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Thread: Too Engorged to Sleep

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    36

    Default Too Engorged to Sleep

    My 10-wk old twins are starting to sleep longer at night (5 or 6 hours between feeds) but I still wake up every 3 hours very engorged. I had been pumping every 3 - 4 hrs at night and letting dh bottle-feed. We thought this would be a good way to be able to track their intake at night and move to night-weaning when the time was right. It seems they are night-weaning themselves and I think the pumping just made my breasts out-of-sync with their needs. Not to mention all the engorgement encouraging two cases of mastitis.

    I don't want to continue waking up multiple times a night to pump and feed when I could just wake up once or twice to nurse.

    I've seen the following advice so far:
    1. stop pumping (put up with the engorgement or pump just enough to
    relieve engorgement)
    2. cabbage leaves at night, cold compresses
    3. peppermint and sage teas (is there a prepared sage or do you prep
    loose leaf?)

    Basically, let the breasts express only when and as much as baby wants. Then will it take the breasts days?, weeks? to reprogram?

    Any other advice on making the switch from pumping to nursing? From night feeding to night sleeping?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,115

    Default Re: Too Engorged to Sleep

    I think you're making the right decision about ditching the nighttime bottles and just nursing! Sometimes pumping looks like it's going to make things easier, but instead turns out to be more difficult and complicated than just nursing.

    I've seen the following advice so far:
    1. stop pumping (put up with the engorgement or pump just enough to
    relieve engorgement)
    2. cabbage leaves at night, cold compresses
    3. peppermint and sage teas (is there a prepared sage or do you prep
    loose leaf?)
    That's all good advice. I don't know about sage tea, but Celestial Seasonings makes a nice peppermint tea that can't hurt and may help.

    The 2 things I would add are to watch yourself carefully for signs of mastitis, and if nighttime engorgement is causing you severe discomfort, don't be afraid to pump or express just enough to relieve the discomfort. As long as you don't fully empty the breast, supply will still decrease, just not quite as fast as if you don't pump.

    Basically, let the breasts express only when and as much as baby wants. Then will it take the breasts days?, weeks? to reprogram?
    How long it's going to take your supply to adjust depends very much on you as an individual. For some moms the adjustment takes place rapidly, within a day or two. For others, it takes longer- a week or more.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Too Engorged to Sleep

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*summertree View Post
    My 10-wk old twins are starting to sleep longer at night (5 or 6 hours between feeds) but I still wake up every 3 hours very engorged. I had been pumping every 3 - 4 hrs at night and letting dh bottle-feed. We thought this would be a good way to be able to track their intake at night and move to night-weaning when the time was right. It seems they are night-weaning themselves and I think the pumping just made my breasts out-of-sync with their needs. Not to mention all the engorgement encouraging two cases of mastitis.

    I don't want to continue waking up multiple times a night to pump and feed when I could just wake up once or twice to nurse.

    I've seen the following advice so far:
    1. stop pumping (put up with the engorgement or pump just enough to
    relieve engorgement)
    2. cabbage leaves at night, cold compresses
    3. peppermint and sage teas (is there a prepared sage or do you prep
    loose leaf?)

    Basically, let the breasts express only when and as much as baby wants. Then will it take the breasts days?, weeks? to reprogram?

    Any other advice on making the switch from pumping to nursing? From night feeding to night sleeping?
    My 8 week old started sleeping 5-6 hours at night and I too am suffering from engorgement. What I have done (seems to be helping) is to express my milk by hand by rubbing my breasts and applying a warm compress. I don't pump bc I don't want to stimulate more production. I've done this for 4 days now and I'm not nearly as engorged at night. Hope it helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Re: Too Engorged to Sleep

    At that point, I still pumped, but only once to take the edge off around 11pm (LO would have nursed around 8pm). Then she'd wake around 1am to nurse and I was fine. I also built up a nice stash this way. Nursing again at 4am and then 8am I had no problems. It was just getting through that one 5 hour sleep session.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

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