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engorged :((((

i'm trying really hard to stick with breastfeeding this time but my breasts are in soo much pain! my baby was born wednesday & milk came in friday, but that whole day she slept a lot and fell asleep on the breast after like 1 or 2 sips, so finally i gave her an oz of formula because i was worried since she was dry all day. well she did great yesterday but she hasn't learned to latch properly so she only takes in the small part of my nipple and has left red marks on both of them, therefore when she nurses i can only take about 10 minutes of it on each breast and give her the 1 oz of formula afterwards, then pump and i get about another oz for her for the next feeding. how can i get her to latch properly? and what can i do to relieve this engorgement because pumping is not helping! :(


Asked by tnm786 at 6:24 AM on Jan. 17, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 43 (159,608 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • ice packs on breast. this reduces the swelling and pain. In regards to the latching. my daughter had that problem too. There was no getting around that so I continued pumping and fed the breast milk through the bottle. FYI: if it hurts when she is latching then she is not latching properly. try differnt positions. Football hold was my favorite because i was able to place a pillow under her to hold her in place.

    Answer by alejandra559 at 6:37 AM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • let the baby latch on to the entire area (dark area) not only the nipple.

    Answer by alejandra559 at 6:38 AM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • I agree with PP, I would also like to add ice in a diaper on for 30 mins then hot for 10 mns, rub rub rub to loosen. The only way to get the engorged pain to stop is to let the baby empty you, just get your nipple and aerola in a good pointy position so that it gets sucked in. It took my DD 2 weeks to get good at it. It will be ok soon I promise I remember wanting to quit.

    Answer by truealaskanmom at 7:30 AM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • call LLL in your area for help ASAP! visit   watch latch videos   go to  for more info       I had latch problems to.  resist bottles and formula as it will worsen the problem.   hand express and pump if necessary and feed by spoon, or dropper (jacknewman has videos on it).  go here for tips on how to maximize expression   and


    Answer by amileegirl at 9:42 AM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • You should have called LLL or a local lactation consultant as soon as you noticed a problem. sometimes you need to be shown proper latch by a person. Join the breastfeeding moms group here at cafemom too.

    A warm shower will encourage letdown so you can hand express or pump easier by the way. skin to skin contact with baby. Your nipples are going to be really sore even when you get latch fixed (like working out too hard) but that will pass in a couple of weeks. Pump one breast while she nurses the won't get much at first and she won't need a lot at that age. just keep at it. If you are going to supplement with formula for a day or two more to get the problem in order DO NOT GIVE IT BY BOTTLE. As I said....spoon, eydropper, or even a small shot glass sized cup (they will lap like kittens). and do hand expression and breast massage to stimulate. What kind of pump do you have?

    Answer by amileegirl at 9:50 AM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • I know you are pumping because of latch issues. But be warned that pumping does prolong engorgement because you are telling your body to make more milk. so be careful once you have the situation well in hand. a lactation consultant can tell you more or the breastfeeding moms in the group.

    Answer by amileegirl at 9:52 AM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • Absolutely get yourself to La Leche League. In the meantime, try expressing a small amount before latching, as to relieve the engorgement and it also may make it easier for baby to latch.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 10:15 AM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • It doesn't make any sense to give a baby formula when your breasts are full of milk! If she can't latch you can express and breastfeed. It can take a month for a baby to recover from just one bottle of formula.

    Babies are not supposed to have any bottles or pacifiers for the first 6 weeks. This is basic breastfeeding info, easilly available. The reason breastfeeding becomes a 'learned skill' or difficult is because mothers don't know basic info or don't follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization and LLL.

    If it hurts so bad you can't tolerate feeding then take pain killers. You need to get those breasts emptied by the baby. Pain killers are compatible with breastfeedeing, bottles and formula aren't.

    Pumping can hurt the breasts. To find info on expression go to google and type in marmet technique.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:31 AM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • You don not want to try to do things to relieve engorgement like cabbage leaves or you will start thinking your milk 'has dried up' and then use that as an excuse to stop breastfeeding.

    Milk does not 'dry up'. Breasts aren't storage containers of milk.

    During the first weeks breastfeeding your first baby the breasts grow more milk glands and ducts. Each gland has a duct that goes out to the nipple. By around 6 weeks your breasts have 'matured' and become effecient at making milk. Your breasts may feel softer and may or may not be smaller.

    The gland is a modified sweat gland. The baby's stimulation sends messages to the brain to make hormones that cause the glands to make and eject milk.

    Right now your glands are swollen. If you had an epidural the massive IV fluids given casue a fluid problem in the breasts that makes things worse. This will pass.

    A woman in Haiti gave birth in rubble and is breastfeeding!

    Answer by Gailll at 11:44 AM on Jan. 17, 2010

  • Thanks moms. I have been trying the football hold position all morning and getting a much better latch that way, it's been going great so far today! I appreciate all the advice.

    Answer by tnm786 at 12:34 PM on Jan. 17, 2010