Dealing With Breast Engorgement
You always wished you'd have Katy Perry's boobs, until you got Katy Perry's boobs a la engorgement. Engorgement is usually caused when your boobs make more milk than baby can drink. And it hurts like hooey! When your boobs are engorged, you typically have swollen, hard tatas, tender lymph nodes in your armpits and sometimes, a slight fever.
- You can get engorged when your milk first "comes in" after your babe is born.
- It can happen when you suddenly can't pump or nurse as often as usual.
- Engorgement can also occur if you stop breastfeeding cold turkey.
- It can happen if your baby's appetite drops all of the sudden, like when he's sick or binging on solids.
- Make sure you feed baby whenever he wants to eat. (Yes, even if that's every two hours!)
- Try to get your baby to empty your boobs each and every time he chows.
- Make sure baby's latch is good. Hire a lactation consultant if you're having problems.
- Normal engorgement that happens when you milk first comes in should go away by itself within 12-24 (brutal) hours. So hang in there!
- Take ibuprofen to help the pain and swelling.
- Before you breastfeed, put warm washcloths on your tatas, massage your boobs and use your hands or a pump to let a little milk out so you don't overwhelm baby with a torrent of milk.
- Apply cold compresses to soothe your boobs after feedings.
- Wear a bra that's supportive, but not too tight.
- If your baby can't breastfeed for some reason, pump your boobs until they're empty and freeze the milk to use when you're not around, like when you're out having date night!