How do I handle breast engorgement?

Breast engorgement usually occurs during the third or fifth day after baby’s birth due to the ‘coming in’ of milk supply.

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  • Uncomfortable engorgement can be minimized or prevented if baby is latched on properly and breastfeeding is carried out regularly
  • If breasts are engorged or feel firm and heavy, massage breasts gently in a circular motion to soften breasts and stimulate letdown
  • Breast milk may also be expressed manually or with a breast pump to reduce engorgement.
  • Cold compress (Eg. gel pad) or cold cabbage can be used to reduce discomfort for severe engorgement


This article is brought to you by Thomson Medical Centre.


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