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Thread: breast engorged but unable to pump milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    savannah ga
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    9

    Default breast engorged but unable to pump milk

    My milk has just recently came in. my breast are extremely engorged and tender. i have been pumping because my baby wasnt latching on right and was unbearable pain but pumping was working and he was eating great. Now that i am engorged i can not get him to latch on or can i pump any out. i have been able to hand express some but is not keeping up with his feeding demands please help i have tried cold cabbage and warm compresses anyone help please

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: breast engorged but unable to pump m

    can you get him to correct his latch? have you tried changing your positions, i found the football hold to be the best when i was engorged early on. i would do the boob sandwich and then as soon as he opened his mouth i would quickly guide him to the nipple. in the beginning i had really really bad pain from my lo's aggressive suck, i got his latch corrected and i would watch the clock for 5 min on each side as soon as 5 min would pass i would unlatch him and switch sides (i only had him latch for 5 min b/c the pain was great but i wanted him to remove the milk b/c i knew that we would get past the pain). i really did have intense pain but i eventually got better (for me after about 5 weeks). i kept my boobs uncovered most of the day and would dip them in warm water after feedings and put on lanolin after the boob dip and this helped me.
    mom to ds daniel 12/16/09 and ben 2/27/11

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    savannah ga
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: breast engorged but unable to pump m

    i have tried he is refusing to latch i guess you could say. I try to put him on and he cries and spits the nipple back out. i have tried the nipple sandwhich and put him to the nipple but he just wont take for some reason. I will keep tring to get latch right hopefully will work

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,417

    Default Re: breast engorged but unable to pump m

    When you are engorged, that means that not only is milk in the breasts, but you are also swollen with other fluids, and basically, your breasts can get congested, and it may indeed be very difficult to extract milk. Also of course it can cause baby to have difficulty latching.

    So you want to concentrate on 2 things, getting the milk out regularly/reducing the swelling, and feeding baby.

    If you are unable to pump or handexpress enough to relieve the pressure, you may have to take temporary measures to get the milk flowing even if it means losing some of the milk. For example, some moms find they can massage some milk out in the shower or into a towel more easily than they can hand express into a bowl. Yes, frustrating to lose the milk, but for many reasons it is very important to keep the milk flowing anyway you can.

    Heat may help get milk flowing, but it can also increase swelling. So you may want to try a cold compress (frozen bag of peas works good) 20 min on, 20 min off, as much as you like, and see if that helps with the swelling and pressure.

    Some moms take an OTC anti-inflamatory.

    Are you sure your pump is in proper working order? Sometimes, the issue is the pump. But lots of times pumping increases the issues of engorgement as it brings more fluid into the areola. So maybe try pumping on a very low settting.

    Try lying on your back, so gravity pulls fluid out of your breasts.

    You say you are not able to keep up with the feeding demands. But maybe you are keeping up fine, and baby is just fussy, or is getting enough milk but wants to suckle more. How are you feeding baby? (bottle? what?) How old is baby? is he pooping, peeing? Do you know what to look for output wise in order to make sure baby is getting enough?

    See this artilce about engorgement. Particulary, look at the bottom about reverse pressure softening. This can help baby be able to latch during engorgement. http://www.llli.org/faq/engorgement.html

    and diaper log for measuring output: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...diaper_log.pdf

    Laid back breastfeeding may help facilitate latch: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    savannah ga
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: breast engorged but unable to pump m

    yes the pump is working good. we just got it a few days ago and at first was a life saver. i am giving him the milk thru a bottle which a family member told me could be why he is not wanting to latch. is that possible? did i mess up giving him a bottle? he is 5 days old right now and he has at least 1 bm a day and 6-7 wet diapers a day. i have no idea if he is getting enough i just give him all I have and hope that i have given him enough.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: breast engorged but unable to pump m

    I found that when I was very engorged, I could hand express enough so that my breast was just soft enough for my baby to latch.

    One thing to watch out for--when your baby spit the nipple back out, are you dripping or spraying milk? If so, you might be letting down too much for him to handle at the moment.. I have this problem and basically unlatch him and let the milk run/spray into a towel until the flow slows, then relatch. He's more comfortable this way (buut cries while waiting for his milk, poor thing).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: breast engorged but unable to pump m

    Yes. The bottle could be why you are having trouble latching baby, besides the engorgement. And it will put you on a one way trip to exclusive pumping if you aren't careful. Breastfeeding is hard the first few weeks, but pumping is never easy, and it only gets harder as baby gets older.

    Google reverse pressure softening and see if that helps.

    Second, google IBCLC for your area and contact one. Hands on help will help you get that baby back to the breast 100%, which will make your life easier in the long run.

    Third, read this http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html and throw the bottles away.

    Fourth, it does hurt when baby first latches on, but does it hurt the whole time? If so, then you need the help of an IBCLC or LLL leader to fix the latch.

    BTW, under the health care plan, every mother has the right to have her lactation support paid for by her insurance company. Do not let money stand in the way.

    I have been exclusively pumping for over a year. It is hard, hard work. It will be much harder in just a few weeks, and it has to be an obsession to make it work. BFing will become much easier if you overcome it now.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

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