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Breastfeeding: 7 ways to relieve engorged breasts

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  • Breastfeeding is great for you and baby but it isn’t always easy.
  • Find out how to relieve engorged breasts.
  • These tips will help to release your milk and relieve your pain.

You suffered from morning sickness and months of swollen ankles to produce that perfect little person. So here’s your first lesson in motherhood: Your body and your baby don’t always operate on the same schedule. After giving birth, you will begin to produce milk 24/7 which can result in painful, engorged breasts.

But don’t despair, after a few days your body and your baby will synchronize and your milk production will begin to match your baby’s hunger. In the meantime, you may have to deal with engorged breasts.

Engorged breasts are not unusual

Woman breastfeeding her baby

Engorged breasts are uncomfortable but not unusual. According to the Office on Women’s Health at the Department of Health and Human Services: «It is normal for your breasts to become larger, heavier, and a little tender when they begin making milk. Sometimes, this fullness may turn into engorgement, when your breasts feel very hard and painful. Engorgement is the result of the milk building up. «

So if you’re dealing with breast engorgement we have some tips to reduce the discomfort until you are breastfeeding on a regular schedule.

7. Massage

Latin woman breastfeeding her little one

If this is your first child, then you are using parts of your body in whole new ways. Gently massage your breasts to soften the tissue. Don’t use lotion unless you clean it off before nursing.

6. …or have your partner massage them for you

This could be much more fun and effective. A large, warm male hand will feel like a warm compress on your breasts.

5. Cold compresses relieve engorged breasts

Woman with baby who is breastfeeding

A cold compress will help relieve the swelling. In a pinch, you can use bag of frozen vegetables or frozen fruit.

4. Cabbage leaf compress

Herbalists believe cabbage leaves have properties that can alleviate swelling.

3. Press out the milk


Press on your breast with a warm compress and fill a clean container with the milk. Transfer the milk to a bottle and refrigerate it for later use.

2. Warm compresses

Heat helps improve circulation and keeps everything flowing. Try soaking in a warm bath or laying a warm, moist towel over your breasts.

1. Keep the restaurant open


Don’t only feed your baby on side, switch it up frequently. Babies tend to fill up on one side and then fall asleep. When that happens, manually express the other side to even things out.

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