How to Avoid Breast Engorgement

One of the unfortunate facts of being a new mom is that you’re going to experience some breast engorgement in the days or weeks after your baby is born. Even if you choose not to nurse, the milk in your body is going to build up, preparing for your baby, and this can lead to engorgement.

If you are nursing, it may take some time for the actual amount of milk that your body is producing to keep the right pace with what your baby is drinking, so it’s not uncommon at all to have breast engorgement happen when you’re nursing.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of breast engorgement:

Know what’s happening that is causing breast engorgement. If you know what the cause is, you can address the problem better. Understand that engorgement has to do with changing hormones when your baby is born. This makes your body produce larger volumes of milk beyond those small amounts of colostrums that your body produced just prior to your baby being born.

Use a warm compress on your breast. This will help to reduce both the tenderness and swelling. You can use a herbal compress, or you can use a breast warming pad that functions in a way similar to a hot water bottle. Either of these will help the heat to relieve breast engorgement.

Understand that engorgement probably isn’t going to last much longer than just a few days. Keep yourself comfortable while you’re engorged, but realize that it’s going to pass eventually.

Another thing that you can do to avoid or relieve breast engorgement is to pump or express your breasts in the event that your baby isn’t nursing long enough to soften both of them. Avoid supplementing yoru breast milk with formula or water, as well. The good news is that, eventually, your breast engorgement is going to pass.


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