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  • Molly Peterson

How to Handle Breast Engorgement

All right stop, collaborate and listen. Wisco’s back with…some important information about breast engorgement! 

If you’ve taken our prenatal infant feeding class or met with one of our IBCLCs, you’ll know we always pair talking about engorgement with Vanilla Ice. Why? Because if you’re dealing with engorgement, ice (ice baby) will be your best friend.

Engorgement is common when your milk comes in on around day 3-5. This usually lasts about 24 hours. The breast will typically feel hard, with tightly stretched skin that may appear shiny, and you may experience warmth, tenderness, and/or throbbing. Engorgement may extend up into the armpit in an area that’s called your tail of spence.

Mother breastfeeding her baby

So what would we suggest to help treat engorgement? 

Ice! Engorgement is swelling and ice is needed to reduce the inflammation.

Massage your breasts before nursing. Breast Gymnastics is a great tool. Maya Bolman has a wonderful video you can find here

Use reverse pressure softening before latching your baby to push some of the fluid back and give your baby a softer area to latch on to.

Reverse Pressure Softening

Hand express for a few minutes before attempting to latch baby.

While nursing use gentle massage and breast compression to help empty the breast.

• If you are uncomfortable between nursing sessions, express to comfort.Hand expression or using a manual pump (NOT a Haakaa) are our favorite options!

Need more help? Book a visit with Wisco Lactation! We offer home & office visit in SE Wisconsin and NE Illinois. We also offer virtual visits worldwide.


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