Sore or Painful Breasts When Breastfeeding?

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Learn the causes, symptoms, and ways to relieve sore breasts when breast feeding. Information about breast engorgement due to excess feeding in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Breast Feeding Guide
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Video Transcript

Greetings! My name is Asma Hanif. I am a certified nurse midwife with a private practice in Baltimore, Maryland, and this segment is on breast engorgement. Within 2-3 days after you give birth, you may find that your breast feels swollen, tender, throbbing, lumpy and uncomfortably full. Sometimes the swelling extends all the way to under your armpits, and you may run a low-grade fever also. Do not worry. As terrible as it sounds this is truly a temporary, though painful situation. Within 72 hours after you give birth, an abundance of breast milk comes in or becomes available to your baby. As that happens, more blood flow flows to your breast, and some of the surrounding tissue swells, the result full swollen engorged breast. First keep in mind that engorgement is a positive sign. You are producing milk to feed your baby, and soon, with his help, you will produce the right amount. Until then wear a supportive nursing bra even during the night, be sure it is not too tight, nurse frequently, soothe the pain and help relieve swelling by applying cold packs to your breasts. Do not apply direct heat, as the warm wash cloth or the heating pads or hot water bottle will only engorge your breast more. Fortunately engorgement passes pretty quickly. You can expect it to be managed within 24 to 48 hours and nursing your baby will only help the problem. On behalf of Expert Village, thank you for watching.


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