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Thread: Engorgement at 5 weeks

  1. #1

    Default Engorgement at 5 weeks

    I have one side that produces much more and I wake up with painful engorgement in that side once a night. The most I go without feeding during the night is 3.5 hours. I need to either pump or hand express to relieve the pain. I was hoping engorgement would go away by now. LO is 5 weeks and I am feeding on demand. The breast does feel empty after he finishes and we still have very long feedings (most over an hour, occasional 2 hour nighttime feedings). Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,959

    Default Re: Engorgement at 5 weeks

    Welcome! How much are you pumping or hand-expressing on the engorged side? Often moms think they must completely deflate the engorged breast, and that turns out to be totally counterproductive. Every time you empty a breast very completely, your body thinks the milk that was taken out was all needed and therefore produces the same amount all over again. So generally the best way to cope with engorgement is to either a) put up with it or b) hand-expres the minimum amount needed to restore comfort, but no more. Leaving milk in the breast tells the body that it is making too much, and it will gradually reduce supply.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Engorgement at 5 weeks

    I just wanted to say your not alone. My little one is five weeks old and have the same problem. Often I feel that one of my breasts has poor milk producion whilst the other is bursting. Often I end up spraying milk all over her face and often she struggling with the flow!! I had breast engorgement from day 3 and it improved. Although my left breast has always produced more milk, still waiting for its production to slow down. Over the last couple of days I have had to start expressing again as breast causing so much pain from being too full. However I just express to comfort and try to take less off each time. Not sure if this problem has reoccurred due to my little one feeding more in day and less at night. She only now wakes once between midnight and 6am.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Engorgement at 5 weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Welcome! How much are you pumping or hand-expressing on the engorged side? Often moms think they must completely deflate the engorged breast, and that turns out to be totally counterproductive. Every time you empty a breast very completely, your body thinks the milk that was taken out was all needed and therefore produces the same amount all over again. So generally the best way to cope with engorgement is to either a) put up with it or b) hand-expres the minimum amount needed to restore comfort, but no more. Leaving milk in the breast tells the body that it is making too much, and it will gradually reduce supply.
    I seriously pumped at night for MONTHS. It creates a nasty cycle, where your body just makes more and more milk. The only way out of it is to grit your teeth and deal with some engorgement. Full breasts will send the necessary message to your brain that the milk is not needed. The trick is to hand express enough so that you don't get clogged ducts and mastitis, without expressing so much that your body thinks you've given birth to a whole football team and it needs to ramp up production. It's a fine line to walk, and it's not really fun. If by any chance you are prone to clogs or mastitis (common for moms with OS), take it VERY SLOWLY, backing off the pumping a little bit at a time, rather than trying to go "cold turkey."


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

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