Engourgement period

  • It has now been three days since I had my daughter (2nd child) and my breasts have received the milk and are engourged. I am not brestfeeding, but I am pumping and giving my breast milk to my daughter. I am pumping every 2-3 hours for 30 minutes (15 on each breast) but only getting about 1/2 an ounce from each breast. I am using a manual pump (medela harmony). Should I pump longer? Will my breast stay engourged untill the milk is let out? Please help. I am putting a cool towel on them after pumping a couple times a day and at night. The first night they were very painful, but tonight they just feel full.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Hi there. I breastfed my son for about two months (a lot of it was using the pump). Just switched to formula. However, I would recommend using a dual electric pump as it will cut down on pumping time and probably yield more milk. That might help you. If you continue to breastfeed, ask around, but I think applying warmth is best (let warm water run on your breasts or warm compresses). I'm stopping lactation and so for that they recommend cold compresses. I hope this helps.

  • Take hot showers or sit in a hot bath, then pump.  The heat and warmth will help release the milk.  You can also you hot packs that are microwaveable.  Heat is the answer if you want to continue pumping.  I have been exclusivley pumping for 3 months now and am getting a lot of milk, but I started out just like you...getting 1/2-1 ounce.  I agree with the previous poster about buying a good pump (double electric), it will make your life much easier.  Pump 8-12 times a day and you will establish a great supply.  Your supply is usually determined within the first 3 weeks.    Once your supply is established you will have enough to feed your child and store in the freezer.  Be patient, but persistant.  Breastmilk is the best for baby.  Good luck. 

  • When I first started pumping the day my son was born I did great and got 10mL...then nothing for the next 2 days!  It takes a while to really get your flow moving and even though they FEEL full your breasts may not actually be full.  You can talk to a lactation nurse or any other nurse for that matter if you're really concerned.

    I also recommend an electric pump.  I don't enjoy the pumping process, but with the Medela Symphony pump I've got it only takes about 12-15 minutes total and I can pump on both sides at the same time. 

    Hope some of this will help and good luck!

  • How are you doing now? You were doing really good on quantity. Many women do not get their milk in until day 4 and some even on day 5. LeslieAnn is right that an electric breast pump makes a huge difference. I always kept a manual in the diaper bag in case I forgot my pump and needed to relieve a little pressure, but my arm would be worn out by the time I was done.

  • I'm actually low on milk. I got really sick and felt really week so I didn't pump for two days. My breasts felt okay. I'm starting to pump again, but getting very little milk. And I don't have the money for an electric, so i'm just using a manual pump.

  • My advice would be to see a lactation consultant, but also to nurse as much as you possibly can. The more you nurse your baby, the more you will make. Even if you have to give formula after you nurse, you will still be stimulating your body to make more breastmilk. It is also very important to drink lots of fluids and rest as much as possible.

  • Have you tried contacting your local breast feeding center. Check with your local public health. If you have one of thoes around, they usually let you borrow pumps.  You may want to check into that.

  • What a great idea Jenette. I had never heard of that before.

  • Well, I already have a manual pump, and yes, I received one already.

  • It really is so much easier to breastfeed your baby than mess with the pumping.  It is often recommended not to pump until you have been breastfeeding successfully for more than a month.  I nursed my son every 2 hours during the day and he was waking up every 4 hours at night.  The engorgement period is often less because your baby is more efficient at getting the milk than a pump is.  Once nursing is well established you can start pumping extra milk to give to baby when you can not nurse.

  • I have a 3 almost 3 month old (2nd child). I swollowed my pride and got an mid line dual pump (lansinoh) it is about mid range loud and you need to buy the stimulators because otherwise you just have bare hard plastic against your breasts (stimulators can be purchase on the Lansinoh web site for around $12. I am very happy with it. It is anywhere from $100-$200 cheaper than the medelas.

    I had to really take my mind off the pumping. I would just put on a 30 min show and watch it and I also covered my breasts with a blanket or shirt. I would get little or null if I used something warm. I found (for me) that I was better off with just taking my mind off the process. At work I read something that is posted on the wall or think about what I can cook or I just lay my head back in the car and start to rest if I can.

    Also you might even just to invest in a single electric. With my first child I found that the manuals were not very effective for me at all and I was better off hand expressing. The electric pump took a while for me to get used to. Electrics have a speed and suction strength (typically) and this is what also help.  I had to start off at a suction that was soft like my babys suction strength and as he has gotten older the suction on the electric pump is still matching his suction strength still.

    So long story short with taking my mind off the pumping process and also adjusting the suction strength to match as closely as possible to my sons was very good. You will find I think that the electric will also help with the engorgment better because they tend to get more out of the breast. Another thing I did was have my son finish off the process while I was still home with him. GOOD LUCK :) 

  • I dont remember the brand we purchased (it was available at target) but it was electric and about $30-$40 if memory serves. I dont know how it compares to the more expensive versions of electric pump, but my wife found it useful for pumping when she needed to. If that wont work, I agree you should look into local organizations I have heard some offer help in obtaining affordable electric versions for new mothers.