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Thread: Worried that breasts weren't engorged very long

  1. #1

    Default Worried that breasts weren't engorged very long

    I've heard that your breasts can be absolutely rock hard the first couple of weeks you are nursing. That did happen to me for about one day when my milk first came in. However, now they are relatively soft again. My baby is almost one week old and is nursing at least every two hours, is swallowing and is producing enough wet and poopy diapers. I think he is getting enough milk. I'm just worried about my supply. If my breasts are not super engorged does that mean I have a low milk supply.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Worried that breasts weren't engorged very long

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    First, don't worry! "Rock hard", engorged breasts are not something everyone gets, and while the engorgement phase can last for several weeks, it is often over much more quickly. In fact, when a mom is nursing very frequently, she may experience less or no engorgement, because the baby drains some milk from the breast before it can reach that over-full, rock hard state.

    Second, you will probably find that once your milk supply and your baby's demand have synced up, and supply is just equal to demand, you will rarely if ever feel full or engorged. This is why fullness or lack therof is a pretty poor indicator of how much the baby gets when he nurses, and why we instead look at diaper output when we want to assess milk intake.

    In short: relax, sounds like you're doing fine!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Worried that breasts weren't engorged very long

    This is how the proliferation of incomplete or unclear information about breastfeeding gets moms worried and confused. Rock hard engorgement is not something you want- it is potentially a serious breastfeeding PROBLEM. It often means that a baby is not nursing often enough or not transferring milk well. At best, it means a mom is making way more than enough milk for baby. Yes many (but certainly not all) moms experience engorgement the first few hours or days after their milk becomes abundant, but that does not change the fact it is a signal of a potential problem, not something that is supposed to happen in the normal course of breastfeeding.

    I suggest the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. This is an excellent resource that will help you separate fact from myth when it comes to breastfeeding and what to expect as far as normal infant and baby behavior. IN the meantime, this is a great article : http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/
    Congrats on your new baby!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Worried that breasts weren't engorged very long

    Thanks for your wonderful answers! I feel much better.

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