LittlePeopleLogo     Breast Engorgement - Prevention & Treatment

 

During the first week after delivery your breasts will become full. This normal postpartum fullness usually diminishes within 3-5 days. Engorgement may develop if your baby does not adequately remove the milk from your breasts. During this time your breasts will feel hard, painful and hot. 

Prevention

Breastfeed your baby frequently, 8-12 times in 24 hours

Avoid supplements of water or formula unless recommended by you doctor

If you miss any feedings, express your milk

When weaning your baby do it gradually

Treatment

Apply hot, moist towels to your breasts for 2-5 minutes or take a hot shower before nursing your baby

Hand express some milk to soften the areola after using moist heat. This makes it easier for baby to attach to the breast

Use gentle breast massage before and during breastfeeding

Apply icy cold compresses to your breast after nursing to relieve the discomfort and decrease swelling

If your baby only takes one breast, use a breast pump or hand expression to empty milk from the other breast during the engorgement period

Avoid bottles and pacifiers. These may cause nipple confusion.