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Thread: Breasts not emptying

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    61

    Default Breasts not emptying

    My 3rd baby is 7 days old. Milk came in on day 2. While they are not as engorged as that first time, they are quite knotty and are not feeling soft after feedings. Should I knead my breasts or use a warm compress while she nurses? They hurt, especially when my toddler climbs all over me :/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Breasts not emptying

    Hi, here is what I suggest.
    First think about latch and whether baby could be latching or transferring milk better. Is baby gaining well? Is nursing comfortable? If not, either would indicate a possible issue with milk transfer.
    Second, Encourage baby to nurse as often as baby will.
    If those two are not doing the trick, After baby nurses, or between nursing sessions, hand express. (Or before nursing if that seems to help baby get a better latch.)
    If hand expressing is not working to soften the breast and remove lumps, consider pumping after or between nursing sessions. Be careful to pump on a low setting and JUST to comfort.
    Of course the problem with pumping (and to a lesser extent, hand expression) is that doing these things may increase milk production. However, the much more immediate issue is that engorgement and the related plugs or milk stasis leading to mastitis. So it is important to keep the milk flowing from the breasts frequently to avoid this. Just try to not pump or hand express more than is needed.

    As far as the discomfort, there is way more you can do aside warm compress. A warm compress may assist milk flow so if that works for you great. But otherwise warmth can be counterproductive or not do much. I would suggest also try cold compresses between nursing sessions and perhaps some ibuprofen in order to relieve inflammation. Many moms find the old cabbage leaves cure helpful as well. Here are more ideas:

    Engorgement: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/engorgement/ and http://www.lalecheleague.org/faq/engorgement.html
    Plugs http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...plugsblebs.pdf

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Breasts not emptying

    Thank you. I'm also wondering if I should continue on last breast instead of the other one when she next feeds?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Breasts not emptying

    Well, that might be fine. Do you mean baby starting on the side that feels more full? I think that makes sense no matter what side baby left off on.

    What I would not suggest at this point is block feeding to reduce production- just because it is so early and also because you feel like plugs are forming. Block feeding is when baby is nursing on one breast- the same breast- for two or more complete sessions, in order to reduce production in the other breast- the "blocked" breast, which becomes very full as a result. So if you mean that, I would suggest read Morhbacher on the dos and don'ts of block feeding first to see if block feeding would be safe at this point for you. http://www.nancymohrbacher.com/blog/...dos-donts.html

    However, if in practice, you mean baby nursing one side at a time, or baby nursing both sides but may start on the same side baby left off because that side is feels fuller- and baby is nursing with good frequency overall, that is probably fine. I think you always want to pay close attention to how YOU feel, and use that to guide you on which breast needs more milk removal at the moment. Does that make sense?

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