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Establishing the optimal milk supply for your baby is important but can take time. Breast engorgement can happen at any time during your breastfeeding stage and is very common. It happens most often when there is more milk in your breast than your baby needs and not enough milk is expressed from the breasts. This can lead to breasts that may swell, throb and in some cases cause extreme pain. Untreated breast engorgement can lead to mastitis (inflammation of the breast) and you should consult a doctor if you suspect this has occurred.
For short term relief of engorgement pain, applying a cold pack on the breast can be effective for some mothers. Mamá y bebé's sbreastfeeding support bra with gel pack inserts that can be frozen was intended for this purpose.
Feeding your baby often (as many as 12 times in 24 hours) is the best way to naturally reduce breast engorgement. Having your baby feed twice on each breast before changing breasts will also settle the breasts supply to match your baby’s needs. Oversupply will usually rectify itself within four to six weeks and until then expressing some milk before feeding is the best way to ensure your baby receives a regular flow in the first few weeks.
Blocked milk ducts can also cause painful lumps on the breast which can often coincide or be confused with breast engorgement. Blocked ducts are most often caused by pressure such as a tight bra or the breast being held too tightly while feeding. Most blocked ducts and lumps will rectify during breastfeeding but if they don’t reduce and remain untreated, mastitis can occur. For more immediate relief of tender lumps caused by blocked ducts, applying a hot pack or taking a hot shower can help. Mamá y bebé's breastfeeding support bra gel pack heated can help provide relief.