What is breastfeeding engorgement? What causes engorged breasts?
milk engorgement usually happens within the first few weeks of
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 a mother. The good news is, there are ways to treat
How Long does Engorgement Last?
Nursing engorgement is temporary and usually only lasts three days, or until the mother's body has adapted to the needs of her baby.
Breastfeeding and engorgement can also happen as a result of missed feeds or
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 less with each child, since mature milk comes in
Many mothers give up on breastfeeding, because of milk engorgement,
but this will just increase the pain and discomfort!
Breast Engorgement Symptoms
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.
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.
Engorgement Remedies ~ Breast Engorgement Treatment
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.
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
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.
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.