23 March 2012 by , No Comments

Every post-partum mother experiences breast engorgement to some level or degree. This is a physiologic phenomenon which happens three to four days after delivering your baby. Don’t be scared when you feel sudden fullness and pain of your breasts. This can be very alarming, especially to first-time mothers. However, the pain and the engorgement phenomenon will be less painful after the first delivery of a mother.


Breast engorgement is a natural process which occurs after your initial successful colostrum breast feeding. Once the colostrum is passed on to the baby through breastfeeding, the milk production of your mammary glands will increase rapidly, thereby producing a lot of milk for your newborn infant to feast on.


However, there are instances that breast engorgement goes beyond an increase in breast size. Pain can be felt if the milk is not expressed from the breast. This is a common problem when newborns have ineffective latching and feeding practices. Try to seek help from a lactation expert on the ideal position and latching technique so that the painful engorgement will stop immediately after effective latching and feeding.


There are some instances that effective latching and breastfeeding techniques are not enough to solve your breast engorgement problem, your newborn doesn’t seem to have an appetite to feed as often as you want them to feed. This is the ideal time that to use pumps to express milk from your breasts. Pumps are efficient in removing the excess milk which induces the painful sensation felt when your breasts are engorged.


Make sure that you set the pump at the lowest pumping setting so the pain doesn’t get worse. Your problem is caused by an accumulation of too much milk within the ducts. Sudden pumping pressure will lead you to feel extreme pain during milk expression.


This is the main reason why many mothers prefer manual pumping than using electronic pumps in expressing the excess milk from your milk ducts. You can very well control the flow of the milk passing through the ducts. Manual expressing is highly recommended so you don’t destroy the integrity of areola tissues and the milk ducts as well.


If manually or mechanically pumping out the milk off your breast is ineffective, try to soak your breast in warm water or better yet take a warm shower before you attempt to breast feed your child again. The warm temperature will stimulate the let-down reflex which will facilitate for easier latching of your newborn. Do not limit your breastfeeding when your breasts are engorged.

Allow your newborn to take in as much milk as they want to. They will automatically detach their mouths from your breast once they’re full already.

Let them breastfeed every three hours. Don’t wait for them to cry in hunger. Stimulate their cheeks so they can open their mouth and start feeding again after three hours. If they’re hungry they will feed and drink your milk for as long as they can.


Once they’re done with feeding, you will fell less pain on your breasts. This means that your milk expression was relived already. If both of your breasts suffer from engorgement do alternating breastfeeding so you can eventually eliminate the feeling and pain of engorgement for both if your breasts.

If you’re newborn doesn’t have the tiniest of interest in latching and feeding from your breasts, milk pumps are your quickest solution to relieve yourself from the pain of breast engorgement.


If expressing your milk through pumps is ineffective still, it’s time for you to head to your doctor to have your breasts checked. If there constant severe pain, the doctor will advise you to take Ibuprofen to alleviate the sensation of pain.


Breast engorgement can be experience during a 3-day period or can even be as long as 7 days. Try to do a combination of all the guidelines listed above and the pain, soreness, and swelling will go away in not time.


Breast engorgement is an experience which every mother experiences after pregnancy. Despite the swelling and pain which accompany engorgement it can easily be eliminated by easy-to-do procedures at home. You just need to be patient in teaching your newborn how to latch properly and have a regular schedule of pumping out the milk to decrease the pain and swelling experienced during breast engorgement after newborn delivery.


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