Engorged Breasts

A customer emailed us recently, with a photo attached asking if we thought her breast was engorged.  We answered her query, and also asked if we could use her query for an article on our site.

engorgedHer photo shows perfectly what an engorged breast looks like, compared to a normal breastfeeding breast.

You can see that one boob (the one of the left) is very full and rounded.  Its like it has a huge silicone implant, although it is actually just full of milk.  This would be really painful!

The breast on the left is full and is very round. its sitting higher than the empty breast on the right hand side.

The treatment we suggested was a hot shower and massage just to ease out a little of the milk from the engorged breast. Then she tried some heat packs.

If the pain had been unbearable for her, then she could have expressed some milk out with a breast pump. But remember this important thing:  if you express milk to relieve the pressure, it will also mean that your breasts will make more milk ready for a few hours time, which will just repeat the engorgement problem later in the day.

Using a breast pump to relieve engorged breasts should really be a last case resort, because your breasts will make milk depending on the volume that is being withdrawn, as if baby were drinking.