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I think my boobs are engorged, how long will it last?


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#1 Kels22

Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

My DS is 4 and a half weeks old and I have had to put him on the bottle.  I tried breast feeding him since he was in the NICU shortly after birth and I kept trekking to the hospital every day to feed and express but it became too frustrating for both DS and me and stressed both of us out.

My supply is very low, I get maybe 60-70mls in total when expressing so not nearly enough for DS and when I do try to feed, he latches on correctly but then bites me.  I spend most of the time taking him off and reattaching him only to have my nipple come out all mangled which really hurts.  I was on motillium for my supply but it didn't really help.

This morning I got up and my boobs were rock hard and lumpy and had been leaking on one side, so I tried to express and only got 40mls.  They are really tender to touch but not red at all, just big and sore.  Throughout the day I have tried to express with no luck so I am at a loss as to what to do.  DS is taking formula so I would like to stop expressing fully as I am becoming quite exhausted what with getting up to feed him and settle him then express as well at night every 4 hours.

What do I do and how long will they be so sore for?  I'm worried if I keep trying to express, that will only make my body keep producing milk which is not ideal.  I have given DS the best start I could and only wish my supply was better.

Any help would be appreciated, I have also made a Dr's appt but can't get in for 3 days.

#2 Contrebasse

Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:20 PM

No advice on how to dry up supply sorry, but when I was engorged and couldn't express well, I lay in a warm bath and hand expressed until my breasts weren't hard any more.

#3 JaneLane

Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:26 PM

With DS2 I got mastitis very badly and ended up stopping breast feeding altogether.  I remember my Dr telling me to get out what milk I could and I would do this by squeezing out what milk I could manage in the shower.  The heat of the water seemed to help.  I did not have much supply to begin with so it might not have been as much of a problem.  

I remember a friend who did not breast feed at all, talking about lying down with a hot towel over her breasts for about a week to get rid of the milk supply.  She said she was in quite a bit of engorment pain and would soak through a towel every hour until it eventually stopped.

I think that you do need to try to get out what you can though so it doesn't lead to mastitis which is terribly painful from my experience.  I am not an expert though, you should probably talk to your OB/GP etc to get advice

#4 lucky 2

Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:59 PM

Hi there, did you go cold turkey from expressing?
From what you have written it sounds like you have been trying to abruptly wean or abruptly suppress lactation (milk production) and this usually leads to full and aching breasts, blocked ducts and the risk of mastitis.
You are not experiencing engorgment as such, this happens when the milk "comes in".
Weaning or milk suppression is most comfortably and safest done in a gradual manner.
You are doing the right thing by trying to express to relieve some pain.
This is the best thing to do for your breasts, expressing for comfort to avoid blocked ducts/mastitis is current best practice.
The links below address the how to's of weaning and remaining comfortable during the process.
The basics are remove milk as required for comfort (this will not interfere with the process of suppressing milk production but fully emptying the breast would, when milk remains the breast slows down production).
Also using cold packs to decrease swelling rather than heat, perhaps some mild otc painkillers and a comfortable bra.
All the best.
http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping...ning-from-pump/

#5 Kels22

Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:22 PM

QUOTE (lucky 2 @ 08/12/2012, 05:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi there, did you go cold turkey from expressing?
From what you have written it sounds like you have been trying to abruptly wean or abruptly suppress lactation (milk production) and this usually leads to full and aching breasts, blocked ducts and the risk of mastitis.
You are not experiencing engorgment as such, this happens when the milk "comes in".
Weaning or milk suppression is most comfortably and safest done in a gradual manner.
You are doing the right thing by trying to express to relieve some pain.
This is the best thing to do for your breasts, expressing for comfort to avoid blocked ducts/mastitis is current best practice.
The links below address the how to's of weaning and remaining comfortable during the process.
The basics are remove milk as required for comfort (this will not interfere with the process of suppressing milk production but fully emptying the breast would, when milk remains the breast slows down production).
Also using cold packs to decrease swelling rather than heat, perhaps some mild otc painkillers and a comfortable bra.
All the best.
http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping...ning-from-pump/


No I haven't gone cold turkey from expressing, I didn't however try and express as many times as normal last night as I was too exhausted.  It's just strange that my breasts seem so full yet I still can't get much from them when expressing and therefore no real relief.

It's times like this I wish there were a magic pill the Dr could give me to help relieve things!

#6 nup

Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:42 PM

Are warm showers/baths or even compresses working? Do you know how to hand express? Try thinking of your baby as you do it, rather than thinking about getting more milk out iykwim.

Expressing can be quite hard for most women and you often won't get much despite enthusiasm and effort. I'm surprised though that it has already been decided that you're not producing enough when you're still in the early days. If you can get the baby to latch on correctly and stimulate the suckling reflex, you'll be halfway there. You and the baby both need to learn what's involved but it sounds like you're not well supported. Have you seen a lactation consultant? Might be worth a consult even if you're convinced that it's already over as they'll be able to help you manage the supply.

#7 lucky 2

Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

QUOTE
It's just strange that my breasts seem so full yet I still can't get much from them when expressing and therefore no real relief.

Yep, the milk is having trouble flowing because when the milk that is stored keeps being produced but not removed, the milk can leak into the surrounding tissues and causes swelling. Combine that with full breasts the ducts can become compressed and the milk finds it harder to flow.  sad.gif
For some women this can happen and they will go on to develop mastitis but plenty of women wont get mastitis, the fullness and discomfort will peak then it will slowly resolve.
Unfortunatetly it cannot be predicted who will or wont go on to develop mastitis.
Perhaps some heat and gentle massage (as pp's have suggested) would help some milk flow and then use some cold packs after the expressing?
Perhaps call the ABA helpline to chat with a bfing counsellor, it can be easier to talk about it.
I hope your breasts are feeling better soon.




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