Engorgement of the breast is a common condition in the postpartum women; this can affect both breast feeding mothers and mothers that chose not to breastfeed. The problem occurs when there is milk stasis in the breast ducts and leads to harness, swelling and redness. This can then become painful and can occur if the feeding are delayed or restricted.
Tips to prevent/ treat engorgement
- Use warm compress for 10 minutes prior to breast feeding.
- Massage breast before and during feeding.
- Press with hands or use a breast pump to relieve engorgement.
- Feed you infant frequently, every 2-3 hours
- Change the infant’s positions with feedings, so that all the milk ducts have a chance to empty.
- Feed the infant on each breast until completely empty
- Use cold or cool compress after the feeding for comfort.
- Avoid long intervals between feedings, use hand expression or breast pump if there are circumstances where you can not breast feed.
- Use a bra that is supportive and fits well without constriction.
Here is a great video on engorgement and tips to prevent engorgement:
Call your healthcare provider if you experience:
Fever that is greater than 100.4 F or chills
Your breast is red, very swollen or hard, painful, and feels warm or hot.
You have a painful lump or tender area on your breast.
If there is no improvement or symptoms worsen with using the tips.
If you have pus or blood drainage from your nipple.