While many nursing mothers are trying by all means to increase lactation, some are faced with the opposite problem. Sometimes so much milk is secreted that it becomes a real test, from which both the baby and the woman suffer. This phenomenon in medicine is called hyperlactation.
With hyperlactation of milk in the female breast, so much is produced that it begins to spontaneously leak. Excessive formation of nutrient fluid causes significant problems for both the mother and the baby.
Specialists distinguish two forms of hyperlactation.
- Primary is due to natural changes in the mother’s body after the birth of the baby. Such postpartum increased milk production is experienced by most recently born women. Gradually, the amount of nutrient fluid returns to normal in accordance with the needs of the baby (this process takes up to several weeks, by three months the baby’s life, the situation should stabilize).
- Secondary, in which the volume of milk produced remains large even a few months after birth.
Signs of increased lactation
The manifestation of a woman’s hyperlactation is indicated by certain symptoms:
- milk constantly and abundantly flows from the nipples;
- the chest fills up very quickly (for example, the child ate only half an hour ago, and the mother already has a lot of nutrient fluid again);
- stagnation is regularly formed in the ducts;
- the feeling of heaviness and fullness in the mammary glands does not disappear even immediately after feeding;
- milk stands out in a strong stream, which prevents the baby from fully sucking;
- the baby regularly suffers from colic due to indigestion;
- the baby is overweight, clearly exceeding the necessary norms (although in some cases the opposite situation is observed: the baby is not gaining weight due to problems with sucking).
The negative effect of excess breast milk on the state of mother and baby
Often, hyperlactation becomes a real test for a nursing mother. In addition to the constant leakage of milk and pain in the chest, the woman is very tired, cannot sleep normally, is in a depressed mood.
Another problem associated with excessive lactation is edema of breast tissue due to its excessive filling. If this does not express a little secret, then the situation may worsen (blockage of the ducts, lactostasis, mastitis). For this reason, the woman is in a vicious circle: decantation leads to an even greater production of milk, but it is necessary to avoid complications.
Excessive lactation brings discomfort to the baby. Due to the strong flow of fluid, it chokes, turns away, coughs, and sometimes can completely abandon the chest.
In addition, the baby manages to get enough of the “front” low-calorie milk, without having reached the most nutritious “back” milk (after all, it does not completely empty the mammary gland, as it should be ideally). At the same time, the intestines of the crumbs are filled with a large amount of lactose (milk sugar), which interferes with normal digestion: there is rumbling in the abdomen and colic due to the accumulation of gases, green foamy stool. It is clear that because of these problems, the baby will feel bad.
It is interesting that many young mothers associate crying and nervousness of the baby with a lack of breast milk, although the problem may be precisely in hyperlactation – in fact, nutrition is even more than necessary. And so in the life of a child due to the inexperience of a woman, supplementary feeding with an artificial mixture may unreasonably appear.
Often during hyperlactation in the mother, the baby is overweight. However, in some cases, there is also a shortage of body weight: the baby can not cope with a strong flow of milk and even with frequent sucking does not receive sufficient amounts of food. Both of these situations are bad for the full development of the child.
Causes of hyperlactation in women
If primary hyperlactation is due to natural causes associated with hormonal changes in the postpartum body, then the secondary (or true) form occurs under the influence of the following factors.
- Excessive stimulation of lactation. A young mother, after listening to the advice of grandmothers and friends, begins to uncontrollably use various means to increase the production of breast milk (lactogonous purchased teas, folk methods, etc.).
- Regular pumping.
- Improperly organized feeding system (the constant transfer of the baby from one breast to another, which forces the body to produce more nutrient fluids).
- Hereditary factor. Sometimes excessive milk production is associated with the natural features of the female body (the mother and grandmother of such a woman must also have been very “dairy”).
- Impaired hormonal levels due to pathology of the thyroid gland, ovaries or pituitary gland, prolonged use of contraceptives before pregnancy, treatment of infertility.
Special feeding techniques to reduce lactation
Lactation can be reduced if feeding is properly organized. The following tricks will help.
- Before applying the baby to the breast, it is necessary to express “front” milk. This will help the baby quickly get to the nutritious back, and also prevent the appearance of a milky “waterfall” in which it is easy to drown. By the way, these stocks can be frozen and saved for the case when mom needs to leave the house. At the same time, you should not express too much at a time: a smart female body will regard this as a signal for even more enhanced lactation.
- If at the beginning of feeding a woman feels a strong rush of milk, then you need to delicately remove the baby from the breast, let the liquid drain onto a towel or diaper and resume applying. With an intensive exit of the nutrient fluid, to give the baby a break, briefly squeeze the nipple or push it inside.
- To prevent the baby from choking, feed him optimally half-sitting, gently holding his head and back (up to 6 months, keep the crumbs under the ass should not be). The baby’s head should be located above the female breast. Mom at this time sits, leaning slightly back, which reduces the flow of milk. Another suitable option is a woman lying on her side, and excess nutrient fluid flows onto the diaper from the mouth of a peanut. You can also put the baby on your chest: under the influence of gravity, milk simply can not actively flow out.
- Only one breast should be offered to the infant at each feeding. If after 1.5–2 hours he wants to apply again, then you need to give it again. Due to this, the second mammary gland will remain full, and the production of new milk will go much more slowly than in the empty one.
- If the previous option does not bring tangible results in a few days, then try offering the baby one breast for several feedings in a row, gradually increasing the interval between breast changes (it can even go up to 12 hours). Thanks to this method, lactation should normalize within a week.
- As you know, children love to suckle breasts not only because of hunger – it calms them and helps to fall asleep. However, a mother who is too “milky” cannot afford to indulge the crumbs every time – this will be for her an additional stimulation of lactation. Just here the nipple will come to the rescue.
Situations requiring treatment by a specialist
If a woman correctly uses a variety of methods to reduce the production of breast milk, but it still comes in a lot, then this is an occasion to contact a specialist. It is possible that hyperlactation is caused by serious medical reasons, especially if, before pregnancy, the mother was treated for infertility or used oral contraceptives. A gynecologist-endocrinologist will help to correct the hormonal background, recommend a special diet with the exception of products that stimulate lactation.
There is also such a medical disorder as milk fever, when a lot of nutrient fluid suddenly arrives. Often this is accompanied by an increase in body temperature (sometimes up to 40 degrees), weakness, headache, chills, or fever. The slightest touch to the chest causes the woman severe pain. In this situation, you must also consult a doctor to eliminate the risk of inflammation. The specialist will recommend the mother to continue feeding, and apply the baby to the breast as often as possible (after all, many out of inexperience stop feeding the baby so that he does not become infected through milk with an incomprehensible disease).
How to reduce lactation during weaning
Sooner or later, the time comes when the baby has to be weaned. With the physiological end of lactation, this occurs naturally and painlessly.
A more complicated situation is when a child needs to be transferred to artificial feeding due to certain circumstances. If the mother is too “milk”, then excommunication will be problematic for her. When the number of feedings decreases, you need to help the breast rebuild to a new regimen: for this, in the intervals between applications, the milk is slightly decanted to eliminate discomfort. In addition, you can use additional funds, for example, to rebuild the diet, drink in moderate quantities decoctions of herbs. Gradually, the amount of liquid arriving will decrease, and with time it should completely disappear.
Means for reducing lactation
An integrated approach is needed to combat hyperlactation. If a woman ruled out pathological hormonal disorders in her and observes the basic principles of feeding, then the following methods should not be neglected.
- It is necessary to reduce lactating foods in the diet (these are liquid foods, nuts, dairy products, ginger and others).
- The drinking regimen should be limited – do not take large volumes of liquid. This is especially true for herbal teas with the addition of wild rose, chamomile, anise, caraway seeds and others. Conversely, nursing mothers can drink decoctions of herbs such as sage and peppermint (of course, in moderate doses).
- Cold compresses, as well as the application of cabbage leaves and the use of camphor oil, will help reduce chest pain.