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Thread: Engorgement and latching

  1. #1

    Default Engorgement and latching

    I've got a 3 day old LO at home and we were off to a great start when my milk started to come in faster then he wanted to drink it. Both breasts are now engorged and latching on has become an issue again leading to an extremely sore nipple, raw, scabbed, and bleeding. I feel like I can't get him to latch properly with the soreness and tightness of my breasts. Would love any advice on how to keep nursing frequently to reduce engorgement, but also latch properly so that my nipples have a chance to heal. PLEASE!! Should I start pumping exclusively on that side while the nipple heals or would that lower my supply???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Default Re: Engorgement and latching


    What is happening to you right now is normal. Your body is producing and figuring out how much your baby needs. One thing you can do is pump or hand express a little bit to reduce the engorgement and also apply cold compresses. Feeding should not hurt if the latch is right. The more you get out, the more you will produce so keep this in mind when you are pumping/hand expressing. Hang on!!! It is nice that you have milk, some moms struggle to get their supply up. Your body will eventually learn how much your baby needs and your breast will not feel like they do now.

    Good luck.

    First time mom to Little Luisa.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Engorgement and latching

    Ouch! Engorgement is no fun. Combine that with raw nips and you must be in severe pain. I'm so sorry, Mama.

    Things that may help:
    - see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for hands-on help.
    - reverse pressure softening technique: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...cotterman.html
    - cold cabbage leaves or cold packs on your breasts may make engorgement more bearable (and cabbage is thought to diminish supply)
    - a cup of peppermint or sage tea may help diminish supply
    - pump or hand-express a little milk before feeding to reduce engorgement and allow baby to get a better latch. Be careful- don't pump too much as this will only make the engorgement last longer or make it worse.
    - treat your sore nipples. Lanolin and gel-pads are good for moist healing. Go topless/braless for a while- it will prevent chafing and reduce the risk of plugged ducts from an ill-fitting bra. Use a combination of 1% hydrocortisone cream and Bacitracin antibiotic ointment on the cracks to fight inflammation/infection.

    I would not recommend pumping exclusively right now. Your baby is still very new and pumps can really mess with your supply- you can end up worsening an oversupply situation or reducing supply to inadequate levels. Best to let baby determine the right amount of milk through nursing on demand.

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