Updated: Feb 23
Oversupply and Forceful letdown can go hand in hand. However, you can have a forceful letdown without an oversupply and an oversupply without a forceful letdown. How do you tell?
-Frequently engorged or feeling overly full
-Frequent episodes of mastitis &/or plugged ducts
-The baby has frothy green stools
-Baby chokes and sputters when nursing, possibly pulling away and crying
-Your supply is normal but not overabundant
You want to be sure that oversupply is your issue before starting any methods to decrease your supply. Even with an oversupply, you want to approach it slowly to ensure your supply does not fall more than you want it to. It’s essential to make sure oversupply is an issue before making any changes to lower milk production. It is also recommended that you don’t use any method to decrease supply in the first 2-4 weeks of Lactation, as your baby’s milk intake increases quite a bit during this time.
Ways to Improve Oversupply and Forceful Letdown
- A straightforward way to help your baby manage the flow of your milk is to latch on in a
“laid back” position, which means that you are leaning back with the baby up over the
breast, he is drinking ‘uphill,’ and the milk flow slows.
-If this does not help, try hand expressing or pumping just the first minute or so of your
- Many women use “block feeding” to help decrease supply. This includes feeding the baby on the same side for some time instead of both breasts at the same feeding.
-Many women start at 3-hour “blocks,” increasing as needed to decrease supply further.
-During block feeding, if your other breast is exceptionally full, you can hand express or
pump for just enough to be comfortable, decreasing the amount of time you do this on
the next day and so on, until you do not feel the need to do this.
Complete Drainage and Block Feeding
- As above, but you are also pumping after the first am feeding (when you are either out
of bed for the morning or if you could not return to sleep because you are too
uncomfortably full) until you see your milk flow slow to drops, then only at the other
feedings if needed for comfort and slowly wean down
- Another method was developed by Joan Fisher, IBCLC in Ottawa, Ontario. She
encourages Moms to use “switch nursing,” switching from one breast to the other. She
recommends switching from the first breast to the second half through the baby’s
average feeding length. For example, if your baby usually nurses for 10 minutes on each
side, nurse for 5 minutes on the first breast, then switch and nurse 5 minutes on the
2nd breast, either switching again if the baby wants to nurse longer or staying on the
-This takes block feeding, stimulates both breasts, and leaves milk in each breast to
decrease supply. Taking some milk out of each side can help prevent mastitis and
-Using this method, you may have a day or two of a fussy baby (and continued green
poop if that was a problem initially) as your body adjusts.