Breast Feeding: Why Some Women Over-Produce

Breast Feeding: Why Some Women Over-Produce

It all comes down to genetics and what’s inside your body.

Statistics report that more than 8 in 10 mothers in the United States begin breastfeeding their babies at birth. Of course, this number decreases significantly as the months go by, but it’s a great start.

Some mothers find they don’t really produce enough milk to breast feed exclusively, and supplement their supply with formula.

But we’re here to talk about that rarer breed, who actually produce too much milk.

How does it happen?

There are many theories, but it really comes down to genetics, most of the time. Some foods and herbs-and getting enough sleep- can encourage a greater milk production, but when it truly stretches into high gear, this is likely due to the make up of your body.

Related: Breastfeeding May Almost Halve the Risk of Asthma Complications Later in Life

Women who over-produce breast milk have something called hyperlactation syndrome. Their bodies have been blessed with more than the average number of alveoli- the milk-producing cells of the breast.

An average woman has about 100,000 to 300,000 alveoli per breast, and those who over-produce are at the higher end of the scale.

Feeling engorged? Grab some ice packs, heat sources, cabbage leaves and patience, and check out these tips.

Remember, try not to over-pump (if you’re pumping), as this will only tell your breasts to make even more milk. In time, your body may balance itself out with your baby’s needs, or not.

You could become a prime candidate as a milk donor!

Photo credits: evgeny atamanenko/

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