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Too much breast milk

Too much breast milk

Whoops, the milk's leaking out. It makes a mess and your breasts feel taut and tight. Here are some tips for dealing with too much milk.

Producing too much milk usually happens in the early days, when your milk first comes in. And your new breast size might be a bit of a shock. But after a few days, your milk production will gradually adjust to your baby’s needs (and your breast size will decrease, albeit gradually). This is because if your baby doesn’t empty your breasts completely, your body adapts by producing less milk.

Preventing too much breast milk
You might be alarmed to know it will take several days. Too much breast milk can be a real pain – literally. Your breasts feel tight and sore. Your baby finds it hard to latch onto the nipple, which can also hurt. And too much breast milk can increase the risk of blocked milk ducts.
Here are some tips to help nature along and reduce your discomfort:
• If your breasts feel very tight, let the breast you’re not feeding with leak freely while baby drinks from the other breast. This reduces the pressure naturally.
• Heat can help to drain some of the milk away. Try standing in the shower with warm water aimed gently on your breasts.
• If you have the initial symptoms of blocked milk ducts (a sore, tender breast) or if your baby shows no interest in sucking, you may need to milk your breast manually or with a pump. But don’t pump too much – pumping stimulates even more milk production.
• Breastfeed often, waking your baby if necessary to ease the pain. It’s best if you can let your baby’s needs dictate things. If you’re feeling fine and your breasts don’t feel uncomfortable apart from when they are stretched to bursting and full of milk, it's usually best to feed as much as your baby wants. Your milk production will gradually adjust to your baby’s needs.

After breastfeeding, your breasts should feel soft with no sore lumps.

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