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severe engorgement...HELP!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My son was in the NICU for ten days. I pumped every 2 hours without fail during the day and three hours at night. By day ten I was getting 3-4 ounces from each side (8 ounces each pumping session)!

Needless to say, my 10 day old does NOT drink that much at all. He only takes one side at a time, and I am using a nipple shield to help him control the flow, as he will not stay latched to me without!

Today I sit here typing with cabbage on my boobs, I smell like a cabbage field. This hurts badly.

Last night I decided this was not good when I pumped 17 ounces in one session. I did not pump through the night, and that was hard! I am trying to not pump today....I did this morning, 5 ounces each side (still did not empty the breast, and I would like to continue pumping in the morning), and then I just HAD to pump about an hour ago to relieve severe pain under my right arm pit! I pumped 5 ounces, which still left the breast very firm. I think I will have to pump again this evening, or I will not be able to sleep. I am attempting to block nurse, but the baby does not eat but every 2.5 to 3 hours since he gets so much!!! So if I go 2 feeds on one side, the other side is not eaten on for 9 hours...OUCH! So I am mostly just doing one side per feed.

Please help with any other suggestions! This is making it hard to hold my baby against my chest and pick up my toddler....it is physically draining also!

PS also posted in Breastfeeding challenges!
post #2 of 7
It's a good idea to pump as little as possible. Another idea is to get in the warm/hot shower and gently squeeze your breasts here and there. It worked for me a few babies ago.
post #3 of 7
Quitting the pumping cold turkey is likely what contributed toward the engorgement. The best thing is to wean slowly, but at this point you'd probably be better off pumping just enough to relieve the pressure (only a few minutes). Getting in the shower and letting the pressure off that way works as well. Cabbage leaves actually do work. Keep them in the fridge, then crinkle the leaves to break the veins just before putting them in your bra. Bags of frozen vegetables also help relieve some of the pain. I know many moms who've had severe engorgement and pain have taken ibuprofen. It's also an anti-inflammatory and is compatible with breastfeeding.

Hang in there! Usually it subsides in a day or two of being stimulated by the baby's nursing instead of the pump. Also, if he's having trouble coping with the flow, you might try latching him on without the shield to trigger letdown, then let the excess milk flow into a small towel and latch him back on when it slows a bit.
post #4 of 7
Did I miss an update? He is HOME?! Yippee!!! How is he doing? Are there any effects from the brain bleed?
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ohhhhh maybe I am behind in my updating...it is crazy adjusting to him being home. He is very sleepy from his medicine (phenobarb for seizures, which I hate giving him, but the lesser of two evils I guess).

pedi appointment tommorrow, neurosurgeon on thursday, and latest CT showed improvement for both bleeds, one in the layers and in the brain. there will be damage from the one in the brain, we just dont know the extent and may not for a couple of years! he is such a good baby though...now to get rid of way toooo much milk!

thanks for asking! also..for a detailed update day by day, check out my myspace blogs! http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...endid=22680284
post #6 of 7
I had just come on to make a post asking how Mason was doing. I'm so glad to hear he's home! I hope the brain damage is minimal. You and your family continue to be in my prayers.

As for the engorgement, I agree to pump as little as possible so that your body doesn't continue to produce too much milk. Good Luck, engorgement can be so painful!
post #7 of 7
So glad to see that Mason is home and doing well!

As for the engorgement ITA with the suggestions here. I am prone to extended engorgement too. It lasted a few months with my first DD due to overpumping : I have overactive letdown too so combine too much milk with firehose action and it made for one frustrated baby and mama! This time I was really careful - only pumped an ounce at a time from each boob to calm things down and relieve pressure, and the engorgement lasted about 5 days. I still have way more than I'm actually feeding but I guess I'd rather have too much than too little....

Anyway good luck! Maybe you can gradually reduce the amount you are pumping by day to make it less painful!
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