I'm pleased to welcome Gina Ciagne, Director of Breastfeeding Relations and Outreach at Lansinoh Laboratories Inc., back to Metropolitan Mama for the third installment of this four-part series about common breastfeeding concerns.
Q: My breasts feel engorged. What can I do to alleviate my discomfort? Should I pump?
GINA'S ANSWER: It is normal for your breasts to become larger and feel heavy, warm, and uncomfortable when your milk “comes in” within the first week after birth. Engorgement is quite common and happens when the breasts become too full of milk. Typically, your breasts will feel hard, with tightly stretched skin that may appear shiny, and your breasts may feel warm to the touch and tender and you may feel throbbing in your breasts. Your areola will also feel hard and the skin on your breast may be stretched so your nipple is flattened, making latch-on difficult. You may also have a low-grade fever.
To prevent or minimize engorgement, it is important to follow these steps:
Click here for more information on engorgement including treatments and remedies.
Q. My breasts ache between feedings and are warm to the touch. Should I be worried?
GINA'S ANSWER: It is possible that you are experiencing engorgement which can cause slight aching and the breasts to be warm in between feedings. That is a very normal part of the process and I would encourage you to follow the steps outlined above.
There is another condition that can arise during breastfeeding: mastitis—an inflammation of the breast that can be caused by obstruction, infection, and/or allergy that can be accompanied by intense pain, heat, or swelling in the breast. Common symptoms include red streaks extending outward from the affected area, a fever of 101°F (38.5°C) or greater, chills, flu-like aches, and malaise. Mastitis can be mild or severe but it is important to get an assessment by a lactation consultant and/or a health care professional to determine if antibiotics are needed. There are medications that are compatible with breastfeeding so it is important that your health care provider be cognizant of your breastfeeding when prescribing any medications.
It is important that you continue to breastfeed even if you are experiencing mastitis as limiting nursing or weaning can put you at risk for other related complications including a breast abscess.
Click here for more information on mastitis.
WIN IT! One mom will receive a Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump. To enter, simple leave a comment and your e-mail address on this post prior to Monday, December 10, at midnight. The winner will be announced and contacted on Tuesday, December 11th. * Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address.
* UPDATED * The winner is #15 lev53211. Congratulations!
I haven't tried a manual breast pump, but there have been some times where I really needed one and had to manually pump the old-fashioned way--with my hands. Not so much fun. Lansinoh would save the day. Literally. Because manually pumping with your fingers takes forever to get one ounce. Yikes!
I would love to be entered for this pump!
This would be useful for my first, due in early March. I'm planning to return to work 3 months after he's born, and this would be great!
Love to have this for myself down the road...
as a new mom i'd love to win this!! my contact information is on my link
I'd love to be entered to win! Thanks so much!
I would love to win this for my daughter who is expecting. We were just talking about breast pumps in fact!
Very interested in this for the new babe!
I would love to win this. I have a friend who just found out that she is expecting and this would be great for her as she will be a first time mother.
blogged ya: http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2007/12/thursday-edition-of-contests-galore.html
I'd love to win this, as I am planning to breastfeed my first child, who is due in March.
Enter me please
Wow, thank you!
What a wonderful giveaway! I'm expecting baby number 2, so this would be great to have!
I wouuld love to win the breast pump we are about to have a new baby in the family before christmas.
This would come in really handy!! Thanks for the great giveaway! :)
This would be a great gift for my niece.
Man, this is great. When my milk came in when my son was born, I literally slept on the bathroom floor for two nights because engorgement made me feel hot, sick and have bowel trouble. It would have been great to have this around!
normanfam at gmail dot com
Would love to have this as I just had a little one on the 2nd.
I need this for my new little one due in March!
Sounds great - I trust Lansinoh products and would love to try this one. [email protected]
Thanks for this giveaway! For the last 2 kids I've had to resort to hand-expressing the milk so this would be great!
I'd love this!
i don't have a pump...yet! please enter me.
I would love to win this giveaway. I know several people who could benefit from this.
I would love to be entered in this great giveaway!
Enter me! It would be the perfect gift for my cousin!
I blogged ya :)
Please pick me! My friend just became pregnant and plans to pump and this would be an awesome baby shower gift!!
I would love to win this hand pump for my little one on the way.
great item to have while you're on the go.
Another good giveaway.
I love lansinoh. And I know the perfect new mom to give this to if you randomly select me!!!
Oh...I personally think ALL things Laninsoh are great...I know from experience! Thanks!
I'd like to be entered to win. Thanks
amyjohnallen at bellsouth dot net
This pump looks great!
Please don't enter me as I have a pump already. I want this to go to another pregnant or nursing mom in need.
I just wanted to comment and let you know that as a registered nurse and lactation educator I am so pleased that you are hosting several breastfeeding giveaways but more importantly that you are promoting breastfeeding. The information you are providing will help support breastfeeding moms. I just hope many nursing moms are reading your blog. I am nursing my 5 month old and it was difficult even as a nurse and CLE. I had tremendous support from my husband and family and saw 2 lactation consultants despite my knowledge and experience. Moms should understand that although breastfeeding is natural, it isn't always easy at first. It is definitely possible and sooo rewarding knowing the benefits I am providing for my child and myself. This is a passion of mine and again I can't reiterate how important the information you are providing is. Thank you.
I would love to have this hand pump! It would come in so handy! Thanks for commenting on my blog!
sharvey at connections-etc dot net