A little more than 24 hours after my first son was born, I woke up from dreams about swimming, and I was soaking wet. My new mom brain didn’t quite understand what had happened, but I soon figured out that my milk had come in. I learned to breastfeed pretty quickly and endured lots of jokes about how large my chest was, and how I could be a nursemaid for the whole maternity floor. I felt very blessed to not have to worry about my supply, and my baby always had enough milk. Three children and over 45 months of breastfeeding later, not much has changed. I am one of the lucky few to deal with an oversupply.
I’m not here to brag or rub it in your face. I know. I know how hard it is to have supply issues as I have seen it firsthand, and my heart goes out to you. Nothing in the motherhood job is easy. While I know that supply issues can cause a myriad of problems, you’d be shocked to learn that having an oversupply can be just as problematic.
The Problem With "Too Much"
Your Baby Can’t Handle It.
It took a lot of trial and error with each of my children to figure out how best to feed them. With my daughter, I had to lay on my back and lay her on top of me to eat for weeks until my milk regulated itself. Because I have so much milk, there is a forceful letdown that none of my babies could handle. They would cough and sputter their way through their nursing sessions while they desperately tried to fill their bellies. They would pull off, cry, squirm, get angry and inevitably get awful gas because they were gulping in so much air.
You Will Get Engorged…ALL. THE. TIME.
Having so much milk means the girls are always really big…and really uncomfortable. While my husband loved it…my babies could only handle so much milk at one time, and inevitably I would get engorged, get lumps, get mastitis…you know the drill. Pump, you say! It’s not that easy. You see, nursing is supply and demand. Your breasts are stimulated and more milk comes in. A truly vicious cycle.
You Need Chicken Cutlets.
Your breasts will never be balanced. You’ll walk around with 2 completely different cup sizes. As much as you try not to be, you will be uncomfortable. Chicken cutlets will become your new best friend, just so you look a little bit more balanced. Another side effect of being so imbalanced means that your baby may not be getting the good stuff-the hind milk. This is the good, high fat milk that is packed with nutrients. You will not only look unbalanced, the whole composition of your milk will be imbalanced.
You Will Leak Constantly.
Those dreams about swimming never seem to stop. I keep an extra shirt and nursing tank in the car. There are always extra nursing pads floating around-the reusable ones just aren’t strong enough! There’s milk everywhere and there’s only so much you can do. You’ll change the sheets and do more laundry than you ever thought possible.
I’m not complaining. I know how lucky I am to have all of the milk I need. But remember, the grass isn’t necessarily always greener. How about you, moms? Have any of you struggled with oversupply?
Contributing Sister Site and Author
Morgan came to Boston via New Jersey for college and law school and never left. She married her college sweetheart Solomon in October, 2007. After years of trying to find themselves, they added three beautiful and energetic children, Aaron (October, 2010) and Olivia (June, 2013) and Jesse (May 2016) to the family. They also have brother and sister miniature schnauzers, Rufio and Gracie. They recently moved to Brookline from Needham (who does that?) and love city living. Loves: Exploring Boston, traveling, trying new restaurants, dive bars, blanco tequila, cooking elaborate meals, black coffee, dry red wine, Crossfit, yoga, watching mindless movies (and quoting them) and getting lost in a good book. Can’t Stand: when people snap their gum, cigarettes, loud chewing noises, cleaning floors and snakes.
Morgan is the owner of Boston Moms Blog, one of our Sister Sites.