It is common for the body to produce too much milk during the first few days of breastfeeding. The size of your breasts will probably come as a shock to you. After a few days your milk production will adjust to your baby's needs, and your breasts will gradually get smaller. That's because your baby isn't completely emptying your breasts. You body gets used to producing less milk.
How to avoid producing too much breast milk
It can be hard knowing that it takes several days. Having too much milk in your breasts can in fact be painful. Your breasts feel taut and tender. Your baby has difficulty latching onto your nipple and it can hurt. Too much breast milk can also increase the risk of blocked milk ducts.
These tips can help to reduce the discomfort:
• If your breasts are tender, you can let the milk drain from one breast while you breastfeed with the other. That reduces the pressure naturally.
• Warmth can help some of the milk to flow out by itself. Try letting warm water flow across your breasts while you're standing in the shower .
• If you're displaying symptoms of blocked milk ducts (tender breasts), or if your child isn't showing any interest in feeding, you should pump your breasts manually or with a pump. Don't pump too much, as pumping stimulates your milk production.
• Breastfeed often and if necessary wake your baby to relieve the pain. It is however better to allow the baby's needs to determine the breastfeeding intervals. If you feel okay and are not troubled by your breasts, despite them being filled to bursting point and leaking milk, it's usually best to follow your baby's rhythm. Your milk production gradually adapts to your baby's needs.
After you've breastfeed, your breasts should feel soft and free from tenderness.
Too much breast milk
Whoops! I'm leaking milk. It's inconvenient and your breasts feel taut. Here are a few ideas on what you can do if you're producing too much milk.