Dealing with Engorged Breasts?

When thinking about engorged breasts you should know that this refers to the situation when the breasts feel swollen, hard, throbbing, full, lumpy or painful.

The feeling could extend all the way to the armpit. It is also possible that the symptoms are accompanied by a low fever.

Warm compress and engorgement of the breast

As one of the things that you could do, you could try placing a warm compress on the breast before breastfeeding. It is also a good idea to have a warm shower. However you shouldn’t’ apply heat for more than 3 minutes. This is because the heat could increase the swelling.

Engorged BreastsBreastfeeding

If you are faced with breast engorgement, you should make sure that your nurse often, with no more than 2-4 hours between feedings.

If you feel like the breast is full and the baby is asleep, you could pump some milk to get relief. Sometimes it is easier to express the milk manually under the shower.

In case you are faced with the engorgement of the milk ducts you may find expressing the milk painful.

However you have to keep in mind that once some of the milk is out most probably you will feel better, and the breasts won’t feel that full anymore.


Another thing you could try to get breast engorgement relief is to massage the breast during nursing.

While the baby is still nursing you should massage the breast that he or she is using. This way it will be easier for the milk to flow and the discomfort and tightness will get better.


When looking for relief from breast engorgement, if the baby doesn’t have the right latch, you should express some of the milk with your hand. You could also pump and then express by hand so that the areola will become softer and the little one will be able to latch on it.

No pumping

If you have engorged breasts but you are nursing frequently and you have no problems, you shouldn’t be pumping unless you have to soften the breast. You should pump for a short period of time at a low setting. If you pump too much, there could be an overproduction of milk.

Cold packs

To make the swelling and the pain better in case of breasts that are engorged, you should apply cold packs on the breasts after and before nursing. Just add some crushed ice to a plastic bag. You could also use a pack of frosted corn or peas.

Nursing bra

In many cases the breast engorgement gets better if women start using a supportive bra. It is a good idea to wear one during the night. The bra shouldn’t have an underwire and it should fit just right. The underwire could make the situation even worse.

Now you may know how to get breast engorgement relief and you can see that there are a lot of options. You may have to try them all before you find one that really works.


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