January 2015 Moms

Breastfeeding moms- engorgement/regulation question

I had my baby on Friday 1/23. My milk was mostly in on Sunday. Yesterday afternoon/ evening i was beyond huge! My boobs won't fit in my F cup nursing bra and are rock hard. I gave in and pumped about an ounce out of each side for my own comfort. My previous pregnancy was different because i had to EP for the first 5 weeks (nicu) and wasn't depending on a baby to empty me. I was wondering if any body had any tips on how to cope and how long it takes for your body and baby to regulate your milk production. I have been trying to massage out any hard spots every time baby nurses. I just want some relief and I want to make it an enjoyable experience and not flood my baby every time she is hungry. Thanks for any advice/stories!

Re: Breastfeeding moms- engorgement/regulation question

  • That's sounds about how I felt. She was born on a Thursday and by Saturday evening my milk was coming in. I think it took about a week and a half for me to not feel full all the time and to feel like she was emptying my breasts.

    I would avoid pumping unless you need to (building a stash) because you don't want to tell your body to make more milk thus lengthening the process. I would do just a little hand expression in the shower and right at the start of the feed (helpful if you have a forceful let down and feel like you are drowning her--our case).

    Good luck & you're doing great!
  • Massage while in a hot hot shower. It will help with the rock hard feeling. I am normally an A cup and was looking like Pamela Anderson on day four! Showers were my life saver.

    Keep pushing, it will get better!
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  • If you're still engorged and uncomfortable try putting cabbage leaves on your breasts. I know it sounds ridiculous but it works! Wash the leaves, stick them in the fridge so they're cold, then break the veins with your hands or a rolling pin. I did this until I was not engorged anymore. Good luck!
  • I'm going through the same thing right now, but it's mostly bad underneath and on the sides of my breasts. My milk came in on Sunday and I've had no luck with hand expressing. I even pumped a half oz each breast and still felt full and only get a small amount of relief after nursing. I'm hoping it'll regulate on its own soon.
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  • Thanks for the tips ladies. Pumping was my last resort - I was in so much pain. Hubby helped and massaged while I pumped for extra relief but I'm trying to get by without using it. I know this is all expected and part of the whole experience, but any personal stories with how long it will take to regulate and not look like a cartoon character?
  • I'm not sure if this is an old wives tale(please correct me if it is) but I've had a bunch of people tell me that pineapple juice helps with engorgement. 
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  • For me it was 2-3 days with some engorgement, although the first day was the worst. I still get the odd day with a swollen boob depending on her sleep & eating that day. However I find that my body is a bit slow to compensate.
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  • I'm 12 days pp and I woke up super engorged today. I've been EP since day 3 but I've been working on getting him to latch while still pumping every 5 hours so I think I'm producing even more. Also, I pump an extreme amount every time (like 6oz per boob) so I may have just psycho boobs. Showers and warm compresses do it for me. Also I drink hot chocolate! For some reason that helps.
  • tkr7c9tkr7c9 member
    edited January 2015
    I had bowling balls on my chest while in the hospital and was constantly leaking due to the engorgement. My LC advised to hand express or pump just until they soften and then feed LO. That seemed to work well for me, I have been able to feed her plenty and pump once every day since and she is now 3 weeks old. I tend to pump in the morning after longer stretches between feedings because my breasts become engorged from going so long in between. Plus side is I have a really good stash already built up! Ice packs seemed to help a lot during the actual engorgement stage as well after feeding.
  • I was hugely engorged and sore, but it only lasted a couple of days. I used cabbage leaves, and expressed a little in the shower. It also helped me to have baby feed in a couple of different positions to make sure he was draining all sides of the boob equally.

    My boobs are pretty hard each morning (three and half weeks postpartum) but they don't really hurt. And I know that they're swollen because baby has been sleeping like a CHAMPION (8 hours last night!! IN A ROW!) and that's a compromise I'm v willing to make :)
  • Jamie02LeeJamie02Lee member
    edited January 2015
    I'm 13 days pp and as for pumping, about every other to every 3 days I'll do a quick 15 min pumping sesh after I BF my LO. I end up freezing 1-2oz each time too so it's a good start to my stash. I hate the idea of expressing in the shower and just wasting the milk when it can b used later so this is my routine, hope it helps :-)
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