Breastmilk production can be a tricky little thing. A lot of factors, be it external or internal factors, can easily affect the level of breastmilk production.
Prolactin is a special hormone that helps to regulate your breastmilk production. Of course, one thing about hormones is how it can change from time to time.
Some factors that may affect your breastmilk production:
- Diet/ Food Intake
- Your mental and emotional status
- Mother’s and Baby’s Health conditions
Low supply of breastmilk is a constant worry for breastfeeding mothers anywhere. It is a very common topic being discussed among mothers but what if you are producing more milk than what your baby needs?
What if your baby is weaned but you still have bags of milk frozen in your freezer?
Oversupply of breastmilk is a real thing and it is actually very common! Like previously mentioned, there are a lot of factors that will affect your milk production and some of these factors will cause you to make more milk than what you necessarily need.
You may think that oversupplying of breastmilk production is a good thing, right? Well, perhaps a little too much of something can have its negative effects too.
In the other hand, if you are facing low milk supply, read this article on how to improve that!
Sometimes oversupplying breastmilk can negatively impact your baby such as:
As we may know, your child needs to gain weight steadily in-line with their growth and development. When your baby receives an oversupply of breastmilk, it may cause them to gain weight excessively.
Babies especially in the early infancy stage requires a lot of fat and calories in their diet for their growth especially for their brain development but too much of it can be a cause for worry.
We are talking about babies who gain double or triple their recommended weight in their BMI chart.
For instance, excessive weight gain may cause your baby to learn to crawl and walk later than their peers because they are too heavy.
Uncontrol excessive weight gain can lead to obesity too and if your child is obese during their childhood stage, they are more likely to remain obese until adulthood.
Milk Control Difficulty During Feeding
High milk production can also cause your baby to face difficulty during feeding time. You may observe this when you are breastfeeding your baby.
If your baby seems to be clamping or biting down on your nipple, it could be that they are trying to slow down the milk flow.
High breastmilk production causes a lot of build up pressure in your breast because the quantity is constantly full. Therefore, when your baby feeds, the milk will rush out and this may can cause your child to even chock or gag from the milk flow.
They are unable to control the flow and suck it at their own pace.
Pain and Gas Problems
An oversupply of breastmilk can also make your baby uncomfortable. If you are observing that your baby gets fussy or seems to not be sated after feeding, it may be that they are feeling gaseous or bloated.
How does this occur?
When huge amount of milk enters your baby’s system in one sitting, not every drop of it will be absorb and digested. A lot of it will go straight to the intestine where it will combine with the bacteria found in the lower bowels and causes gas and acid stools to be produced.
Observing your child’s excretion can be very telling of your baby’s condition. If you noticed that your baby’s poo is green and frothy or explosive similar to that of a diarrhea poop, it could be a sign that your baby is taking in too much milk.
Frothy or foamy poop can be common among young infants as their bowels are not yet fully matured but over time this will be improved but it also shows that your baby is receiving abundance of lactose. More than what their body can process.
On the whole, for confirmation, during your baby’s routine check-up, be sure to discuss any of these symptoms with your doctor and ask them what you can do to improve the situation.
What To Do Leftover Breastmilk
All concerns aside, if your doctor says your baby is doing well but you still have a lot of leftover breastmilk, here are some useful things that you can use them for!
1. Treating Diaper Rash / Eczema / Sun burn / Sore Nipples
Breastmilk is not called liquid gold for nothing! A few years ago, this was catching up among breastfeeding mothers a lot.
To use it for treatment, just simply pat some breastmilk onto skin and let it dry. Voilà!
Some even made a lotion out of breastmilk solely for treating diaper rash. You’ll need beeswax, grapeseed oil or coconut oil, and Vitamin E oil.
Now, study shows that it is indeed true that you can use your breastmilk to treat your baby’s diaper rash. Yet, another study reveals that cream treatment is more effective than using breastmilk.
Nonetheless, if you are planning to make it, make sure to store in the fridge so it last longer.
2. Breastmilk Soap
You can make bath soap using breastmilk, isn’t that amazing? Not just your baby can benefit from it but you can too!
Some benefits of breastmilk soap:
- Softens dry skin
- Relieves sensitive skin
Check out this recipe here:
However, when breastmilk soap was trending, some doctors argue that the soap-making processd destroys the natural nutrients found in breastmilk.
3. Use It as Baby Food
If your baby is 6 months and older and you are planning to introduce them to solid foods, you can add a bit breastmilk into the recipe.
As a result, your child not only the benefits of breastmilk but also make it easier for them to get accustomed to solid foods due to some familiar taste in the food.
Some mothers even recommend trying to make popsicles using breastmilk and mash fruits to help with your baby’s teething period.
4. Breastmilk as Fertilizer
If you have plants around in your home, or gardening is your hobby, then you can use your leftover breastmilk as fertilizers.
As you know, breastmilk has plenty of good nutrients. Even your plants can benefit from it.
5. Donate Your Breastmilk
It is okay if you do not feel like doing anything with your extra breastmilk. You can always donate it to those in need. There are non-profit organizations that help to give facilitate breastmilk donations for instance, Human Milk 4 Human Babies Malaysia.
Moreover, muslim breastfeeding mothers can also donate their breastmilk. Check out their website where they have explained.
Some mothers may have difficulties in giving adequate breastmilk for their baby due to their own health conditions and this is where you can help. Also, breastmilk donation can help premature babies in hospitals who are in critical need for breastmilk.
Mothers support mothers!