Too much milk? How to manage intensive lactation?
LactationPregnancy and childbirth
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Too much milk? How to manage intensive lactation?

Intense lactation is a problem for many postpartum women. How do you know if you are having a bloom and what can you do about it?

Breast leakage does not always mean breast pumping

During the puerperium (the first 6 weeks after giving birth) there is an increase in the amount of prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production, which increases when the breasts are empty. Initially, the breasts may produce more milk than the baby needs because the milk glands have to “learn” how much milk the baby needs. Therefore, excessive milk leakage is a very normal occurrence. At the same time, the newborn is learning to suck and swallow effectively.

After the postpartum period, the amount of prolactin in the body stabilizes. In some women, lactation stabilizes faster.

What is a milk letdown?

A milk bulge is a natural occurrence that most often occurs between the 2nd and 6th day after birth. A milk letdown is a sudden increase in the amount of milk in your breasts caused by the excessive release of prolactin after giving birth. During this time, the milk glands in the breasts produce much more milk than what the newborn needs.

Symptoms of overlactation experienced by the baby

Excessive lactation causes too much milk flow in the beginning, so the newborn may whoop and cough while feeding. It is very common for newborns to bite the nipple or hold the breast too loosely for this reason. When this happens, infants take in too much milk during feeding, resulting in a lot of leakage of milk and the need for frequent breaks to lap during feeding.

Milk that flows at the beginning is high in water, sugars, and protein. Fat-rich milk flows out at the end. When a mother has a milk reflux, the baby eats very quickly and is hungry quickly because the milk contains too little nutritious fat.

If the baby’s weight is normal, i.e. between 800 and 1000 g, it is worth consulting a lactation consultant.

Infantile milk symptoms experienced by the mother

A woman’s milk letdown symptoms are discomfort and overflowing breasts. Breast leakage is a normal symptom during the first six weeks. The baby is unable to empty the breast in the first few weeks, which can lead to clogged milk ducts and recurrent breast inflammation.

How to reduce lactation?

If you know that you have a problem with too much milk, use one of the proven methods:

  • change your position to lying down feeding in this position allows your baby to have more control over the flow of milk during feeding;
  • expresssome milk it is a good idea to express until you feel relief. The milk can be frozen;
  • wear breast pads to avoid splashing your clothes with milk;
  • don’t drink teas or herbs for lactation these can exacerbate the problem of too much milk.

Block feeding technique

If all the above methods have not helped, then you may want to try feeding your baby in blocks for a few hours. You should consult your CDL before trying this method.

The block feeding method involves feeding your baby only from one breast for four hours, during which time the other breast is full. Overfilling is a signal to reduce the amount of milk produced. The first results should appear after the first day of using this method.

If this method does not give any results after a day, then it is worth trying the alternative, which is the complete emptying of the breast using a breast pump and blocks of several hours. Using this method, you need to empty your breasts to the maximum in the morning using an electric breast pump. Once the breast has been emptied, the baby should be put to sleep. The flow of milk will then be slower, so your baby will be full for longer. The extracted milk can be frozen.

Main photo: olenachukhill, source: stock.adobe.com

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