Is hyperlactation driving you crazy? Here’s what you do.

So you are the lucky one who produces a lot of breast milk for your baby. Your mother, mother in law and aunts are overjoyed but you are hassled. Your breasts are engorged, your ducts get blocked often giving you tremendous pain, your baby chokes, hiccups, is colicky and you suffer from the embarrassment of the wet patches on your breast.

Hyperlactation is as serious a breastfeeding problem as insufficient milk production and is caused by two factors. An overactive let down reflex and a foremilk/ hindmilk imbalance. But like all other problems this too can be handled.

Try these

  • I know what you are already saying. Pump out the excess milk. But that is the mistake all mothers make. By expressing the excess milk you may feel relieved but only temporarily because contradictorily you are sending out the signal to your body to produce more milk and that poses a bigger problem for you in the long run.
  • Drink a cup of sage tea at bedtime. The natural oestrogen in sage helps decrease the production of milk.

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  • Change your nursing position. Instead of the traditional sitting position, lean backwards with your legs straddled. Or you can lie down sideways and feed. Some mothers also find it comfortable to lie on their backs with the baby on top of them while feeding. Using a nipple shield is also advised sometimes by the doctor.
  • During the let down, the initial flow of milk spurts out in force and then slows down. So you can handle that by catching the forceful sprays in a towel and start feeding when the flow is steady. You can also express the initial foremilk in a cup and store it for later use. It is an excellent choice for bottle feeding or to use with cereals.
  • Burp your baby often during the feed so that he doesn’t choke or gulp (surely you must have heard this numerous times already) .

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Try feeding from the same breast if it is in a span of 2 hours. If you alternate then you are giving your baby an excess of foremilk from each breast that can cause intestinal discomfort to the infant.

  • How about donating that extra milk. There are so many mothers who are not fortunate to produce enough milk for their babies. They would thank you for this.

*In certain Muslim cultures it is tradition for mothers to feed each other’s babies for this very reason.

  • Now I don’t know how well this works, but a friend vouched for this. She asked her husband to suck out the excess milk before she began feeding her baby and according to her this made her feel good because she knew her milk wasn’t being wasted (and for other obvious reasons 😉 )

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Try whatever works for you, but hey! don’t let this problem get to you. It is not your fault and you are not being tortured by nature or rejected by your baby. If the above don’t work then you can see a doctor who will solve it for you for sure.

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