By the six week mark after your baby's birth, you will know whether your body has adapted to your baby's needs and thus, if you are truly struggling with an oversupply issue. If everything is okay except for the fact that you are leaking, then you don't need to worry too much. Leaking is your body's way of preventing plugged ducts. Breast shells can increase the flow of milk, so getting rid of them would be a good start.
The baby is often very irritable and/or restless.
The baby is fussy during feeds. Your baby may bob on and off of the breast and twist their body.
The baby chokes and makes clicking noises while feeding.
The baby has frothy, green, mucousy, explosive stools.
Switching your baby to the
other breast, before he/she has finished the first breast. Some mother's breasts are very sensitive to stimulation, and switching back and forth
without ever draining a breast well, can result in production of too much
milk in both breasts.
Oversupply tends to be more of a problem with each birth.
How to Slow Down Milk Production
Nurse on just one side with each nursing session. Alternate with each feeding. If you need to relive some pressure you can pump or hand express just a little. If your baby wants to comfort feed before the next feeding, allow him/her to stay on that same breast. You can also try "block feeding", which is when you nurse only from one side for up to six hours. Make sure that you don't keep that side so full that it causes mastitis or pain. The idea is to reduce the supply by removing some demand. You may need to repeat this a few times for results.
Try to avoid extra breast stimulation like extra pumping, running warm water on your breasts for a long time or using breast shells.
Apply cool compresses to the breast.
Cabbage leaf compresses and herbs also work.
Sage tea has helped some mothers in reducing milk production.
Peppermint and thyme tea help to reduce milk production too.
Feed your baby before he/she gets too hungry; this will keep your baby from sucking
too hard, which not only hurts when the nipples are already sore, but can
cause more nipple damage. How to recognize a baby's hunger cues.
Spray the extra milk into a towel or cloth before feeding your baby.
You do not need to have overfull breasts for them to leak, but it is a common problem for mothers with an overabundance of milk. Put gentle pressure on the nipples by pressing your arms tightly against your chest for a few minutes. (More about leaking breasts during breast feeding here)
Struggling to get your baby to nurse to sleep?
This is a common problem for mothers with oversupply issues. Just as your baby starts to doze off, your breast decides to have a "let down" (increased flow of milk). This may cause your baby to pull off and cry instead of sleeping. If this happens you can use the tips described above and/or on the let down page, or you can switch your baby back to the less full breast.
The colic baby
Most colic issues are caused by oversupply and acid reflux. Both of these issues are amplified when a baby is fed large meals that are widely spaced during the day. Frequent, small meals will help to reduce colic symptoms. Babies who are carried in upright positions also experience less colic symptoms. Read more about wearing your baby and Kangaroo Mother Care.
Bloody streaks in the stool
If you discover that your baby has a rash or blood in the stool, it may be an indication of an irritated intestine. Once you get the oversupply issue sorted, this should subside too. But in addition to this you can consider an elimination diet to remove other potential irritants. Consider removing one of the following at a time, only moving to the next one if the problem does not subside:
Dairy and soy.
Artificial colouring and preservatives.
Any food item that you might have binged on during pregnancy.
Most doctors say that you can ignore small amounts of blood. Formula fed babies often have blood in their stools. Sometimes the blood is not always visible.