Engorgement occurs when your milk “comes in” (but it doesn’t happen to everyone). It is normal for your breasts to become larger, feel heavy, warmer and rather uncomfortable.
To prevent or minimize engorgement it’s important to feed often and not to skip feeds even during the night. If your baby is very sleepy wake them three hourly during the day and 4 – 5 hours overnight, unless told otherwise.
Make sure you allow the baby to finish the breast first before offering the other side, swapping sides once the baby pulls off or falls asleep. If your baby is struggling, gentle breast compressions are a way of helping them get more milk and reducing engorgement.
Gentle massage and hand expressing prior to a feed can also help.
If engorgement is not relieved, your baby is struggling to feed, or if you get mastitis symptoms (red and painful breasts, fever, chills or body ache) please seek more help.