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I’m Engorged, and It Hurts!

Here’s another question we get frequently…

Q: My baby was born on Friday, and this morning (Monday) I woke up with the feeling that Dolly Parton had taken over my body! My breasts are huge and so sore – is this normal? What can I do? I’m so full that my baby has a hard time latching on.

A: What you’re experiencing, Angie, is very normal. On the third or fourth day after birth, your milk production begins in earnest and the breasts become swollen with milk, and also from increased blood flow and lymph fluids. The best way to spell relief is B-A-B-Y! Be sure to nurse the baby at least every two hours, and gently massage your breast as the baby is feeding. The frequent feeding will help your body to establish the proper supply and demand ratio. Before each feeding, apply a warm moist compress for a couple of minutes to start the milk flowing. If the breast is so full that it is difficult for baby to latch, hand express some milk until the areola (the dark area around the nipple) will soften enough to allow the baby to latch on. If you use a pump to do this, be sure to pump only until the areola is softened – too much pumping will give your body the wrong message and will tell it to increase your milk supply! In between feedings, you can wet and wring out a cloth (a tea towel is a good size), fold it into thirds, and freeze in your freezer. Laying this frozen cloth across your swollen breasts provides wonderful relief! You can also try the midwife’s trick of using a cabbage leaf inside your bra on each breast. The tanic acid in the cabbage (not lettuce!) helps to relieve swelling without decreasing your milk supply. Using these techniques, most engorgement will subside in about 48 hours. Wearing a good supportive nursing bra day and night (no underwires!) will be helpful during engorgement, too.

Originally posted 2016-11-07 18:12:49.

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Will massage help if my baby has gas?

Here’s a question from Tammy S. in Halifax, N.S.:

Q: My baby is 8 weeks old, and seems troubled with painful gas attacks. He draws his knees up and gets red in the face and cries as if he’s in pain. It’s worst in the evenings. I’ve tried eliminating dairy from my diet (he’s breastfeeding) but that doesn’t seem to help. I’ve heard that massage can be helpful but I don’t know how to do it.

A: It’s very common for babies at your son’s stage of development to have colic, Tammy. It’s always a good idea to have them examined by a doctor, but usually it’s not an illness – just a symptom that occurs as their digestive system matures. Massage can indeed be helpful in helping them to pass the uncomfortable gas. You can try this method: First, rub his abdomen from ribcage to diaper, one hand after the other, for a count of 15. Then, take his legs and bend them to his belly and hold for a count of 15. Next, rub his belly in a clockwise motion for 15 seconds (it’s important to rub clockwise, as this follows the direction of the bowel and helps the gas to be moved out). Last, bend his legs to his belly again for 15 seconds. It’s recommended that you repeat this massage session three times a day. Many find that this technique helps them to soil their diaper as you do it, so do it with them lying on a diaper or you may get a surprise! :)

Originally posted 2015-02-24 14:44:50.

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I’m Pregnant – Toddler Refuses to Nurse!

Here’s a question from Kerri in North York, ON:

Q: I’m 7 months pregnant with my second, and my 12-month-old son has recently refused to nurse anymore. Is something wrong with my milk?

A: No, Kerri, there’s nothing wrong with your milk. The hormones of pregnancy will cause most women’s milk quantity to decrease, and then when they’re in their third trimester, as you are, the milk will begin to change back to the colostrum (first milk) that your newborn will need. Some nursing babies don’t mind these changes, but others will react with dislike to the different quality of your milk and may wean themselves.

Nancy Lahn

Owner, Cozy Cuddles Baby Products

Originally posted 2013-08-21 14:52:46.

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Will I Be Able To Breastfeed?

I teach prenatal classes regularly, and here’s a question we hear all the time from expectant moms…

Q: How do I know if I will be able to breastfeed my baby?

A: While pregnant women may doubt their ability to feed their babies, your body assumes that you will breastfeed and begins to prepare for it right from the day you conceive! The milk production tissues and ducts develop throughout your pregnancy, and it is estimated that 97% of women are physically capable of producing all the milk their baby will need. The key is ensuring that the baby latches well to the breast so that he/she can access the wonderful milk that you have!

Originally posted 2017-06-21 11:27:22.