What is breastfeeding engorgement? What causes engorged breasts?
Breast milk engorgement usually happens within the first few weeks of breastfeeding.
Engorged breasts take place, because of the pressure of expanding cells, due to the new breast milk contained inside of them.
Engorgement happens when the milk producing cells, are uncomfortably full. Engorgement is sometimes apparent in the areola and/or the breast; in one breast or in both breasts. (you may have just one engorged, sore swollen breast)
Dealing with engorgement on top of having a new baby to care for, day and night, may be discouraging to Mom. The good news is, there are ways to treat breast engorgement.
Nursing engorgement is temporary and usually only lasts three days, or until Mom's body has adapted to the needs of her baby.
Breastfeeding and engorgement can also happen as a result of missed feeds or incorrect latching, which results in milk being left behind in the breast. Breast engorgement after abrupt weaning is also very common.
It has been found, that incidences of engorged breasts also lessen with each child, since mature milk comes in quicker.
Many Moms give up on breastfeeding, because of milk engorgement, but this will just increase the pain and discomfort!
* A swollen breast.
* Tender breast, with some throbbing.
* Breasts feel hard.
* Slightly lumpy when touched.
* Your nipples might be temporarily flattened.
* The areola is sometimes very hard.
* Swollen lymph nodes under the arm pits.
* Slight increase in body temperature (fever).
Mastitis and Breast Engorgement
Engorgement of the breast, if left untreated, can turn into a breast infection (mastitis), which is when you might start to feel flu-like symptoms; like fever and dizziness.
How to Reduce the Pain of an Engorged Breast
* Breast engorgement relief can come from the use of a proper fitted nursing bra, which will provide support and comfort for engorged breasts. This bra should not be too tight, as this will just cause even more pain.
* You can use a breast pump, to reduce some of the pain.
* Breast engorgement pain can be reduced with hand expressing manually.
* Breastfeed as frequently as possible; this will empty the breasts and reduce the pain.
* Using a cold compress to relieve engorgement: Ice packs or chilled cabbage leaves can be used after a breastfeeding session to reduce pain and swelling of engorged breasts. These should not be used before a breastfeeding session, as this might hamper the flow of milk.
* Use a hot compress or have a warm shower before breastfeeding, but for only a few minutes to reduce engorgement and get the milk flowing easily.
* Use gentle breast massage before and during breastfeeding.
* Relaxing during breastfeeding will also help drain your breasts more effectively.
* Use a breast pump to empty your breasts if your baby does not empty them.
* Read more about latching issues related to nipples that are flat or concave.
* Avoid artificial nipples and pacifiers.
* Relieve engorgement by making sure that Baby is latched on properly.
* You can take a pain reliever like Ibuprofen.
* Try different
breastfeeding positions; this will ensure that all milk ducts are emptied for relief of breast engorgement.
* Breastfeed Baby at least eight times every 24 hours.
* Do not supplement your baby with any extra fluids, for the first four weeks.
* If any feeds are missed, Mom will need to express milk manually.
* Breast engorgement from weaning: When Mom needs to wean Baby, it should be done gradually.
Read more about weaning and breast engorgement here.
* Engorgement at night: Do not skip night feeds.
Postpartum Breast Engorgement Remedies
Cabbage leaves breast engorgement remedy: Put a cold cabbage leaf against your breast for a few minutes. It is believed that the cabbage gives off enzymes, that ease engorgement, but this is not scientifically proven.
machine wash and dry...
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help -- i've stopped cold turkey with my 2.5 yr. old
she seems to be ok with it -- so far, but my left one is so engorged I look ridiculous. is stopping cold turkey bad for me? Thank you for any advice. …
Engorgement relief bra
one more tip to add to your recommendations - I used the Lama bra and it worked wonders to ease my engorgement issues ... worth giving it a try
Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr, Studying through Child birth international (CBC, CBD), Author and Mommy of two.
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