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Severe engorgement 3 days in, can't express, what am I going to do?!

(48 Posts)
Gannetseatfish Sun 16-Jul-17 17:08:10

My little girl is 3 days olds d was feeding well but I have become severely engorged on both sides. I am having some success pumping on the right side but literally nothing is coming from the left and it's huge like a rock, hot and lumpy. I'm still in hospital (baby has jaundice) so have good painkillers, antibiotics and access to help but nothing is working to loosen the breast and get DD feeding again.

Has anyone had anything like this and how did it pan out? Did the breast get better with time?

I'm totally taken aback by the pain (worse than section pain) and stumped as to what to do - help!

OP’s posts: |
Changedjustforthisonly Sun 16-Jul-17 17:13:37

Savoy cabbage leaves in your bra will really help, it's horrid when your so engorged it makes it difficult to latch baby on.
There'll be lots more experience and wisdom along soon, but seriously Savoy cabbage leaves fresh from the fridge, bliss.

Ropsleybunny Sun 16-Jul-17 17:14:04

Use warm flannels or a warm shower/bath to soften things up and help get your milk flowing.

Gently hand express for a few minutes before you offer your baby a breastfeed as this will soften up your breasts quickly.

Try using different positions to get your baby to latch on.

When a feed is due, offer the full breast first.

Savoy cabbage leaves in your bra can soothe and cool hot, hard engorged breast, it does work.

Changedjustforthisonly Sun 16-Jul-17 17:15:47

Meant to see it's very normal when your milk first comes in
Some info here kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/engorgement/

Loraline Sun 16-Jul-17 17:15:48

This is totally normal when your milk comes in around day 3. If you can get into the shower then do and try to hand express while your breasts are warm. You can get heat pads specifically for this

Venusflytwat Sun 16-Jul-17 17:40:08

It's really normal, but I remember how hideous it was too!

Second the advice above: if you can leave your baby for a few minutes have a long warm shower and try and hand express a bit while you're in there. Every little helps as they say!

FlaviaAlbia Sun 16-Jul-17 17:43:14

Being near DS ans touching him or holding some of his clothing and smelling it seemed to trigger the letdown reflex for me when I tried to express.

Have you tried a pump? The midwives should be able to get you one to ease the pressure a bit if you ask..

junerat Sun 16-Jul-17 18:02:18

Hot shower, hot flannels, massage and ibuprofen.

If there's a possibility of a blocked duct (hard lump), try a hot bath and massage.

It's horrid, those first few days. Do try and take half an hour for yourself. flowers

BellyBean Sun 16-Jul-17 18:14:36

Definitely try to hand express in a hot shower.

eurochick Sun 16-Jul-17 18:19:02

It sounds normal for the day your milk comes in. Can you try hand expressing in a warm bath? Looking at your baby while you do it might help.

Gannetseatfish Sun 16-Jul-17 19:50:27

Thanks so much for the response! There's no bath here but I've tried the shower to no avail, both massaging and using a comb. There's quite a lot of scabbing on the nipple from early bad latch which probably isn't helping matters.

It's good to hear that it's relatively normal however I have enormous boobs and even the midwives here are blown away! I've had some good leaking while feeding on the other breast which has helped a bit but it's still really swollen and tight. I know DD feeding is the best thing and I can cope with the pain but how on earth to get her latched on??

OP’s posts: |
EyeDrops Sun 16-Jul-17 19:54:44

Can you get a breast pump to express a little first? Mine enforced so much the nipple was totally flat like a balloon, nothing to latch onto - I had to pump to soften it enough to get some nipple shape back then baby could latch.

Keep asking for help with latching from the midwives too, it's doubly hard when they're that sore.

EyeDrops Sun 16-Jul-17 19:55:28

** engorged, obviously, not enforced!!

Gannetseatfish Sun 16-Jul-17 21:09:53

The problem is I can't seem to pump or hand express from that side. Good thing about being on the maternity ward is there is lots of crying babies to stimulate let down and leakage! Interestingly the consultant earlier said to avoid the pump as it will make things worse. Who knows who is right!

OP’s posts: |
Gannetseatfish Sun 16-Jul-17 21:12:02

Eye drops did you find baby eased the boob a bit. I've just done a good feed on one side which did soften it but it's filled up again almost immediately. Surely this cannot last (feels like an age already)

OP’s posts: |
UpYaKilt Sun 16-Jul-17 21:20:18

Try some reverse pressure softening :
kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/rev_pressure_soft_cotterman/
There's videos on you tube too.

Bestbees Sun 16-Jul-17 21:22:29

I did dangle feeding to help with this so baby on bed you kneel on floor and dangle boob into mouth. This helped as gravity was on my side and i could get access to massage all parts!

Choconuts Sun 16-Jul-17 21:29:13

It will definitely calm down soon. I didn't have it with my first as I had to pump to stimulate supply but with my 2nd I was in agony and wasn't expecting it as I had fed my 1st for 20 months so considered myself an old hand.

I think it is party swelling of the tissue and not just milk so ibuprofen helped. I pumped enough just to bring the nipple out so LO could latch on. I wouldn't worry too much about it affecting your supply at the moment as it's such early days LOs feeding will be erratic anyway. As you don't have access to a bath filling a sink with hot water and leaning over into it will make the milk leak out.

Day 3/4 will be the hardest and then it will settle down.

You're doing a fab job to have got this far and it will get easier and pain free smile

Choconuts Sun 16-Jul-17 21:32:38

Also get some Lansinoh nipple cream which will really help any sores etc

Stardustandicecream Sun 16-Jul-17 21:32:42

Pump pump pump! Your baby can't latch on because you are too full.

Use a hospital double pump

If not then google hand expressing and follow the technique - in the nicest possible way you are probably expressing wrong - keep asking people to show you

Rachie1986 Sun 16-Jul-17 21:32:55

No advice but I remember how horrible engorged boobs were and the horrible first few days. It will settle. You're doing fab!

Quodlibet Sun 16-Jul-17 21:33:08

Oh god I hated the rock hard boobs.
When I was in hospital for the first week with my second, I used the hospital's pump a couple of times to relieve the pressure. It can be a horrid viscious circle of hard boob/bad latch which is difficult to get out of. It certainly didn't affect my supply, just made me a bit more comfortable.

TeaIsTheCure Sun 16-Jul-17 21:33:56

I had the same problem but it only lasted a couple of days before things settled down. A tip I found (probably on Kellymom) was to push a finger back into your nipple (as if pushing it into your chest) for about 20 seconds then latch baby on. It seemed to very temporarily soften the nipple to allow baby to latch. Hope this is helpful. Good luck.

CinderellasBroom Sun 16-Jul-17 21:39:36

The fluids they pump into you for a C--section make the engorgement worse, ime.

Try cold rather than hot if heat isn't working (heat made mine much worse), Savoy cabbage leaves straight from the fridge, reverse pressure softening and look at kellymom for more advice. It's shit and so painful, have some flowers, take all the drugs they'll give you and try all the tips above.

NameChange30 Sun 16-Jul-17 21:40:04

Engorgement, mastitis and bad latch can be signs of tongue tie, so I suggest you ask the hospital staff if there is a lactation consultant or breastfeeding specialist who can do a tongue tie assessment. Just mentioning it as it often gets missed and if your baby does have it, early diagnosis and treatment will save a lot of heartache and actual pain!

Baby might not have tongue tie but thought it was worth mentioning just in case!

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