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Breastfeeding & Pain: Engorgement, Clogged Ducts and Painful Latch

Beth S.
BETH S.
Lactation Consultant
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Don't let a case of the breastfeeding blues get you down! Feeding baby shouldn't hurt, so join the conversation and get comfortable once and for all. Led by Tinyhood Breastfeeding Expert and Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Beth Sanders.

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BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
I’m not producing enough breast milk
KELLY, PARENT OF 23 MONTH OLD

What can I do to increase my milk supply ? My baby is 3 weeks old and eating more than I can produce

Beth
BETH

Hi Kelly, thank you for reaching out, and congratulations on your new baby!
Often I find that mothers who think they are not making enough milk actually are, so there is a possibility that you are producing enough milk for your baby! When babies are 3 weeks old, they feed seemingly constantly. It is common and normal for babies at this age to want to breastfeed 8 to 12 times a day! That is a lot of feeding! If your baby wants to be fed every 2 hours or more, this does not necessarily mean that you don't have enough milk... it just means that your baby is doing exactly what she needs to do to get fed and to trigger your body to make milk.
Here are some ways to know your baby is getting enough:
Your baby feeds 8 to 12 times per day on demand
You can hear your baby swallowing during breastfeeding
Seems content after feeding
Your baby has lots of wet and poopie diapers, and the poop is yellow
Your nipples are not hurting
Your baby is gaining weight

If you are still concerned that you're not making enough, the best way to make more milk is to get more milk out. This means to add in a feeding or a pumping, especially during nighttime hours (between midnight and 5 am).
You could also add some over the counter remedies such as fenugreek or mother's milk tea, but these will be most effective if you also add in that extra feeding or pumping.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions!

And as always, if you are still concerned, get some help from your baby's pediatrician or an IBCLC.

OCTAVIA

Im having the same problem my baby is 9months he's breastfeeding well but not growing he's currently 16pounds and has been 16pounds since 6months old i dont know what to do he eats baby food and normal food i dont know whats going on is it me.

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Cracked nipple!!!!!!!!!
JOHANA RAMOS, PARENT OF 23 MONTH OLD

Hi there!
I have a 3 week old baby girl!!! She is my first!
I am having a lot of trouble latching her to my boob! Wont get her to open wide! My right nipple cracked so im pumping it so i don’t loose milk production! What can i do pleaseee

Beth
BETH

Hi! Thank you for reaching out, and congratulations on your new baby girl!
You are doing a great job by pumping the right side so that you don't lose milk supply.

To get a wide open latch, it's important to start with a great position. Boppy or Brestfriend pillows work well, or regular pillows or rolled towels. The important thing is to have the baby lifted up high at the breast so that gravity doesn't pull her down and away from the meal. Make sure she is lined up in a straight line, nothing wonky or twisted, and make sure that her hips, shoulders, and face are all facing directly at you (many first time parents place the baby on the pillow with the belly button pointed at the ceiling... make sure the belly button is pointed right at you!)

The next thing to do is to gently hold the breast and aim it at your baby's nose or upper lip, rubbing the lip, and when she opens her mouth wide, very quickly put the breast in her mouth. You can even compress the breast a little to fit it in (much like you would do with a burger before you took a bite!). Once she's latched on, look down at her mouth and make sure her bottom lip and her top lip are both flanged open and not tucked in. If the lip is tucked in, give her jaw a little tug to flip the lip out.

To protect and heal the nipple, gel pads work great, as well as a little breast milk gently rubbed on the nipple. Continue pumping and hand expressing the side that you're not feeding her on until it heals enough that you can latch her again.

Having someone watch and help you can be really helpful. Ask your partner or support person to watch as you latch her, and they can help you with the jaw tug and lip flip too. Often someone from a different angle can help you with position because they can see things you can't see.

If this doesn't help, I recommend that you get in touch with a lactation consultant who can assess your breasts and your baby's mouth and help you make adjustments so that you can reach your breastfeeding goals.

Bottom line is this: You're doing great... nipple pain is very common (but not normal)... and sometimes little adjustments can make a big difference!

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Deep Freezer
ELVIRA

I have a Kenmore deep freezer that I would like to sell. I used it exclusively for breast milk but I don't need it anymore. I purchased it just for this purpose. In a Brand new condition. Thanks!

Beth
BETH

Thank you! Good luck! :)

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Clogged duct?
CORRINA, PARENT OF 2 YEAR OLD

I have a hard "lump" in right breast. It's tender to the touch. I'm guessing it's a clogged duct but I just fed baby and it's still there. What do I do?

Beth
BETH

Hi, mom - sorry to hear you are uncomfortable too! Treatment for a clogged duct = warm moist heat + frequent feeding + massage. I always think a warm shower is best. If that's not logisitcally possible right now try a warm compress (even a diaper filled with hot water). Massage the tender spot gently in the shower or with the compress. Sometimes we need to think about "clearing a path" first -- start to massage just in front of the actual clog and work your way towards nipple and then go back and massage the actual spot. You'll also want to massage when you nurse or pump.It's important to keep up these steps + resolve the clog so it doesn't get worse! If you need to, you can take ibruprofen for discomfort (assuming you're not allergic). Let me know how it goes!

BETH ADDED A NEW COMMENT!
Lots of pain
SANELA, PARENT OF 23 MONTH OLD

My baby is a week old and I'm in sooooo much pain! My nipples are bleeding and I dread each feeding.

Beth
BETH

Oh, no mama! I'm sorry you are in pain! Some nipple soreness can be normal at the beginning but *pain* and bleeding is definitely a sign that we need to try and work on fixing baby's latch. The most common latching issue is when baby is just on the tip of your nipple (ouch!). Think about lining up your nipple with baby's upper lip or nose (not trying to just stick your nipple in baby's mouth). Run your nipple across baby's top lip or down from tip of baby's nose to upper lip -- be patient and wait until baby opens mouth very wide (like a yawn) and then gently guide baby to breast. You are bringing baby to you...not your breast to baby. The goal is to get as much of your aroela into baby's mouth as possible. When baby is latched deeply, it shouldn't hurt!