Breast Engorgement Relief

The number one solution for breast engorgement relief and prevention: MOVE THE MILK!

About 2 to 5 days after your baby is born your breasts begin to make large quantities of milk for your baby. When your milk comes in, breasts usually feel warm and heavy. Some women experience slight swelling, while others feel uncomfortably swollen.

Early breast fullness is normal especially in early days while you establish your milk supply and your baby develops a nursing pattern. The normal fullness is caused by milk production and extra blood and fluids in your breasts. Your body uses the extra fluids to make more breast milk for your baby.

The best plan to relieve breast engorgement is frequent unrestricted feeding.

Learn to breastfeed with your baby as soon after birth as possible. It's easier for a baby to learn to latch on correctly on the first and second day when your breasts are softer, and still producing smaller quantities of colostrum before copious milk production begins and breasts become full and firm. Your baby should grasp the breast with a gaping mouth.

Avoid using artificial nipples, bottles, and pacifiers while the baby is learning to breastfeed.

Nurse frequently and long enough to make sure baby is removing enough milk. Focus less on the clock and feed your baby often. It’s normal and healthy to feed a newborn 10-16 times in 24 hours. This will also prevent milk from building up in your breasts. In the first month or two, a baby who sleeps for four or five hours at a time may give you a chance to rest, but your breasts may become engorged. It’s helpful to wake baby every two hours during the day and don't let him sleep more than four-hours straight at night in order to prevent engorgement.

Newborn babies do not adequately empty the breasts in five or ten minutes. Let your baby finish and empty one side before offering the other.

Missed feedings will lead to fullness. If you need to miss a feeding make sure to remove the milk by pumping or hand expression.

When unsure, seek guidance and support from a lactation consultant and solve latch-on and positioning problems as soon as possible.

When starting the weaning process always do so gradually.

Treatment and Breast Engorgement Relief

Before a breastfeeding session, using moist heat pads helps provide breast engorgement relief. The heat enables the milk ducts to open better and allows for better milk drainage. You can take a quick hot shower letting the water flow directly onto your breasts before feeding your baby or use a homemade rice heat pack. Heat can help milk flow but do not use heat for more than 5 minutes or it could cause swelling to increase.

Place cold compresses on your breasts for 20 minutes right after nursing your baby to gain breast engorgement relief and reduce swelling.

While your baby rests in between sucking bursts massage your breast to help drain more milk from your breast.

Some mothers find it soothing to apply washed, chilled green cabbage leaves on the breasts for 20 minutes several times a day.Ask your health care professional about medications such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and inflammation.

For some women it is more comfortable to go bra-less during engorgement while for others wearing a nursing bra makes them feel better. Whatever you decide is best for you, avoid putting pressure on one area of the breast for an length of time and wear a well-fitted, supportive nursing bra.

Gentle breast massage and relaxation techniques may help improve milk flow and reduce engorgement. After applying heat and your breast is still warm, massage from your armpit down to your nipple.

Hand expression or using a breast pump for a few minutes may help soften the nipple and areola so that the baby can get a better latch.

”Reboot Your System”

Some women find that after fully emptying both breasts with the help of a breast pump or by hand expression they feel much better and have less engorgement afterwards. After fully draining your breasts to get breast engorgement relief and return to frequent breastfeeding as the main way to manage engorgement.

Signs for Concern

When breast engorgement persists and is accompanied by additional symptoms, it may be a sign of an infection that requires medical treatment.

Always consult with your doctor if you experience the following:

Fever for 24 hours

Sudden onset of chills

General feeling of being unwell

Nausea Breast engorgement relief - make your own heat pack