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Thread: Breasts engorged?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Default Breasts engorged?

    I am a new mom to an 8 day old and my breasts always seem hard, swollen and tender. Although there is some relief after a feeding, the other breast will be in pain. I am nursing every 2-3 hours and can barely wait to feed because of how hard and painful my breast feels. It is like a burning sensation while waiting to nurse. Is this something that will eventually get better on its own? If not, what can i do to relieve this? Please help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Breasts engorged?

    Yes, it's normal, and it will eventually get better on its own. Most moms are engorged when their milk first comes in. We tend to make 'too much milk' at first--it's nature's way of making sure that baby is getting enough to eat while mom and baby are trying to master the tricky art of breastfeeding. For the time being, probably the best thing you can do is feed your baby more often, and let them nurse off both breasts at each feeding, if he/she will take it. Most newborns are happy to nurse every 1-2 hours and there is nothing wrong with letting them--in fact, it's the best thing you can do both for ensuring the baby is getting enough to eat and to help your supply adjust to your baby's demand. Nursing every 2-3 hours may not be enough, at this point--you should be aiming for a MINIMUM of 10-12 feedings a day with a newborn, and many newborns will eat much more often than that. At that age, my son was eating at least every hour--it seemed like I did nothing other than nurse for the first few weeks, which is very normal!

    If you're feeling overly engorged but baby isn't interested in nursing, you can hand-express a little bit of milk to relieve the discomfort. I wouldn't recommend pumping at this point, because that sends a strong signal to your body to make more milk and may lead to worse engorgement and oversupply. Hand expressing just a little bit should be okay though. Hope that helps! Feel free to ask if you've got more questions And congrats on the new baby!
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Breasts engorged?

    I agree with PP! Let baby nurse as often as it wants and wake baby *at least* every two hours. I was only engorged on the first day of my milk "coming in" but I found that hand expressing some in the shower helped to relieve the pain and pressure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    miles from nowhere

    Default Re: Breasts engorged?

    Are you nursing every two to three hours because that is how often baby is cueing you to feed her? Or is that a schedule you are trying to stick to?

    Even if baby isn't acting hungry, if you are getting painfully engorged you could try nursing her to relieve the pressure. If she really doesn't want to eat...she won't. It won't hurt anything to offer.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Default Re: Breasts engorged?

    Offer the breast lots. No need to wait for your baby to ask. How is your baby's diaper count? And how is the nursing going?

    Kellymom has some good info engorgement.


    Dr Newman

    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Breasts engorged?

    I agree with all pp, and I am also curious how babies latch his and how weight gain is.

    Also sometimes this post partum swelling is actually caused/worsened by edema-excess water in your cells-from IV fluids. It can take several days to show up in the breasts, face, extremities. Did you have an IV in the hospital? Are your feet or hands swollen? Edema or plain old rock hard engorgement, it does not change the remedies, but I think it's helpful to know what is happening.

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