Many new moms have trouble producing enough breastmilk to feed their babies and keeping up with daily breastfeeding demands. But other women have the exact opposite problem, which is known as hyperlactation syndrome. This is a condition in which a woman’s body produces more breastmilk than normal, and this affects both the mom and the baby in different ways.
This article addresses the condition of hyperlactation syndrome in nursing moms and the effects of this syndrome on babies. It will also discus the connection between hyperlactation and infant gas and how new moms can ensure that their babies are well-fed and comfortable.
A new mother’s body goes through many changes during and after pregnancy, and her body may be simply overenthusiastic about producing milk in the first few weeks after giving birth. Also, some women naturally have more alveoli than average, which is between 100,000 and 300,000 per breast. Women who have more than this amount are more likely to notice hyperlactation.
One of the most common hyperlactation symptoms is breastmilk that comes out of the breast very quickly and in large quantities. This can make it difficult for a nursing baby to feed properly and digest the breastmilk. Moms may notice that their babies refuse to nurse after just a few minutes of starting feeding. Babies may also spit up after feedings, have excess gas, produce large stools, and exhibit more colic-like behavior when their moms have hyperlactation syndrome. Meanwhile, mothers may feel like their breasts are constantly full, experience leaks between feedings, and feel pain in their breasts.
Infant gas is among the most concerning of symptoms that result from hyperlactation because gas makes babies especially fussy, irregular, and uncomfortable. Gas can result when a baby swallows too much milk at once or gulps in extra air while feeding. In addition to increased bloating, constipation, burping, and flatulence, a baby who is breastfed from a mother with hyperlactation may produce many heavy and wet diapers and stools that are green and frothy in appearance.
The position in which a breastfeeding mother holds her baby has an impact on her milk flow. Try sitting in an upright position to reduce the supply of milk. Another position to try is to lie the baby down and dangle the breast over the baby to encourage full drainage of the breast.
One old wives’ tale that some women swear by involves putting cabbage leaves in the bra to slow down milk production. Placing a cool washcloth on the breast has a similar effect. It may also help to nurse from just one breast for a few feedings, a practice known as block feedings. To ease symptoms of infant gas, PediaCare’s Gas Drops can provide relief for little ones as young as newborns. And mothers who continue to produce excess breastmilk may be interested in donating to a local breastmilk bank to help other new mothers in need.
In this parental guide to gas relief, PediaCare provides resources for parents seeking answers for their child's special circumstances. Medicine made for kids, helps getting better easier!