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Thread: Too much milk @1 week old & engeorgment

  1. #1

    Default Too much milk @1 week old & engeorgment

    My LO is a week old and I have and overproduction of milk. I am exclusively breastfeeding but due to extremely painful engeorgment have to pump for some relief to sleep at night. LO feeds every 3 hours at most but will stay feeding for up to an hour at times. She is back at her birth weight so I have no concerns with how she is feeding. Any tips or advice to help with engeorgment as I'm finding it a huge struggle. I've tried everything from hot/cold press, cabbage leaves, avoiding pumping as much as possible. Any help would be so much appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Too much milk @1 week old & engeorgment

    Hi pinkrosebud, so dory you are having this concern. Painful engorgement can be a misery.

    Have you had any success getting baby to nurse more often? This may begin to happen on its own soon anyway (many babies are more sleepy the first week or two then start wanting to nurse more often.) More frequent nursing would not increase milk production but will allow milk to be removed from the breasts much more frequently, which allows milk to be taken off the top, so to speak, so mom is more comfortable, at the same time leaving enough milk in the breasts so that the body learns it is making too much. Also if baby nurses more often baby may nurse for shorter periods each time, although in this early newborn time long sessions of 45-60 minutes are pretty typical.

    Moms assume if baby is content and gaining fine no need for baby to nurse more often...and everyone saying to "nurse when baby cues" does not help. They forget nursing is a two way street and "cues" come from mom's body as much as from baby! The discomfort you feel is your body saying "nurse baby now please!" Mom's health can be hurt if baby does not nurse often enough to help keep engorgement at bay, and nursing more often does no harm to baby...in fact there are many benefits.

    With my third baby, I had terrible engorgement. I found I had to put my phone under my pillow with the alarm set for every two hours so I could wake baby to nurse that often, or I ended up with cannonballs. Sometimes baby would not nurse and then I would hand express into the sink or a cloth just to get a little more comfortable. While I was awake I held baby almost all the time and encouraged her to nurse very often.

    I prefer hand expression for many reasons, but if you have to pump, pump. It is better to pump a little than to get seriously engorged. Pump to the point you are comfortable, not to empty the breasts.

    Now for when you are engorged and not able to get the milk out right away for some reason, I would suggest cold compresses, not hot, at least not direct heat. (try shoulders or back, not directly on the breasts) If you find the heat is helping then, ok, but heat tends to cause more inflammation while cold reduces inflammation. You can also consider taking on OTC anti-inflammatory. But really the key is very frequent milk removal, but small amounts at a time. This happens naturally when baby nurses or you can hand express or pump just "to comfort."


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