How to relieve engorgement when breastfeeding your baby

How to relieve breast engorgement while breastfeeding.

Often occurring 3-5 days after the birth of a newborn; breast engorgement is a common problem faced by many breastfeeding mothers.

This uncomfortable condition is characterized by swollen, hard and painful breast, accompanied with skin that is red, hot, and shiny with a slight increase in body temperature.

If you are a breastfeeding mother faced with this problem, here are a few tips to help you relieve breast engorgement while breastfeeding.


Step 1

For quick relief, apply cold packs or bags of frozen peas on each breast between feedings.

Some breastfeeding mothers have found placing raw, cold cabbage leaves on their breast to be extremely effective as well.

Hot compresses placed on each breast before breastfeeding are also suggested, but are more effective if the breast are already leaking freely.

Step 2

Pump or hand express a small amount of milk to relieve fullness.

To aid in mild expression, let warm water from the shower run over the breast, or sit in a bath of warm water allowing the breast to soak.

Step 3

Breast feed as frequently as 1-3 hours during the day and every 2-3 hours at night.

While breastfeeding, gently massage the breast your baby is nursing from in a circular motion to increase the flow of milk.

Step 4

Wear a bra that is comfortable yet supportive. Bras that are too tight or binding can make it a challenge to soften the breasts and relieve fullness and tightness.

Things Needed
• Ice Packs
• Cold Packs
• Bags of Frozen Peas
• Hot Compress
• Wash Cloth
• Raw Cabbage
• Comfortable and Supportive Bra
• Breast Pump

Tips & Warnings
• Wrap ice packs, cold packs, and packages of frozen peas in a wet wash cloth before applying to breast.
• When using cold, raw cabbage leaves on the breast: rinse the leaves in cold water before application; place them on the breast with nipples exposed; remove the leaves when they wilt.
• Continue to apply fresh cabbage leaves until the swelling in the breast has decreased, then discontinue use. Using cabbage leaves on a long-term basis has been found to reduce a mother’s milk supply.
• Since heat can increase swelling, it is advisable to use warm water only when the breasts are leaking freely.


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