Is oversupply a bad thing?

Discussion in 'Breastfeeding' started by x3violins, Mar 13, 2021.

  1. x3violins

    x3violins Active Member

    Feb 19, 2021
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    I keep reading articles that caution against pumping too much or you'll end up with an oversupply. Is this really bad? If so, why?

    When my daughter was born almost a month ago, I wasn't producing much of anything and the lactation consultant said to pump for 20 minutes every 8 hours to increase my supply. My daughter was in the NICU at the time and being bottle-fed formula by the nurses in the NICU. I did this and my milk came in very well. My daughter never took to breastfeeding after starting out on a bottle, so I've continued to just pump and bottlefeed.

    When my daughter was about 2 weeks old, I reduced my pump sessions to 6x a day because I was just feeling overwhelmed trying to pump every 3 hours, plus feed my daughter every 3 hours, plus take care of my wound, plus do my physical therapy exercises, and get any sleep at all. My supply has continued to increase.

    It takes about 40 minutes for my breasts to feel somewhat empty. Sometimes I might only get 4-5 oz, but most of the time I get at least 6 oz. I think my current record is 14 oz of milk in a single pumping session. It depends on the time of day and how well-rested I feel. I tend to produce more milk at night and in the morning, and also after I've been able to take a nap or two.

    Since I've read a few things that talk about oversupply like it's a bad thing, I'm wondering if I should further reduce the number of times I pump or try to shorten my sessions. I do want at least a little bit of an oversupply because I do need to maintain a freezer supply for when I go back to work and my daughter goes to daycare.
  2. Kitana

    Kitana Moderator

    Aug 11, 2016
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    Oversupply is bad if you can't pump away the excess. If your baby is breastfed but doesn't drain the boob, you will get hard lumps in your breasts, risking clogged ducts and infection.
    But if you can pump and still breastfeed without discomfort, then your should be fine.

    If you consider stopping, be sure to do it slowly if you have a good supply going on.x
  3. Alexis2017

    Alexis2017 Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2017
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    Hey just a wee thought. Just be careful pumping ad that will stimulate your body to make even more milk. The way to reduce a over supply is block feeding. You feed on one side for 4 -6 hours then back to the other side so your body gets a signal to make less milk. Hope that makes sence.
  4. EmilyMaria

    EmilyMaria Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2020
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    I had an oversupply and overactive let down. In the early days it made it very hard for bub to latch because he was swimming in milk.

    Your boobs do regulate to suit the pattern of what baby removes with a pretty crazy amount of accuracy. If you pump just do not change your habits too wildly. Only stop one session at a time if you are reducing for example.

    I did have mastitis and it can come on very quickly and make you very crook. So make sure that baby is removing enough milk to make your boobs feel soft and check for lumps every feed.

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