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Help - engorgement on day 4

(11 Posts)
SmilingHappyBeaver Mon 18-Oct-10 21:02:02


This is my first post on MN... DS3 was born on Friday, so he is 4 days old today.

By this stage with DS1 and DS2 I was already expressing with a pump due to nipple pain and latch problems (and topping up with formula), however this time the breastfeeding is going a bit better.

My milk started to come in yesterday and now both breasts are engorged and very painful. I want to know whether I should be expressing to relieve the discomfort. DS3 is only feeding for 10 mins at a time now (since the milk came in) and it is not enough to completely relieve the engorgement. He is feeding every 2 hours at nights but is very sleepy in the day and going for up to 5 hours between feeds, then falling asleep on the breast again after 10 mins or so.

My midwife has advised not to express (to avoid oversupply) and the various breastfeeding websites I have looked at all give conflicting advice about whether or not to express the excess milk off. I don't want to end up with blocked ducts and mastitus as i have with my 2 preious breastfeeding experiences.

He has only lost 4% weight as at today (midwife said up to 10% was normal), and he is giving a lot of wet nappies but only 1 small pooey nappy in the last 48 hours.

Any advice appreciated... thanks in advance!

notnowbernard Mon 18-Oct-10 21:04:13

Congratulations smile

NOT a bf expert - but IME (3DC) I found expressing just a bit off at a time really helpful. Just enough to relieve the discomfort a bit

And Savoy cabbage leaves in the bra cups are soothing (keep the cabbage in the fridge)

SmilingHappyBeaver Mon 18-Oct-10 21:07:33

Thanks NNB - what did you do with the milk you expressed off - give to DC or dispose of or freeze? Did you hand express or use a pump?

notnowbernard Mon 18-Oct-10 21:12:49

TBH I expressed off so little that it was hardly worth saving at that stage (can't have been more than 20-30ml or so at a time)

With DC3 (10w now) I hand expressed as I found it more comfortable and less of a faff

IME the engorgement was a normal part of the early bf experience - with all 3DC it settled down after a couple of weeks or so when bf was more established

ThatDamnDog Mon 18-Oct-10 21:18:35

I've been there twice now - sympathies! It's ok to express a little off by hand if you need to - I found if I gently pressed on my breasts with the flat of my hand at that stage, that was enough to get the milk to flow out into a muslin. I would also wake your baby up if he sleeps for that long, just for your own comfort and to help get your supply going. Basically if he stirs at all, feed him!

Now's a fab time to retire to bed for a day for skin to skin and lots of feeding - I did it this time around and wish I had done it with DS too, it helped lots and it was precious time. Congratulations!

TruthSweet Mon 18-Oct-10 22:21:24

Congratulations on your new baby!

If you are already getting engorged please don't express to 'empty' you will just encourage more milk to be made to replace the milk you've expressed.

You could try a little hand expression to release some pressure but not ozs and ozs.

I would be waking baby during the day after 2 hours or so to feed them (I wouldn't wake a sleeping baby at night unless they had jaundice or were losing masses of weight) but as he's not pooed in 48 hours that might, just might, be a sign he needs helping to feed more efficiently and frequently. Have you got a bfing support group near by or can you phone LLL/NCT/BfN phoneline for some more in depth help?

SmilingHappyBeaver Mon 18-Oct-10 22:29:15

Thanks TDD and TS.

I will try hand expressing at the start of feeding. I am off to a bfing support group in the morning so hopefully that should help too.

At the moment I can't even rest my arms against my sides as the tissue right into my armpits is so engorged. Nice!

So the overall verdict is not to hand pump then, it seems.

Porcelain Mon 18-Oct-10 22:49:31

I would suggest a warm shower or bath and hand express just enough so you don't feel like you are about to pop!

SpecterBooAlot Mon 18-Oct-10 23:00:10

Oh God I remember that feeling, where you walk a bit like a scarecrow through fear of touching your own breasts! <quiver>

Congratulations I used a breast pump because I already had bought one, and I expressed maybe half an oz from each breast, just so I wasn't in absolute agony and could actually pick up my baby without wincing! What your MW said is kind of correct, but as long as you only express a small amount, it will make life easier for you, and for your DS to latch on. Whether you do this by pump or by hand is entirely dependant on what you feel more comfortable with.

Hot flannels and savoy cabbage from the fridge (there is no reason other than the cold that it works, but hey!).

ThatDamnDog Wed 20-Oct-10 18:14:16

How are things Beaver?

SmilingHappyBeaver Thu 18-Nov-10 22:30:41

Hi - I just checked this thread and realised I never replied to the previous poster. Well, the engorgement did settle, but then I developed deep breast/nipple thrush as DS3 developed it in his mouth. I started mixed feeding at about 2 weeks, and he is now almost exclusively on formula.

We are both a lot happier, although the decision to stop breast feeding was as traumatic as with DS1 and DS2, however I am pleased I managed to get to 2 weeks breastfeeding, as I feel I have given him the best start. I could not have managed to do even that without the support on this board!

He is doing really well, and I am a happy mummy again!

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