If you have a problem with producing too much milk, the following might provide breastfeeding help:
If your baby is less than six weeks of age and your breasts are very full, you may need to express some milk prior to attaching your baby – this helps soften the nipple and areola, encourages a deeper latch and more effective drainage of the breast.
If your baby is gulping or having difficulty coping with milk flow and pulls off, allow your breasts to leak then re-attach your baby once the flow of milk settles. This can be repeated as necessary if subsequent let downs cause your baby to pull off. If it persists, ask your doctor or child and family health nurse to exclude tongue tie as a cause. If your baby has a tongue tie and it is causing problems with feeding, you will be referred to a tongue tie clinic or paediatrician.
Offer the second breast when your baby has drained the first side. Express a small amount from the second breast to repeat the process with your baby.
One breastfeeding tip is to try feeding your baby in a different position, e.g. underarm or more elevated (sitting more upright than usual).
If your breasts are still uncomfortably full at the end of a feed, express for comfort (a few minutes) only and apply a cold compress for 15 to 20 minutes.