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Thread: My Poor Sister

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    384

    Default My Poor Sister

    My sister had a baby boy on Thursday night and her milk just came in this morning. She just called me in tears because she's now engorged and her breasts hurt so bad she can't even touch them. I told her all the normal things to try; warm compresses before nursing, cold compresses after, breast massage toward the nipple, and frequent nursing in different positions. She tried pumping a little to relieve it, but she couldn't get anything out and her baby won't stay awake long enough to really help with it either. I just feel so bad for her. I'm in North Carolina and she's in Oklahoma and I know what it's like to be engorged with a newborn and no one around to help you. I wish I could be there with her. She's already talked about giving up nursing, but I'm hoping that's just the hormones and stress talking. Anyways, if anyone has any other suggestions I'd love to give them to her.
    ~Proud AP Mama To Natalie Ann *7/9/06* & Isabella Faith *7/6/09*~

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

    Default Re: My Poor Sister

    Get the baby down to nothing but a diaper to make cold, tickle baby's cheeks to stimulate sucking reflex, Mom take a hot shower or bath, relax then try pumping....start out on a very low setting, her nipples aren't ready for more yet...hope this helps.
    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
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: My Poor Sister

    Ouch.

    Reverse pressure softening might help! There's a how-to on this page:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/engorgement.html

    Here's some other useful tips:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/...gorgement.html


    She could try massaging the breast while relaxing in a warm shower. She could also try some of the tips for assisting the milk ejection reflex (letdown) on this page: http://www.lactationinstitute.org/MANUALEX.html while showering, too. She might consider trying hand expression to see if she gets better relief from it, vs. the pump (and if she uses a pump, use the low settings as a high vacuum can pull more fluid into the area--remember that engorgement isn't just milk, it's blood and lymph, too).

    If she can't get relief no matter what she tries, and she can't get the baby to latch on at all, then she needs to call her doctor or her hospital's nurse line.

    You say she is several states away from you. Would she call her nearest LLL Leader? Sometimes just being able to talk to someone can really help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: My Poor Sister

    Thanks for the advice and links. I talked to her this morning and she's doing a lot better. Her baby is nursing better and she woke him up every couple of hours last night to eat. Her current living conditions right now aren't ideal so it's making things a little more difficult. They don't have a shower and she isn't allowed to take a bath yet and they also don't have any ice for some reason.

    Anyways, I looked up LLL groups in her area (Oklahoma City) and there were a few different ones to choose from so I'm hoping she'll attend one of their meetings to get some support soon. In the meantime I'm shipping "The Womanly Art Of Breastfeeding" out to her ASAP. Thanks again!
    ~Proud AP Mama To Natalie Ann *7/9/06* & Isabella Faith *7/6/09*~

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    3,900

    Default Re: My Poor Sister

    Good news! Yes, suggest she call her Leader even if she can't make it to a meeting right now. The Leader will be a great source of info and support!

    She could also lean over a basin of warm water, and let her breasts dangle in it. It would have the same effect. She can perform the massage or hand expression right over that basin.

    Does your sister have a refrigerator/freezer? She could use frozen veggies as a cold pack. If she only has a fridge, then perhaps a dish towel (or several!) that has been wet and rung out could be placed in the fridge to chill and she could use that as a cold pack. She would have to exchange more frequently than with something that frozen, but it would work in a pinch.

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