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Thread: can I nurse more to treat engorgement?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    66

    Default can I nurse more to treat engorgement?

    I remember with my first time nursing, I had some engorgement when my milk came in & I would have major leaking.

    What is the best line of action when this happens? Will it affect my lo nursing--is it harder for him to get milk?

    I've read about the different suggestions--hot shower, cold compress, manual expression. When I notice it happening, what's the first thing to do?

    Thanks! I'm trying to educate myself as much as possible before my lo gets here so I won't have any breaks in nursing when a problem arises.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    5,036

    Default Re: can I nurse more to treat engorgement?

    First of all, I would never put anything cold against your lactating breasts...I'm thinking that might attribute to a future clogged duct.

    If you're not trying to increase the supply, perhaps just pump a little "off the top," so to speak. Just give yourself a little relief w/o sending the message to your body that it needs to make even more milk.

    If you're talking about the very first weeks of nursing, you should always nurse as often as possible to help establish a supply. Being engorged could make latching on difficult, so either pumping a little out or expressing a little by hand should help. You could also give your breast a little squeeze to extend the nipple out and hold that until the baby takes enough of the milk to make it easier to hold on by him/herself.

    I also remember that engorgement the day my milk came in....but not long after, I guess it just worked itself out.

    If you do have problems, you will be able to find plenty of help here!
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: can I nurse more to treat engorgement?

    Congratulatons on your soon to be here lo! You just got some great advice from pp! I only had a problem with engourgement with my first (19yrs ago) and I would just let enough out to make it easier to latch for my lo. The twins seem to do better latching even if I am a little engourged, though it's not a problem this time around. You will find lots of info and encouragement here. Good idea to get a head start.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: can I nurse more to treat engorgement?

    Quote Originally Posted by NolaMomma View Post
    First of all, I would never put anything cold against your lactating breasts...I'm thinking that might attribute to a future clogged duct.
    Cold compresses are a recommendation (between feedings, of course) for engorgement. It won't contribute to plugged ducts. Plugs are most often caused from milk stasis (milk being not being removed), either from not nursing frequently enough or some kind of blockage (in the case of a tight bra, for example).

    The best things to know regarding engorgement are:
    1. Reverse Pressure Softening- makes it easier for baby to latch on
    2. Cold compresses between feedings
    3. Warm compresses just before feedings
    4. If you must pump, use the lowest vacuum setting
    5. Engorgement isn't just milk--it's blood and lymph in the region. Removing milk makes room for the blood and lymph to move out. The best way to accomplish this is by nursing!

    Here is an excellent resrouce:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/engorgement.html

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