What is breastfeeding engorgement? What causes engorged breasts?
Breast milk engorgement usually happens within the first few weeks of breastfeeding with the breastfeeding letdown (when the milk “comes in”) because of the colostrum turning into mature milk. Engorged breasts take place because of the pressure of expanding cells, due to the new breast milk contained inside them.
Engorgement (swollen breasts) happens when the milk producing cells are uncomfortably full. Engorgement is sometimes apparent in the areola or the breast or both; 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, can cause Mom some extra stress, but there are ways to treat breast engorgement.
How long does engorgement last?
Nursing engorgement is temporary and usually only lasts three days or until Mom and baby have gotten into a pattern of feeding; your body needs to discover and adapt to the needs of your 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 weaning is also very common, if it is done abruptly.
It has been found that incidences of engorged breasts also lessens with each child since mature milk comes in quicker. Many Moms give up on breastfeeding because of milk engorgement, which can actually increase the pain and discomfort!
Breast Engorgement Symptoms
* Swelling in size “swollen breast”.
* Throbbing “tender breast”.
* Pain “sore breast”.
* 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 “breastfeeding infection”
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. Read more on breast infections here.
How to stop breast engorgement “engorgement remedies”
How to Reduce the Pain of an Engorged Breast “breast engorgement treatment”
* 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 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 baby does not completely empty them.
* Read more on difficulty latching because of 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.
How to Prevent Engorgement
* Breastfeed baby at least eight times every 24 hours.
* Do not supplement 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 on weaning and breast engorgement here.
* Engorgement at night: Do not skip night feeds. Read about co sleeping.
Postpartum Breast Engorgement Home 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.
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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. …
This question is actually regarding my daughter since she doesn't have highspeed internet. She has 4 month old twins. They've been sleeping through the …
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