Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Engorged and sleepy babe! Please advise!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    36

    Default Engorged and sleepy babe! Please advise!

    So my baby girl is 5 days old (born on Monday). My milk came in yesterday, and it came in in a hurry. She only latches on and drinks for about 10-15 minutes. She then falls asleep for an hour or two, then wakes up again for more. Bad thing is my breasts are now huge, swollen, and hard. I usually a 44 DD, and they are easily F's right now. I can't even wear a bra. My right breast is a bit better than the left, and she latches on to the right pretty well. BG can't latch on to the left, and as a result the engorgement is just getting worse. (She latched on to the left at the hospital just fine). I attempted to pump a bit last night (Medela), on the lightest setting. Now the areola on that side is the same as the breast, swollen and hard. She can't get a good latch at all. I'm afraid pumping was a bad idea.

    Also, my other 2 never had any problems staying awake while eating, but she's falling asleep so quickly. I take off her hat, take away the blankets, stroke her cheeks, play with her feet, talk to her, we do skin to skin when we can. But nothing is keeping her awake. (Others I've talked to said this is normal for such a young baby).

    Any suggestions to help with relieving the engorgement, esp softening the areola so my babe can latch on, or with keeping her awake a little bit longer? Should I try massage or try to hand express?

    This is baby #3 for us, and I had the same engorgement issue with #2. I know it went away eventually, but that was 4 years ago, and I can't remember what I did to help it. FWIW, she was a healthy 9 lbs 4 oz at birth, and is still pooping meconium. Plenty of wet diapers so far as well.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Engorged and sleepy babe! Please adv

    I am a first time mom myself with a 5 week old so I don't have a ton of experience or wisdom to draw from. I did however have a ton of latch issues in the beginning and had a day very similar to yours when he was about 5 days old too. I called the lactation consultants for some help and they said pump or hand express the milk just until you are more comfortable. If the baby is having a hard time latching because your nipples are hard, try some warm compresses to soften it. All you have to do is wet a washcloth with warm water and leave it on the nipple right before nursing. It should help soften it up. I'm sure others will have more advice for you, but hope that helps! Also, definitely put a call into a lactation consultant. My hospital offers their services for free, and I went in the next day. They worked with me for about an hour and a half and got the latch issues resolved (for the most part, anyways). Good luck to you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,952

    Default Re: Engorged and sleepy babe! Please adv

    This link on reverse pressure softening may help: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...cotterman.html

    Congratulations on the new baby, mama! Just keep watching those diapers. As long as she's still pooping and peeing she is getting enough to eat, even though she's having a tough time latching and staying awake. Some techniques for waking a sleepy baby:
    - Annoy her. Tickle the soles of her feet or rub against the grain of her hair using a cool damp washrag.
    - Keep her cool- a cool baby is an alert baby. When it's time to nurse, strip her down to a diaper or onesie, and keep a fan blowing in the room you're in.
    - Switch nursing. When baby starts to doze, take her off the breast, change her diaper, and put her on the other breast. This teaches the baby that falling asleep halfway through a meal doesn't lead to a pleasurable nap. IDK if this would work, given your engorgement issues, but you can certainly take her off the breast, change and burp her, and then put her back on the same breast.
    - Breast compressions: when sucking slows, squeeze or massage milk towards the baby.
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; January 27th, 2012 at 04:16 PM. Reason: Fixed link
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon
    Posts
    916

    Default Re: Engorged and sleepy babe! Please adv

    Cabbage leaves (green) in bra until they wilt (two days max of trying this) help a lot. Massage helps as well, but for some makes it worse so just be aware. Had very similar issue to you and that is what worked for us.
    Baby Girl "Piper" born Feb 12th, 2010. She is a true blessing!

    And a baby who is now an Angel in Heaven Feb 7th, 2008.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,417

    Default Re: Engorged and sleepy babe! Please adv

    good ideas from mommal, but when I click that link I go to HUD?

    Tips for waking sleeping baby: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...py_newborn.pdf

    (Also, keep baby with you as much as possible and try nursing when baby is asleep as well.)


    Some info on engorgement and more on Reverse Pressure Softening http://www.llli.org/faq/engorgement.html

    For engorgement, you do really want to keep getting the milk out. For one thing, it is much more difficult for a baby to latch on an engorged breast. Also, engorgement can lead to other more serious issues for mom, like plugs and mastitis. Best if baby can nurse lots, but sometimes baby cannot keep up when supply is going gangbusters in these early days. I think hand expression is a good idea, also some moms find they can get in the shower and gently squeeze/ massage some milk out, or use a towel to do this. Pumping is usually OK if you use a low setting and pump just "to comfort" (pumping too long will increase milk supply) but there is the danger of the pump causing more issues esp. if the breast sheild is not fitted quite right.

    The thing to remember about engorgement is it is not just the milk, your breasts are also swollen with blood and excess fluid which can make getting the milk out more difficult. Some moms find cold compresses help when engorged. Warmth is OK if it helps with letdown but too much heat right on the breasts can increase swelling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,952

    Default Re: Engorged and sleepy babe! Please adv

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    good ideas from mommal, but when I click that link I go to HUD?
    Fixed it. Sorry! And just yesterday I was swearing to check my links before posting. Stupid iPad.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Engorged and sleepy babe! Please adv

    Thanks for the responses, ladies! I thought it might be worthwhile to post that I did get my sweetheart to latch on to the left side tonight. I spent a good half hour massaging the whole breast, plus the areola. Which led to a lot of expressed milk, but that's good! Once I softened up the nipple area enough for her to latch on, she did, and she nursed for a solid 20 minutes. I'm still engorged, but it feels better. I'm going to try to time it again to do the same thing, massage before I know she's going to want to eat and make sure the nipple is supple enough for her to latch on to. I'm trying to avoid using the pump because I think it messes with things.

    Any suggestions for preventing letdown? I'm letting down 2-3 times per feeding right now, plus a ton in between. I was watching a dog food commercial and let down out of the blue! It's killing me! lol

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,417

    Default Re: Engorged and sleepy babe! Please adv

    When you let down, do you leak, or do you just let down and it has nowhere to go so....owie? If you leak, great, if not, and baby is not available to nurse, I would suggest expressing just a little milk to keep your breast confortable. I have no idea how to stop letdowns, some moms press on their breasts to stop leaking which might also stop a let down but I would not recommened that at this point, because you want to keep getting the milk out. Keep nursing very frequently (at least 10-12 times a 24 hours day) and your supply will most likely even out over time.

    Dog food commercial? Puppies maybe? OK, not going there!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Engorged and sleepy babe! Please adv

    Yeah, the let downs include a tiny bit of leaked milk. I'll just do my darnedest to express whenever I feel it happening, if she's not latched on! I slept with a folded up receiving blanket across my chest last night, held in place (kinda) by a loose fitting tank top. Whenever she got me up to feed, the towel was damp. Guess I wont be going out anytime soon!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Engorged and sleepy babe! Please adv

    I just thought I'd update, in case anyone else ever uses this thread to relate to. Just a few days after the Torpedo Boob Episode of 2012 (as I affectionately call my recent engorgement), things are much much better. I nursed my baby non-stop for a few days. That finally seemed to help. Today was the first day that I haven't had to massage the areola in order for her to get a good latch. Everything has become nice and palpable again, even though I'm still larger than normal. So things are good! Oh, and the let-down has really reduced as well. Now it's only during feedings, and maybe once between feedings.

    Thanks for the help, ladies!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •