How to Prevent and Relieve Engorged Breasts.
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In this video you will learn how to recognise the symptoms of a breast engorgement, as well as the techniques you can adopt in order to reduce the edema while still being able to breastfeed.
Between the 2nd and the 4th day after giving birth the breasts size increases.
We call it "lactogenesis" this natural swelling generally last for a day.
Sometimes, complications can arise
Breasts become painful, swollen, red and shiny
In which case the breast has become engorged
Difficulty to both express milk, and for the baby to take the nipple, will arise
To avoid reach such a stage of engorgement, be sure to express regularly your milk.
To do this, make sure the baby feeds efficiently.
The baby has to be facing the breast
their mouth should cover most of the areola, the dark part of the breast.
The baby's lips must be turned outward and it must have it's tongue under the breast.
A second piece of advice is to make sure that both breasts are fully emptied when nursing has finished
Your baby must "finish" the first breast before take the second, which means that you should wait for the baby to release the breast by themselves.
If you feel that the second breast isn't fully expressed, keep expressing manually, or use a breast pump as a last resort.
Alternate the first breast you present at each feeding session.
Finally, ensure that the nursing sessions are regular.
During the first weeks, the average is between 8 to 12 nursing sessions a day.
If you currently suffer from engorged breasts , here is some useful advice:
Before nursing: apply hot and moist compresses to your breasts or take a hot shower.
This relieves pain and facilitates milk expression.
You can also massage the edges of the breasts with circular motions to soften them.
Since your breasts are tense and the baby has issues taking the areola, this area needs to be relaxed before the baby latches onto the breast.
There are two possibilities:
The first one is to express your milk manually until you feel the areola relaxing.
The second one is to perform a compression of the areola, to do this, place your fingers on either side of the areola.
press for 10seconds
Repeat the operation several times moving your fingers to squeeze the entire circumference of the areola
After breastfeeding, do the opposite and apply cold, or cabbage leaves, on the breasts to anaesthetize the pain.
Refer to a trained professional for a medical treatment if necessary.