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Thread: 4months - will I always be engorged?

  1. #1
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    Default 4months - will I always be engorged?

    My ds is four months old. He started sleeping 5-6 hours at night when before he was two months, but my boobs never adjusted. I got worse instead of better. By three months, he was sleeping 7-8 hours at night, sometimes longer and I've been in pain every night since. I've long stopped listening to all those annoying people who go on and on about "sleeping through the night" and I wake him whenever I wake up in pain. What's the point of him sleeping when I can't? Still, we're at four months and I still have these engorgement problems. Will it always be like this or will my boobs ever adjust they way all the books say they should have already?

    Sometimes I have problems during the day too, every time he changes his eating pattern. Like today, he wouldn't eat much and every feeding was far apart and he didn't want a second side, so I spent most of the day lopsided and engorged. It made me quite irritable. Why can't I find any information in the books about this? Will I be engorged until I wean? I'm more uncomfortable at night than when I was pregnant and I miss cuddling with my husband.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 4months - will I always be engorged?

    I'm so sick of bein in pain! Will it ever not hurt? I can't sleep. I wake up sweating because it hurts so much. And then he won't take enough to relieve the engorgement in both breasts and we wake up again in the morning in pain again. And lately, he won't eat in the morning. He should be starving and he used to have a good long feed in the morning, but for about two weeks now, he won't and so the engorgment problem persists throughout the morning until he finally eats a full meal. This morning, I couldn't take it any more and pumped after he only ate for 5minutes.

    I think part of the problem is that I really have small boobs. I used to have B cup on a good day. I had around a C or D when my milk came in and now I'm wearing an E!!! (or should I be in an F?) I've got a huge supply in tiny boobs. I have E cups in the skin of a B and it sure feels like it.

    I don't know what to do any more. It's all getting worse instead of better. If anyone could help, I'd really appreciate it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 4months - will I always be engorged?

    It sounds like you've got a good case of oversupply. Are you practicing block feeding? If not, give it a try. And are you pumping at all when you're engorged? Be careful with the pumping. It's alright to pump enough off to relieve the engorgement but don't use the pump to drain your breasts all the way.

    Cabbage leaves in the bra work well for helping the pain of engorgement as does Tylenol and Motrin. Also, there's some evidence that sage tea can cause a decrease in milk supply -- but it's very powerful so use it with caution! Here's a link on that (not LLL) -- http://www.kellymom.com/herbal/milks...versupply.html

    HTH!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 4months - will I always be engorged?

    Untill this morning when I just couldn't take it any more, I haven't pumped in a month for fear of making the problem worse. I'll think I'll wait to try the sage because I haven't had problems during the day.

    I'm going to start trying feeding from only side today. But, shouldn't the last feeding of the night be from both sides? He eats at 8pm then goes to sleep by around 9pm and may not get up until 4am or later.

    Thanks for your help! This is getting very difficult for me.
    Last edited by pipsmom; May 29th, 2006 at 09:49 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 4months - will I always be engorged?

    But, shouldn't the last feeding of the night be from both sides?
    There's no reason for the last feeding to be from both sides unless you want it to be. You can nurse him from just one breast if you want. Since you aren't having any issues during the day, you might try some cabbage leaves in your bra at night to see if that helps.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 4months - will I always be engorged?

    Quote Originally Posted by LLLCarol
    There's no reason for the last feeding to be from both sides unless you want it to be. You can nurse him from just one breast if you want.
    I'm worried that if I only do one breast at the last feeding at 8pm, by the time 4am rolls around, I'll be even worse than I've been.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 4months - will I always be engorged?

    Well, if you want to decrease your milk supply then you have to decrease nipple/breast stimulation. Milk supply depends almost entirely upon breast milk removal from the breast. Supply & demand. Your supply will never decrease if you don't decrease the demand put on it.

    You can always pump a little bit off if you get too engorged and/or uncomfortable. But only pump enough off to relieve the discomfort. Then use cold cabbage leaves in your bra.

    Good luck to you!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 4months - will I always be engorged?

    I appreciate your help, and I'm not trying to question your advice. I'm just trying to understand. I really want to figure this out.

    I do understand the premise of block feeding. Instead of both breast being milked every 3 hours, each one goes 6 hours. I get a little engorged, but hopefully, they will learn to make a little less. The problem I have is that I feed the right breast around 5pm when baby is hungry. Then I feed the left breast around 8pm at bedtime. Then baby doesn't wake up until - I don't even know - about 4am or maybe later. Now I've got one breast, the one that already makes more, waiting 11 hours to be emptied, when I already wake up in pain worse than childbirth after 8 hours. This doesn't make sense to me.

    So it's 11pm and I'm ready for bed, but the right one is already engorged. Do I try to sleep for an hour until I can't bear the pain? Or do I pump a little so that I can get some sleep and try to hold out until the baby wakes up? So I pump a little. I get 1 1/2 ounces before I notice the slightest difference and stop for fear of pumping too much. Problem is, I don't feel much relief and I can't sleep because the whole thing is so stressful, so I'm up crying and desperately trying to find someone who understands.

    Now I feel like the situation is worse than before. The literature I can find says that after 4-7 days of block feeding, I should notice a difference. Of course, the same literature says that once my baby sleeps through the night, my body will adjust in less than a week. Well, that was a lie too. So I really just don't know what to do or who to believe because every single thing I've read - Ann Douglas, Sears, La Leche League's website, What to Expect, even the Girlfriends guide and everything I can find online - has been WRONG about MY breasts. I don't know what to do or whose advice to follow.

    Sleeping through the night is the worst thing that's happened in my motherhood experience and I'm ready to slap the next person who asks me if the baby is sleeping through the night yet.
    Last edited by pipsmom; May 29th, 2006 at 11:07 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 4months - will I always be engorged?

    Pipsmom -- I'm sorry to hear you are still dealing with such painful engorgement. I can hear your frustration, and I'm sorry that the standard advice has proved to be so inadequate for your needs.

    I remember your previous posts going back many weeks on this subject, and from this I conclude that you have an unusually severe tendency to make lots and lots of milk. It is unfortunate that, in your case, this is combined with a baby who is an unusually good sleeper. Your experience is not typical. That doesn't mean the standard literature on the subject is a lie -- it just means that your experience is rather unique.

    In at least two threads, it has been suggested that you try cabbage leaves, block feeding, and treating your pain with an OTC med like ibuprofen. I don't recall reading that you have tried these things. Have you? Give us more details about what you have tried, when/how long/how frequently etc., and what the results were. Give the sage tea a try also. With your tendency towards extreme milk production, even if the tea reduces your supply a bit too much, I suspect you could easily bring it back up to meet your baby's needs.

    It might also be a good idea to print out all your threads on this topic and take them to an IBCLC. They have the training and experience to tackle the really unusual cases. I'm sure it's frustrating to report problems with engorgement and hear the same old suggestions from people who aren't familiar with your history, and so if the IBCLC can read your previous posts and other posters' replies, it should help her understand how long this has been going on.

    --Rebecca

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 4months - will I always be engorged?

    I started the block feeding yesterday. It's very hard. During the day I get quite full, but bearable. It's at night that it's a problem because he goes 8 hours between feedings - and that's because I wake him up at 8 hours! So, the boob he doesn't get at 8pm has to go 11 hours, which is just awful. Last night I pumped 1 1/2 ounces around midnight, but didn't really feel much relief. I finally fell asleep and woke up at 4am sweating with rocks. He ate four minutes on the one side and two more on the left, then another minute on the left. I HAD to do both sides. At 7am, he woke up and ate from the left and even though the right was engorged, I didn't give it. By 8am he was hungry again and so I gave him the right one. Does this count as block feeding? What else could I have done?

    I have been using the cold compress, which I thought was pretty much the same as the cabbage. I guess I was resistant to the thought of sleeping with cabbage. But my husband is Polish, so I guess he won't mind. I leared about the sage just yesterday.

    The thing is, I don't have too much during the day. During the day, my supply is exactly what he needs.

    I've been to the nursing mothers group at our hospital, but have missed it the past few weeks because we have a great deal going on right now. The hospital has stoped its outpatient lactation consultations because of understaffing, but yesterday got a recomendation from my doula. I'll try her today.

    I really do appreciate all your help!

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