@sykesbriana asked me,
“Any tips to get through the engorgement period? Mine seems to last longer than most and I’m curious if I’m missing something that can provide relief.”
Look no further, Briana…I hope this post provides some relief!
Top 5 Tips for Engorgement
1. Ensure a proper latch. Sometimes new or expectant Moms wonder why I spend so much time going over latch in my Breastfeeding Basics class. Having a proper latch is what ensures milk is being removed. If you are trying to breastfeed frequently as recommended, but the latch is poor and milk isn’t being removed, it makes engorgement worse! Also, when breastmilk stays in the breast too long (due to an improper latch), you become susceptible to something called milk stasis, which leads to the M word (mastitis).
2. Feed frequently. Sometimes infants have difficulty latching during engorgement because the breast tissue gets pulled tightly and may even shorten the nipple temporarily. Feeding every 2-3 hours or sooner helps release the pressure surrounding the breast and enable easier latching.
3. Use Hot/Cold. One of my favorite things to recommend to Moms for use during engorgement are Lillemer breast comfort packs (use code ‘LLINK’ for 10% off). They are infused with lavender and flax seed and can be heated or cooled! I recommend using them for heat for 10-20 minutes before a feeding. Some Moms have found the warmth to be pain relieving. Before latching for a feed, throw the packs in the freezer. After the breastfeeding session is complete, place the cooled comfort packs in your bra (use code ‘LLINK’ for 20% off) for a max of 20 minutes. Doing this before and after every feed can relieve some discomfort.
4. Many Moms find ibuprofen to be helpful. Even Moms who are not sore due to delivery may consider continuing an NSAID pain-reliever like ibuprofen during engorgement. Medications like this contain anti-inflammation agents that help reduce engorgement (an inflammatory process).
5. Hand Expression. I teach hand expression in all my classes and personal consultations because it can be used in so many ways. For engorgement, it can be used to help facilitate latch. As I mentioned in tip #2 above, sometimes latch can become difficult during engorgement, due to tightly pulled skin around the nipple and areola. You can utilize hand expression before latching to express just enough breastmilk to soften the breast tissue and latch your baby.
I hope you found these tips helpful! Let me know what you think today on instagram. I love the daily engagement and questions like this one that turn into blog post topics! I also share exclusive tips and promos with those subscribed to my newsletter (sign up on the right side bar of this website). If you want to read about all the services I provide, check out this post. Images by Broken Anchor Photography.
I’ve created this great e-mail course to help you get breastfeeding started on the right foot! Click the image below for more info.
Thanks for coming by today,
Lindsey, RN, IBCLC