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Thread: Engorgement questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    21

    Default Engorgement questions

    My son was born Saturday morning. He latched on great and nursed for 40 minutes!!! I have never been able to nurse my other boys, so this was awesome. My milk actually came in that night and has been increasing in volume. I can get Cade to latch on, but it takes alot of reverse pressure and begging and about 20 minutes. He cannot empty the breasts, but they do feel somewhat softer after he nurses. He feeds for about 20 -30 minutes at each feeding, one breast only. Sometimes he tries to do less time, but I can usually wake him and get him to nurse longer.

    Here's my question - can the engorgement cause sick feelings, or could I be getting mastitis? I've had mastitis 9 times, so you'd think I'd know the signs. My breasts are not red or streaky. They do hurt, but they are very full. I have body aches, a horrible throbbing headache, etc.

    Also, I am scared to pump to empty the breast because I do not want to trick my breasts into thinking they need to make more milk. I hope that makes sense. lol The engorgement started yesterday, how much longer will this last? Is it possible to just have Cade feed like he has been and get thru this without any problems? Sorry so many questions - I just really really want to succeed!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    6,959

    Default Re: Engorgement questions

    You can pump out enough milk to relieve the pressure but don't drain the breast. It is normal for the first mature milk to really come in gang busters! It's temporary mama!

    When you nurse is it painful? Do you feel any lumps or knots?

    When do you feel the body aches? constant?

    I would watch for anemia if you are having lots of headaches mama. Eating and drinking enough?

    It is cold/flu season too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    21

    Default Re: Engorgement questions

    It is painful when I nurse, but I think it's just that he's only got a tiny nub of a nipple that he can get in his mouth so latch is horrible right now. My nipples are not cracked or bleeding (yet!) but they are sometimes an odd shape when he comes off of them. I don't really feel any lumps - the entire breast is hard, but I try to massage as much as I can and it gets better - no hard spots stay around.

    The body aches are not constant - I'm still on pain meds from the c-section, so if I take them I feel great. It's just when it comes time for the next dose that I start feeling like that again. Sometimes the headaches stay and can throb pretty bad though. I have started drinking more water this evening and it seems to have helped the headache a bit. I might not be eating enough either. I was anemic throughout the pregnancy, so that is definately something to think about. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    1,987

    Default Re: Engorgement questions

    How is his output (wet and dirty diapers)? I know it can be really hard to get them latched on well when you are engorged, but if baby can't get a good latch (evidenced by pain and compressed nipple), then he isn't removing milk as effeciently as he could. This just adds to the problem of not getting your breasts emptied enough.

    I have actually read in the Breastfeeding Answer Book that emptying your breast once or twice after a feeding can be beneficial in dealing with engorgement because getting the milk out then allows the extra blood and lymph to drain out better. (You wouldn't want to do this every time, though, b/c has pp mentioned, your body would get the signal to make too much milk.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Engorgement questions

    His output seems to be good - he has a dirty diaper at almost every single feeding, though amounts vary. Wet is a little hard to tell, but I know he's peed on me during a few changes today. lol I think he's getting his share - I just have really large breasts as it is, so fill them with milk and it's even worse I guess. My dh laughed when I said Cade was supposed to empty them - he said, "each one is twice the size of his body - where is it supposed to go?!" lol I know it's not that simple. Last night I did manually express and that helped a ton! Today was much better. I'm still full, but not sore anymore. When he nurses now there is a dramatic difference in the way my breasts feel. I think after the next feeding I'll go ahead and empty with the pump afterwards and we'll see how the rest of tonight/tomorrow goes. Thanks for the help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: Engorgement questions

    Oh good! It sounds like things are on the right track for both of you. If they aren't painful anymore, just full, you might skip the pumping. It sounds like things are getting better on their own.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Engorgement questions

    my suggestion would be to express enough manually after he eats just to make sure they don't feel as engorged. I was in so much pain when my milk first came in, I would just cry because they hurt so badly.

    Glad to see that is helping you and congrats on your lo!

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