As a lactation consultant I see three things every day: low supply, pain, and oversupply.
Oversupply. What a good problem to have, right? Thats not even a problem?
Wrong. Its as big a problem as any other breastfeeding challenge.
It can lead to baby indigestion, bag latches, and mostly: pain. Oh the pain.
Waking up in the middle of the night to a sleeping baby and a rock hard chest is just no fun.
So there are two things I want my oversupply moms to know: you are not complaining about nothing. There are things you can do to help.
Dealing With Breast Milk Oversupply
A lot of Moms with breast milk oversupply don’t talk about what is going on, or reach out for help, because they feel like it isn’t a real problem. Please get help and support anyway. Early parenting is HARD, you should have support in any part of it that challenges you.
Second, what can you do about it? Back away from the pump. Lots of moms get the advice to pump off the first part of the feeding to soften the breast for a good latch and run off some of the lactose rich milk the flows easily at the beginning of a feeding. Unfortunately, this can make things way worse.
Instead of pumping before a feeding, use massage to soften the breast. People tend to think of massage for getting milk out, but it also works for bringing swelling down. Instead of pumping to soften your breasts enough to get a good latch, try these massages.
Push straight back: push back with flat palms directly back into your chest wall. Not so firmly that it hurts, just enough to feel pressure. Hold for 30 seconds.
Lift up: lean back, ideally flat on your back and lift your breast up off your chest wall. This allows some of that swelling drain back. Hold up for 30 seconds.
Massage into your arm pit: using a nice massage oil, like coconut oil, massage in big sweeps back towards your arm pit. This should help move some of that swelling back.
Now, feed your baby or pump.
If you are still uncomfortably full after, try using a silicon passive pump to “take the edge off” without stimulating milk production.
The goal here is to stay as comfortable as possible, without telling your body to make more milk.
Guest Writer —Victoria Facelli