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My breasts are swollen

Created by BabyCenter

As your body starts making breastmilk, your breasts fill with milk. They may feel swollen and hard at first. Keep on breastfeeding. As your baby feeds more, your body will learn to make just the right amount of milk. Then your breasts will soften and feel comfortable.

For now, you can relieve the pressure by squeezing out a little of your milk. If your breasts feel too tender to touch, rinse a cloth in hot water (but not so hot that it hurts) and hold it on your breast. The milk will dribble out. Support your heavy breasts with a good bra or cloth.

If your breasts stay full for several days, it could be because your baby has not learnt to open his mouth wide enough when he takes your breast, and is not taking enough milk. Make sure he has a big mouthful of breast when he feeds. If your breast is very full, it could be difficult for him to get a good hold. Squeeze out a little milk before the feed so your breasts are softer and it is easier for him to fix on well.

Look out for signs that show he is asking to be fed, such as sucking his fist or becoming restless. It is easier to feed a hungry, wakeful baby than a hungry, screaming baby! Do not try and set a routine for your baby, but feed him as often as he wants.

After the feed, it may help to cool your breasts with cold, wet cloths.

02 April 2015