Hints for Breast Engorgement

Postnatal

To read the previous part of this entry, go to Breast Engorgement During Breastfeeding.

You can do several things for breast engorgement. In this entry, I will explain some hints for before, during and after breastfeeding.

Before breastfeeding:

  • Make sure the areola is flexible before breastfeeding. If it isn’t, apply hot damp compresses for a couple of minutes. Then manually extract a bit of milk to soften the tissues to promote better latching by the baby.
  • Lightly massage the breasts from the thorax towards the nipple.
  • If the breasts are too engorged, manually extract a bit of milk before breastfeeding using a pump (in french).

During breastfeeding:

  • That said, if the baby feeds from one breast only (the most engorged one first), and the mother is still engorged, you shouldn’t empty the breast manually or with a pump. We want relief by getting rid of the milk. So, send a message to the brain to diminish milk production because there is too much.
  • Mothers can lie on their back. The mammary gland will be spread out on the thorax which will diminish the swelling process.
  • You can compress the bumps that appear on the breast during breastfeeding.
  • Increase the number of feedings to each time your baby wakes.
  • Place a hot washcloth on the breast when the baby feeds. This will dilate the blood vessels and expel the contents into the baby’s mouth in an easier way.
  • Move your shoulders to activate circulation. This can help release the contents of the breasts.
  • You partner can massage your back to activate circulation.

After breastfeeding:

  • Apply cold compresses to the breasts, but it’s important not more than 10 minutes per hour.
  • You can apply cabbage leaves. You have to wash them and apply them to the breast without covering the areolae.
  • Use a proper bra to support the weight of your chest without crushing the breast structures.
  • A natural thing that can help is a natural clay poultice applied to the breast. Clay absorbs liquids, so it’s an effective anti-inflammatory. Be careful of lower quality china clay.
  • Pump your milk from the uncomfortably engorged breast to get relief.
  • Finally, we can talk about ultrasounds. Did you know that ultrasound techniques are used by physiotherapists to treat many problems, including pathological engorgement in breastfeeding mothers?
  • You can also use analgesics for relief during breastfeeding. Ibuprofen, naproxen and anti-inflammatory and acetaminophen is a painkiller.

To learn more about other methods, see the next entry Ultrasound Techniques.

Discover our videos

Subscribe to a monthly or quarterly package now to access full videos.

Breastfeeding: Specific Situations

Breastfeeding: Specific Situations

Are you breastfeeding and it’s painful? Are you worried you can’t produce enough milk? Along with Dr. Julie Choquette, Marie
Prematurity

Prematurity

In this video, I am accompanied by Dr. Véronique G. Dorval, a neonatologist and director of the Neonatal Clinic at
Sexuality and Pregnancy

Sexuality and Pregnancy

Can having sex at the start of pregnancy cause a miscarriage? When your stomach is sticking out, how can you
Childbirth in a Birthing Center

Childbirth in a Birthing Center

Marie attends the birth of Amy and Greg’s 4th child. The couple chose to give birth in a birthing home.

Discover other articles

What can I do if my ejection reflex is too strong?

What can I do if my ejection reflex is too strong?

Hello Marie, what can I do if my ejection reflex is too strong? My baby is 11 weeks old and has difficulty almost every time
New Pregnancy Symptoms

New Pregnancy Symptoms

My name is Joelle, and I am worried because I have new pregnancy symptoms and I don’t know if they are normal or not. Are
Causes of Colic

Causes of Colic

Causes of colic can also be due to the baby’s temperament and their environment.
Is my baby right- or left-handed?

Is my baby right- or left-handed?

How can I know if my baby will be right- or left-handed? Thanks for your help, Pierre-Yves Dear Dad, For your question, you will start

Hints for Breast Engorgement

Par Marie Fortier Temps de lecture: 2 min
0