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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Breast Engorgement in Lactating Mother

Posted by Prahallad Panda on 1:47 PM Comments

It is normal for breasts to become larger, heavier and a little tender when they begin making more milk. Sometimes this fullness may turn into engorgement, when breasts feel very hard and painful.
There may be breast swelling, tenderness (Painful to touch), warmth, redness, throbbing, and flattening of the nipple. Engorgement sometimes also causes a low-grade fever and can be confused with a breast infection.
Engorgement is the result of the milk building up. It usually happens during the third to fifth day after birth, but it can happen at any time.
 Breastfeeding an infantImage via Wikipedia
Engorgement may be a sequel to plugged ducts and may lead to a breast infection, so it is important to try to be prevented. If treated properly, engorgement should resolve.
What can be done:
1. Baby to be fed often after birth as long as he or she likes, latched on well and sucking effectively. In the early weeks after birth, baby can be awakened to feed, if four hours have passed since the beginning of the last feeding.
2. Work with a lactation consultant to improve the baby’s latch.
3. Breastfeeding often on the affected side to remove the milk, keep it moving freely, and prevent the breast from becoming overly full.
4. Avoiding overusing pacifiers and using bottles to supplement feedings.
5. Hand expression or pumping a little milk to first soften the breast, areola, and nipple before breastfeeding.
6. Massaging the breast.
7. Using cold compresses in between feedings to help ease pain.
8. If returning to work, try to pump your milk on the same schedule that the baby breastfed at home. Or, you can pump at least every four hours.
Asking for help!
Ask your lactation consultant or doctor for help, if the engorgement lasts for two days or more.
9. Get enough rest, proper nutrition, and fluids.
10. Wear a well-fitting, supportive bra that is not too tight.

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