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Thread: Ongoing Engorgement-Getting Discouraged!!

  1. #1

    Default Ongoing Engorgement-Getting Discouraged!!

    Here's my problem. My baby started to STTN about 4-5 weeks ago. She is 3 1/2 months old right now. Since then I have been battling engorgement/OS issues. Part of the problem is that I am only feeding her on my right side due to some major issues on the left (long story from my last child...) which is only making the situation harder. My breast is SOOOOOO large and hard in the morning...I'm so afraid of mastitis, but to this point I have been fine. The actual breast feels like I never truly empty it and it has been feeling kind of bumpy down in there and just denser than it used to be. I feel like there might be some plugged areas, but there is no pain at all. Is this possible? The milk seems to flow a little better if I take motrin, but I can't do that forever. I have even tried castor oil compresses for inflammation which seems to help a little also. But the problem is that it's not just one day of engorgement or a plugged duct...it's ongoing and doesn't seem to be improving. If it gets better one day, I wake up the next morning and I'm right back to where I started the day before!!!

    Any advise is welcomed. I can't keep going on like this and I really do not want to quit, but I'm getting so discouraged. This is my 4th child and things are really busy around here. If I can't get this figured out, I will have no choice but to wean. Ugh! So frustrated!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Northern Cal.
    Posts
    4,983

    Default Re: Ongoing Engorgement-Getting Discouraged!!

    Well, from the sound of it, weaning would not be a piece of cake for you either! I used to joke, back when I had OS and engorgement, that weaning was not an option for me, since I couldn't even skip ONE feeding, let alone quit altogether!!

    Hang in there, and this will improve and your body will get used to the STTN. In the meantime, when you get up in the morning, after you've had a long nursing session, maybe get in a hot shower and manually express and massage, focusing on any residual hard bumpy spots. Taking a bath with epsom salts is supposed to help too - to avoid mastitis. If you keep up the manual expressing/massaging, you should be able to keep clogs at bay without (hopefully) overstimulating your nipples and exacerbating your OS issues! If you must pump, just pump enough to take the edge off, and not a bit more, or you will create a pump dependency. (Ask me how I know about that! )



    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,246

    Default Re: Ongoing Engorgement-Getting Discouraged!!

    Can you tell us the long story about the other breast? Feeding on both sides could help this problem- the way to get supply to go down in a breast is to use it less, and it's going to be hard to do when you're only feeding on one side.

    That being said, it should be possible to deal with nighttime engorgement even if you just nurse on one side. Things you could try:
    - waking the baby to nurse partway through the night
    - a cup or peppermint or sage tea before bed (they're supposed to be helpful w/ oversupply)
    - pumping/expressing during the night just enough to restore comfort (this will allow supply to decrease, just more slowly than if you simply put up with the engorgement)
    - if you are pumping/expressing in addition to nursing, stop doing that

    Be patient, Mama! Dealing with oversupply is, in my experience, a 2 steps forward 1 step back process. It's not something that goes away in a night. Oversupply is totally annoying, but it's not a given that oversupply will generate plugged ducts or mastitis. So if that fear is driving you nuts, I give you permission to let it go. Also, if you have oversupply one thing you absolutely don't want to do is wean cold turkey- the key to comfortable weaning is to go slow. It's just like coping w/ oversupply. Ironic, isn't it?!
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Ongoing Engorgement-Getting Discouraged!!

    I know many mommas out there might disagree with me, but I'll tell you what worked for me

    My issue is I would wake up engorged EVERY morning. Feed the baby 2-5 a night since he was born...and still, I was engorged every morning. Most mornings, I was ROCK hard, in pain, bumpy...and GROSS.

    So what did I do? I used the manual pump....and pretty much emptied it out--using a pretty aggressive massage to speed the process up, leaving only enough for the baby to get his morning meal. This meant I had to pop out of bed a few minutes before baby woke up, but it made A WORLD of difference for me.

    Now at 10 months, I don't deal with engorgement except on the rare occasion that he sleeps through the night.

    Anyhow, hope that helps!
    In His Love, Rosie

    Graicen Wynter
    1-6-10 at 11:48pm
    7 lb. 12 oz
    .

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