What is engorgement?
Engorgement is the feeling that you have when your boobs are so full of milk that you feel like they may explode.
Usually, this feeling happens a few days after delivery, between two to four days. In those first couple days, you will be producing thick, yellow colostrum. When you hit to the two to four day mark, your body will start producing milk and this is when it can occur. It’s normal for your breasts to get hard, swollen, or painful and this is not just from milk. Increased blood and swollen tissues is a contributor as well. Thankfully, this pain should subside within 24 to 48 hours. There are a few medications you can take to help reduce it, but we recommended you talk with your doctor before trying any of them.
How to prevent and reduce
The best way to reduce the pain and pressure is to feed your hungry baby. Breastfeed up to very hour to two hours, and don’t be scared to wake the baby to eat. Massaging your breast as your baby nurses and putting a cold ice pack on them after can help as well. If your baby is having a hard time latching, then you may need to pump a little first before your baby will be able to latch on correctly. Pumping is a great way to relieve the pressure if it gets to be too much between feedings or you are away from your baby. So make sure you have a breast pump on hand if you need it. Especially if you are going back to work soon. Another helpful way to relieve the pain is using cabbage leaves. While cold cabbage leaves does help to lessen breast swelling, it can also lower your milk supply.