Engorgement is when the breast tissue overfills with milk. This causes the breast to feel full and become hard and painful. Breast engorgement can be severe. Here are 5 Pearls to treat engorgement:
Warm Shower: standing in a hot shower while massaging the breast will help stimulate and allow for a "let down". Do not worry, there will plenty of milk for the baby after the shower.
Hot Compress: a warm compress while pumping allows for relaxation and a better "let down". You may also apply a warm compress for 20 minutes prior to latching the baby to your breast. (Be careful not to place warm compress while latching baby to prevent burning)
Massage: Massaging the breast prior nursing or putting improves about a milk that is released during the let down. This will also help the flow of milk that may be build in any clogged milk ducts.
Pump or Hand Express: Pumping and or hand expressing often keeps the milk supply up and decreases the risk for breast engorgement. The release of milk prevents the breast from overfilling which can also cause the milk ducts to clog. Clogged milk ducts also puts you at risk for mastitis.
Latch Baby: properly latching the baby to the breast is the best way to release milk from the breast. If the baby is not latching properly, they will not be able to get the same amount of milk that they could if they were latching properly. Allowing the baby to eat whenever they are hungry also help prevent breast engorgement. The body is programmed to sync to your baby's needs, therefore allowing the baby to eat also ensures they are getting enough nutrients they need to grow and develop.