Oversupply of Milk

Common Challenges of Breastfeeding

Some mothers are concerned about having an oversupply of milk. Having an overfull breast can make feedings stressful and uncomfortable for both mother and baby.

What you can do:

  • Breastfeed on one side for each feeding. Continue to offer that same side for at least two hours until the next full feeding, gradually increasing the length of time per feeding.

  • If the other breast feels unbearably full before you are ready to breastfeed on it, hand express for a few moments to relieve some of the pressure. You can also use a cold compress or washcloth to reduce discomfort and swelling.

  • Feed your baby before he or she becomes overly hungry to prevent aggressive sucking.

  • Try positions that don't allow the force of gravity to help as much with milk ejection, such as the side-lying position or the football hold.

  • Burp your baby frequently if he or she is gassy. 

Some women have a strong milk ejection reflex or let-down. This can happen along with an oversupply of milk. If you have a rush of milk, try the following:

  • Hold your nipple between your forefinger and middle finger or with the side of your hand to lightly compress milk ducts to reduce the force of the milk ejection.

  • If baby chokes or sputters, unlatch him or her and let the excess milk spray into a towel or cloth.

  • Allow your baby to come on and off the breast at will.
Ask a lactation consultant for help if you are unable to manage an oversupply of milk on your own.

Updated June 6, 2016

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