Over the Overage!
Can we stop the oversupply madness?
There is a trend that I’m seeing in breastfeeding circles toward pumping unnecessarily early and often to build an oversupply. Breastfeeding works on supply and demand. The more you remove the more you make. Oversupply is when a mother produces milk far in excess of what her baby needs to consume. Despite the age old adage to “feed the baby not the freezer,” Women are pumping around the clock to remove as much milk as possible and build a “freezer stash” of 500-2000oz and above.
Why? Women have different reasons. Some are pumping to donate, some because a major surgery is looming and they want enough milk for their baby through the first year, and some…well some women are pumping excessively, stealing time from their lives and sometimes causing themselves health problems like mastitis, because they are simply afraid of not having enough.
The fear of not enough. What a theme of modern motherhood…
Now don’t jump down my throat. I’ve nursed three children and my supply has always ranged from “OMG I’m freaking out what am I going to do” days to “whew, I actually have just enough” days, so I know that fear intimately.
I understand the temptation to hoard all that you can, but hear me out. The milk a mama makes for her baby changes. From day to day and month to month it is tailored for her baby’s needs. The milk a mama makes today is composed to be the very best nutrition for the baby’s needs for that day.
So I got to thinking. Where else in our lives are we afraid? Where else are we holding on to provision/people/habits that were meant to only serve us yesterday, instead of having faith that provision will come tomorrow and be better for us in every way?
Maybe the key to living the life that we really want is kind of like breastmilk…if we can practice focusing on the present, and not succumb to the anxiety of “not enough,” we can give tomorrow permission to surprise us with something even better. Because here’s the deal. Just like as baby grows his/her milk needs change, as you grow you are changing too. And I’m not saying it is a bad thing to have too much of something, I’m just saying be sure that what you’re holding on to is perfectly meeting your needs.
Because Isn’t that what we all are really after?
Boobs Do It All!