PREVENTING BREAST ENGORGEMENT
engorgement is a condition, which is experienced by mothers
on the second to sixth day following birth if they are not
nursing the baby properly. When your breasts are engorged,
they feel hard to the touch and may feel hot. The localized
swelling of an engorged breast may block the flow of milk
and make it more difficult to fully empty the breast. Engorgement
is characterized by swelling, tenderness, skin that is taut,
shiny, or transparent, continuous throbbing and low-grade
occurs most severely when mom and baby are not nursing regularly
during the first few days. The breasts become congested, and
when the mature milk comes in at 3-5 days after birth, engorgement
is often the unpleasant result. The key to preventing engorgement
is to nurse frequently and unrestrictedly after birth; i.e.,
every 2-3 hours with one longer sleep span in a 24-hour period
even if waking the baby is necessary to do so.
It is best to try to prevent engorgement rather than have
to treat the engorgement. A nursing mother can prevent engorgement
by doing the following. If these measures are promptly initiated
engorgement even in its worst manifestation should subside
within 12-48 hours. These measures include:
at least every 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
sure that your baby is positioned and latched on correctly.
the baby to nurse both breasts for an unrestricted amount
breastfeeding, take a warm shower or apply warm moist
compresses to your breasts.
with the heat or immediately after, massage your breast
with your fingertips in a circular motion from the chest
wall down to the nipple.
your breast with your fingertips in a circular motion
down toward the nipple as the baby nurses.
cold compresses (a bag of frozen peas works well) or chilled
cabbage leaves to your breasts between feedings to reduce
swelling. Stop applying the cabbage leaves once you notice
the swelling beginning to