Engorgement for FTM

Hi everyone! I am new to the board. DD is only 4 days old and I am exclusively breastfeeding her on demand. She latched on like a pro right after she was born and while we were at the hospital the nurses kept saying how we were both doing great with feedings. My milk started coming in yesterday and now my boobs are so huge and hard that it can be difficult for her to latch on. The latching can also be pretty painful, and I keep reading that if it's painful it's wrong, but she has a lot of the areola in her mouth so I'm not sure what's wrong. Anyway, my mom recommended pumping just a little bit before she nurses so that she can get a better latch. I've done it a couple times between yesterday and today, but am I only going to increase my production that way? Also, since yesterday there have been certain stretches where it seems like she is nursing constantly, like every 20 minutes. Is this normal? I would think the marathon feedings would help my boobs be less engorged, but so far that hasn't been the case. Thanks in advance! 

Re: Engorgement for FTM

  • I'm also a FtM and by no means a breast feeding expert, but I found that despite having a good latch, there is a bit of a, "getting used to it" process because my nipples are not used to being that stimulated all the time.  The latch might be painful for like the first 10 sucks but then should be more comfortable (that's what one of the lactation specialists in the hospital told me) and I have found it to be true.  I would also recommend hand expressing or doing some compression massage while nursing to help with engorgement, which luckily for me lasted only a couple days.  It might up your supply but between how hungry it sounds like your LO is, you need to have an increased supply to help feed her.
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    I know they say if it hurts its wrong but it hurt a lot for me in the beginning with both kids. I didn't bf ds long enough but with dd I think it stopped hurting after about 3 weeks.

    Id say everything sounds normal. Dd still has a certain time of day when all she wants to do is nurse. As far as pumping goes maybe try just manually expressing a little bit instead?

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  • It took me a while to get over the pain as well.  I think my nipples just had to somewhat get used to all the nursing.  I would think unless it is unbearable pain it is probably pretty normal if everything else seems right.  

     Have you heard of Soothie Pads?  They are about $10 and at Target/Walgreens.  Those really helped me the early days on.  I would really recommend a set if your nipples are sore after you are done nursing.  They say to use for 72 hours between nursing sessions but I used mine on demand and kept them longer than the 72 hours.  I just checked to make sure they looked clean!

     I am a FTM (with a nearly 8 month old).  I wouldn't recommend pumping off the excess milk.  What helped me was a warm shower (though it killed me to let the water spray on my nipples for quite some time).  I would then lean over and some of the milk would drain out and relieve the hardness/pain and make it easier for baby to latch on.

    It is correct that pumping off a bit could create some over supply as it is training your body that baby is taking and needing that milk at that time.

    I don't know much about the eating every 20 minutes.  I do recall in the early days feeling like baby was eating all the time and it took forever.

    I would tend to think that depending on how long baby nurses for (say short periods of time) he or she may be hungry sooner than otherwise.

    I think our baby took about 20-40 minutes to feed those early weeks, and then about an hour and a half from finishing was ready to start again.  I sometimes wonder if I wasn't feeding him enough but he was gaining weight? 

  • I went through the same thing when my milk came in, and this was a lifesaver for me:

     For us, she pretty much had to re-learn how to latch once my boobs became ginormous, but that technique helped a TON.  After a few days she was latching great and my supply started to chill out a little bit.  It does take a while to regulate, but those first few days after your milk comes in are the worst, and it gets better from there. 

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  • Thank you for your replies! I am glad to know this is normal. Today is a lot better, especially on the left. The right is still a bit engorged, but not as bad. I will definitely try the tip about the shower! 
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