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How Breastfeeding Actually Works
October 13th, 2015

Tips for Engorgement

Producing too much milk can be just as frustrating as not producing enough. Normal breast fullness can develop into breast engorgement if your baby is having difficulty latching properly, feeding frequently enough, or if separation between mom and baby occurs. When your breast milk fullness is not properly relieved the fluid will build up and the swelling may cause your milk ducts to swell shut. In severe cases, unrelieved engorgement can lead to plugged ducts and mastitis.

If you are producing too much milk there is a chance your baby is consuming too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk. Foremilk is the term that refers to the milk produced at the beginning of a feeding.  The milk is thin and watery and high in volume but low in fat. The term hindmilk refers to the milk near the end of a feeding. Hindmilk is creamy and low in volume but high in fat. For optimal digestion, it is important that your newborn receives the proper balance of both. Consumption of too much foremilk and not enough hindmilk can result in excess gas, insufficient absorption of nutrients, and colic.

Medela offers the following tips for relieving and treating engorged breasts:

  • Begin breastfeeding as soon as possible after the birth of your baby.
  • Avoid early use of bottles and pacifiers while your baby is still learning to breastfeed.
  • To prevent over fullness, breastfeed at least 8 times in 24 hours.
  • Use a breast pump anytime a feeding is missed to help remove the milk.
  • Wean gradually.
  • Try taking a hot shower before breastfeeding or use a warm wet rag on your breasts to help with milk flow.
  • After you are finished breastfeeding use a cold compress on your breasts to reduce swelling.
  • Utilize a properly fitted and supportive nursing bra.
  • Using a breast pump can help soften your nipple and make it easier for your baby to latch.

Using a breast pump in between feedings will help prevent retention of milk that can lead to engorgement and breast infection. If engorgement has already occurs, a breast pump can be exclusively used until you are able to breastfeed again.

Aeroflow Breastpumps can help you receive a breast pump through insurance today. Simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form and our Breastpump Specialists will contact your insurance provider to determine your coverage. Our Specialist will contact you within 3-5 business days of submitting your information to discuss your insurance verification and breast pump options.

If you have questions about engorgement or getting a breast pump through insurance, give Aeroflow Breastpumps a call today at 844-867-9890.

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