25 answers

Extreme Case of Breastfeeding Engorgement, Anyone Else Been Thru This?

Am breastfeeding, baby is 5 days old. Have done this before with first two kids. Have always become ridiculously engorged when the milk comes in, but this time is so extreme I can't believe it. My milk started coming in before we even left the hospital, but now for the past 2.5 days I have been engorged so badly, that each breast is at least 6 inches diamter, and red, swollen, and bruised, and rock hard. Am able to feed the baby, it's not fun, but I am managing.
I think I could literally feed 5 babies right now.
Has anyone else been thru this???? I feel like my breasts are not getting any better at all. I ran hot water in the shower and let them leak, but am realizing this is probably not the best idea, nor is pumping, because my breasts will think they need to make even more milk.
I have heard that icing them after nursing might help, and also there is something about cabbage leaves? Has anyone done this, did it work?
I know I can call a lactation consultant, and probably will tomorrow, but I also really just want to hear other moms input who have been thru this. Thanks.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Mine did that with the first baby, and they were so huge and hard (they looked like footballs) the baby wouldn't drink at all, so we had to have a lactation consultant come. I didn't know what to do since it was my first baby, but she helped me express milk out to get it softer, then the baby drank. That day I rented a good pump and for several months I pumped a lot and froze it for times when my husband could feed the baby. The second baby I was ready and had a pump ready.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I know everyone is telling you not to pump, but some of us are just great producers. I've had three children and I would have died without a pump. My breasts went from a 32dd to 36I, seriously. Let-down was agony.
Pump just to take the edge off, even a few seconds helps. Freeze the milk for future uses, which could be in a few months.

Don't be afraid to pump--it was my life-savior!
Good luck

2 moms found this helpful

I've been there....ouch! I had the same issues...bruising and rock hard engorgment. I've heard cabbage leaves work, but I haven't tried them. What I've done is take towels (hand sized) and get them wet with really warm water and ring them out. Then I folded them in half and literally wrapped each breast up and let it sit for a few minutes. I would try to relax with a few breaths and then gently massage a little. It would relieve the pressure enough and soften to allow baby to latch on. I too, had so much milk I could have fed another baby! I decided to pump a little to relieve the pain and after a couple weeks my body regulated and everything worked out.
One day at a time....in another week or so, you'll be much better:)

Good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful

Cabbage leaves are soothing and really work! I also liked that I was relying on something that nature makes naturally to help women heal.

Take strength from this community of women who care about you - and congrats!!!
L.

2 moms found this helpful

Mine did that with the first baby, and they were so huge and hard (they looked like footballs) the baby wouldn't drink at all, so we had to have a lactation consultant come. I didn't know what to do since it was my first baby, but she helped me express milk out to get it softer, then the baby drank. That day I rented a good pump and for several months I pumped a lot and froze it for times when my husband could feed the baby. The second baby I was ready and had a pump ready.

2 moms found this helpful

YES! I feel your pain!
Get cabbage leaves, from the fridge even better, and literally wrap your breasts in them, something about them takes out the heat and helps. I had my lactation nurse prescribe 4 advil every 8 hours because my swelling and inflammation was interfering with milk coming down at all. I literally had to squeeze the milk out for a few days (like milking a cow) because I was so swollen/hard. She also told me to pump for 1 minute before each feeding (not more) to get it flowing. Only had to pump for about a week. I would definitely go to the lactation nurse right away if I had to do it again, she saved my sanity!

2 moms found this helpful

Oh yah. Sooooo did that. Each of my breasts was literally Bigger Than My Head. It was like I was Anime Girl. Would have been funny if it hadn't been so painful/impractical. (I had to wear two of my husband parka SHELLS to get to the lactation consultant, one frontwards and one backwards because nothing even came close to fitting. Ugh.)

She did 3 things: Gave me a soft plastic nipple cover thing to use while nursing for the next couple days until the un-engorged themselves.....AND said feed, pump, & express away. Clear it all out, and after a couple of days the flood would retreat. Which it did....AND said have at the tylenol and ibuprofen (2 extrastrength tylenol, 800mg ibuprofen), ice, & recliner (aka, don't try and do anything that was going to be bouncing them around.

The anti-inflamatories & pain relievers, icing, and expressing provided instant relief...the nipple shield thingmys helped my son get a LOT more milk (was the best thing at relieving the pressure, actually)...and after a few days my breasts figured out that they didn't have to feed octuplets.

Ouch.

2 moms found this helpful

I placed a diaper around the breast I was not nursing on, and during nursing "let down", it will fill the diaper, then after nursing, massage each breast to relieve the fullness and pain. It will only be a few days, but now I know it is Awful!I did frozen bag of peas or corn, just set it on them, kinda like a shelf right now ;) and the cold will help the pain, I had to use diapers or maxi pads on my breasts (under bra) for the first 2 weeks will all 6, I leaked So much. Good luck, almost over.

2 moms found this helpful

Try peppermint tea, it will temporarily reduce your milk production. Unknowingly, I drank a ton of peppermint tea over a 2 day period to help an upset stomach. My milk production dropped drastically and it took 4 days of desperate and painful nursing by my 14 month old to get it back up to normal again. And since it's summer, peppermint tea makes a nice iced tea. Try drinking a lot of it and you should see your milk production decrease, then as the baby nurses more you can stop drinking it and your milk production will go back up.

2 moms found this helpful

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