- In This Feature
- Know What to Expect
- Lochia: When Will I Stop Bleeding?
- The Linea Nigra: When Will That Line On My Belly Disappear?
- Stretch Marks: When Will They Go Away?
- Postpartum Alopecia: Why Is My Hair Falling Out?
- Sleep Deprivation: Why Can't I Think Straight?
- Skin Changes: Why Do I Have Pimples?
- Engorgement: How Do I Get My Breasts to Calm Down?
- Soft Breasts: Where Did All My Milk Go?
- Stress Incontinence: Why Am I Dribbling?
- Sweating: Why Am I Soaking the Sheets Each Night?
- Surviving: Hang In There!
Engorgement: How Do I Get My Breasts to Calm Down?
Although most breastfeeding moms know that their breasts will swell considerably when their milk comes in, few are prepared for the actual feeling of engorgement or what to do when it really hurts. Your breasts usually feel fine for the first few days when they are only producing colostrum. But around the third day after delivery, they suddenly fill with milk and fluid, often becoming tight, hard, and enormous. The quickest way to get relief is to nurse the baby frequently and for as long as she wants to eat. Since some babies are slow to get the hang of nursing and others are still sleeping off the trauma of delivery, a breast pump can be a lifesaver. Pump just enough milk to feel normal again, because if you pump too much and too frequently, your body will continue to create excess milk to meet the pump's "demand" and you'll defeat the purpose.