Sore breasts

Katie - posted on 05/30/2013 ( 225 moms have responded )

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My milk just came in today and they hurt so bad.. It's not my nipple it's my actually boob..they are rock hard. Is this normal and what can I do for the pain

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Sandy - posted on 06/04/2013

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There is a way to solve this problem. First you'll want to place warm compresses on your breasts or take a warm shower. Then massage your breasts to relieve the fullness, especially where you feel bumps. This will be painful, but it is effective. Feed your baby. While feeding, press on sore areas to further relieve the fullness. You baby will like this... he/she will get an extra boost of milk. Another option is too pump your breasts until you are comfortable, not empty. Afterwards, place ice packs on top and below your breasts to reduce the swelling for 10-15 minutes. I hope this helps. (Im an experienced lactation consultant)

Laura - posted on 06/02/2013

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With my patients, I always recommend warm compresses (or a warm shower) before feeding, nurse often, and cold compresses after feeding. The warmth helps things "flow" better to make the feeding a little more effective and the cold after helps eliminate any fluid that isn't milk, which might be contributing to the engorgement. Sometimes you can be so full that it is hard for baby to latch. If this is happening, pump for a minute or two to soften up the nipple and areola so baby can latch. You can pump a little after feeding if you are still very uncomfortable, but be careful not to pump too much. Breast feeding works by "demand and supply" (not supply and demand). The more you empty your breast, the more your body will produce. If you notice pink/red tints to the skin on your breasts and flu-like symptoms, contact your doctor as these may be signs of mastitis. Engorgement usually only lasts a few days and settles down as breast feeding becomes established (usually by 2 weeks). Hang in there!

Jenafer - posted on 05/31/2013

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The best way to help with engorgement, which can make it hard for your baby to latch, is to gently bruise a cabbage leaf and place it in your bra against your skin.

Carolyn - posted on 05/31/2013

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Yes, it's normal. It's mostly swelling, not all milk! Let your baby feed as often as it wishes, express a little, perhaps under a warm shower, and have a hot water bottle for comfort...just not too hot. It will ease, probably within a few days, as your production adjusts to baby's needs. If it doesn't improve soon, contact your doctor or a lactation nurse, if there is one around. If it doesn't improve you may have mastitis...you will run a temp. See your doctor quickly if that happens. (I have fed 5 babies, for a total of 7 years)
...and don't give up!

Carol-Lynn - posted on 06/04/2013

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First let me say....I've breast feed 3 babies! Unlike the nurse who came into my room and tried to give me some pointers on breast feeding my 2nd child...and when i asked her if she had any children of her own she said no! Lol
Anyhow, yes this is normal....until you start expressing or feeding your child. Sometimes your milk comes in more than what you need and that is why you're breast are so hard and full. You can use an express machine to relieve that if the baby is not drinking enough to give you that relief but be careful not to express too much because your body works on a "supply & demand" system. The more you ask of it, the more it will put out. And then you'll become a slave to the pump like I was for a period of time during my first baby. Just keep a close eye that there isn't a crystal-like lump in a particular area of your breast. its usually really hot when touching it with your hand and really like someone is pinching you and not letting go (i know weird! lol) but you would notice the rest of your boob feeling normal when you do feel that hot to the touch spot on your breast. And of course it would usually only be one breast. This is called a mastitis. It's when a milk duck gets plugged up and starts an infection. It's painful but once you've had it, you'll know immediately and see a doctor for antibiotics. And voila! It goes away 😊
As for right now...I bite a small pillow or facecloth while breast feeding till he took enough to reliever fullness. Tickle his/her little toes if he/she falls asleep after 2 secs like my boys did, lol
Hope this helps😉 I'm hear if you need! 2 of my babies where a mth and a half early, the other over due...so if anyone can help, I believe I can. Lol God Bless you and your baby😊

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Thato - posted on 06/25/2013

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Yes normal, it is just that the breasts are full of milk, breastfeed or pump some, you will feel much better. Good luck

Lovis - posted on 06/24/2013

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Yes it's normal. If you have a breast pump then pump some out. If you are pumping too much you will become engorged. The more you pump the more milk you make. When you are engorged you can get in the shower. Or use an ice pack to get some of the swelling down. Or just take your breast and just squeeze the milk out until you feel comfortable again.

Mommajenny1 - posted on 06/18/2013

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This is either engorgement (your boobs are FULL of milk) or a clogged duct (your mammary gland has a bunch of milk but it can't come out because the duct is clogged) but if you have flu-like symptoms and a fever it could be a localized breast infection called mastitis (which needs to be treated with antibiotics).

I suggest feeding, feeding, and pumping and pumping. Use warm packs and hot showers. However, if you have signs of mastitis, you need to be evaluated by a health care provider.

If you ever end up having low milk supply, I suggest momMaid. You can get it online at vitaherbal.org. It is an amazing lactation dietary supplement made by a doctor and nurse practitioner. It works great and FAST!

Mommajenny1 - posted on 06/18/2013

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Oh boy....there are a lot of great posts with great advice. Good luck! I had the same problem you have. My painful breast was actually mastitis. Once that was treated successfully with antibiotics, my milk production on that side was almost nothing!! I almost had to supplement with formula! I was so depressed. I had to use momMaid. Its a lactation dietary supplement that was made by a doctor and nurse practitioner. It is awesome! Works great and fast! It can be found at vitaherbal.org

Pamela - posted on 06/10/2013

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Well, my dear, this is 11 days later, so prayerfully you have already found that you need to feed your child to relieve the stress of milk build up. DO NOT become afraid of your body or the new signs it has for you to learn! Motherhood can't be beat in my books!
The highest and best to you and be grateful that you have the milk, and plenty of it to feed your baby! You are blessed!

Sue - posted on 06/09/2013

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Completely normal. My first baby? They gor rock hard and it hurt,the reason being is ALOT of milk which is great for baby, but ruins the bonding experience. I'm sure it starts while the milk is coming in. Just express some before baby or the babe will choke because the "let-down" will be coming to fast. You will have a very well fed babe and you can enjoy the experience. So just express the initial "let-down" in whatever way you want ;) I enjoyed nursing so very much, all 4 of my now adult kids. Also, just a little tip.....if sometime you are out and your "milk" comes in and your sort of "wearing it on your front" the nursing pads are not very absorbent so I used feminine pads. I cut them in half and put them in the bra......worked great! Enjoy sweetie, it's a great time to bond,they are used to hearing your heart beat You will have a calm baby. Hugs,

Janelle - posted on 06/08/2013

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I had 5 kids and nobody ever told me te cabbage leaf trick! Wish I knew u guys when I was a new mom lol

Janelle - posted on 06/08/2013

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A cool shower n ice packs. Yes it's very normal. If u have to, sometimes i would massage down ward like rub down to release a little of the milk. If your breast feeding being engorged can prevent the baby from latching on and u will have to release some so they can drink. Also. Do not ever ever take a hot shower while u r engorged. It will make it much much worse !

Denise - posted on 06/07/2013

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a ice cold cabbage leaves will do the trick, insert into bra , pain will go away instantly

Lindsay - posted on 06/06/2013

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I expect they have improved now but after feeding if they are still hard and painful a hot shower and hand massage will relieve the engorgement followed by savoy cabbage leaves in your bra which will work a treat.

Staci - posted on 06/06/2013

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What I did when my milk first came in was make sure I fed my baby enough so that they didn't hurt once I got a pump I would pump to relieve my boobs when my baby wasn't hungry and froze the milk for when I am not around

Andrea - posted on 06/06/2013

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I agree with the other women when it comes to cabbage leaves. I remember being rock hard and feeling like dolly parton when my milk first came in! Cabbage leaves are so soothing and can be tucked into your bra so you can still carry on doing things. I was warned not to put the cabbage leaves over the nipple though, only on the breast. Combined with a nice hot shower massage when I had time and I was through the worst of it in no time. I also found wearing a bra to bed for support helped a lot. Good luck!

Veronica - posted on 06/06/2013

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Get in the shower, stand under the warm water and massage them (circular movements) so you can drain the milk.

Best of luck :)

Lisa - posted on 06/06/2013

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I am having pains in my stomach like a have to pee really bad. I have had uti's before to. Not sure if that's what it is. But even after I pee I have those pains, they are mild but sometimes they are worse.

Mary - posted on 06/06/2013

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Hi Katie!

While my 7 y/o is no longer breast feeding :D, I had similar issues when she was. First, make sure you don't see any redish spots on your breasts nor have a temp or anything like that. Mastitis is an infection (my oldest sister suffered from this), and you will need medical attention if you notice these symptoms. However, breastfeeding in itself is painful for some women (like myself), I used to take luke-warm water baths along with placing a towel warm wet towel on my breast during feeding/after/pumping. This will help so much with the soreness and hard feeling. Try to massage your breast as you are pumping/feeding. Some of us produce more milk that what our babies drink and this causes your symptoms. Warm baths/towels and massaging the breasts will help, I promise! Good luck and keep up the good work!!! I hope this helps :D

Carolyn - posted on 06/06/2013

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Hot shower, gentle self massage- that's what I do, let it leak out in the shower and be topless as much as possivle

Billie - posted on 06/06/2013

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heating pad or even a ice pack ive heard works I actually used the heating pad an an start pumping that helps ease it too

Anita - posted on 06/06/2013

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This is normal , u need to start feeding or expressing to empty them , probably very full , ul be relieved of ur pain as u empty them , this is just a sign ur full ! Don't worry

Imbeautifuldawn - posted on 06/06/2013

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It is possible to have those symptoms that early. i was sick the first day i got pregnant with my oldest. within a couple days my bladder was the size of a grape. so it is possible. Wait a few days and take a test. It is most accurate if taken first thing in the morning. Iam assuming this is your first? Being a mom changes your life in some huge ways, but there is nothing more wonderful in all the world!

Melissa - posted on 06/06/2013

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i had that 2 and the nurse told me to help stop infection to masage in a downward motion from the top of the breast.

Melissa - posted on 06/06/2013

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it is pretty unlikely to be from pregnancy that soon. could u have bn pregnant before then? which would make you about 7 or 8 wks?

Sunila - posted on 06/06/2013

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This happens dear. Mine were rock hard too. My mom told me to go on feeding baby and the hardness will gradually reduce. And it did. As my baby suckled, the milk flow was easier and breasts were soft again. Gud luck. These days are beautiful. Enjoy them.

[deleted account]

Lansinoh will help with red and cracked nipples ...its a medical grade lanolin and safe for bb.
Yes, it does hurt when your milk comes in, nursing will relieve it or pumping helps. If you are feverish though and your breast begins to form an inflammation from the nipple upward it cud be a case of mastitis which will need antibiotics.

Lisa - posted on 06/05/2013

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I have a question.
Me and my boyfriend had sex on the 1st of this month. I'm not sure when my period is due cause it is very irregular.
It has only be 4 days and my Breast are very sore and I have been having some stomach pains, I find I have been going to the bathroom alot to. Could I be preganat? And when should I take a test considering I don't know when my period is and if or if not I am ovulating?

Kourtney - posted on 06/05/2013

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This happens once in a while until you and baby find your groove on breast feeding. If you're breast feeding, see if baby will nurse. If not, pump just a little bit, so if baby does want to nurse, you're still a little full for him.

All else fails, hot showers work wonders, just put a little lanolin on your nipples so it doesn't hurt when the spray hits them!

It will go away very shortly, really!

If you are bottle feeding, you're probably stuck with the soreness until you stop producing.

Courtney - posted on 06/05/2013

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If you're going to breast feed go ahead and see if your baby will eat if not pump. If you're not breastfeeding and want to "dry up" it is painful because you do get so full. One thing I tried with my first that seemed to help was wearing a really tight sports bra, the pressure on them helped and took some ibuprofen for pain. I have read that cabbage leaves work also. I put the bra on in the evening and slept that way by morning I had some relief. Just remember If you're try to dry up try not to stimulate your nipples at all because you'll produce more milk. When taking a shower dont let warm water run over them because it will cause you to express milk then cause more to come in. Good luck!

Joy - posted on 06/05/2013

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I nursed all 4 of mine and that happened to me a couple of times when they missed a feeding for some reason. You have to put a warm washcloth on them and relax to let your milk down. If you don't relax it won't let down. The warm wash cloth should help and even sometimes, when I did that the milk would squirt straight out it was so funny but such a relief!!

Nickie - posted on 06/05/2013

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Have read most of the posts and all sound good. My breast would feel like they were made of cardbaord sometimes. However if you don't feel any more comfortable after feeding or expressing or if the pain becomes shape and stingy it might be worth getting a check up. Sure it's all normal though and a sign you are making lots of milk for your babe.

Monika - posted on 06/05/2013

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Cabbage leaves for this sort of pain, but I'll add another useful tip remember to air your nipples out in between b-feeding, sleeping topless is great, heals all sores and makes the hardening up of your nipples a much shorter process, my nipples were sore because baby would chomp down when hungry, once lact consultant told me to air out breasts, it was plain sailiing from 2 days afterwards.I'm breastfeeding almost 5 months now. So much pleasure! Nothing puts her to sleep and calms down like nursing does. Good luck!

User - posted on 06/05/2013

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it is normal, I had it too....the nurse adviced me to put cabbage leafs in the refregerator and then put it on my breasts it helps and don't stop breastfeeding the more you give to you baby the better you wil feel......good luck

Cassie - posted on 06/05/2013

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If you are breastfeeding then feed your baby as much as possible. It will seriously help. Cold lettuce will also help with that as well. I used lettuce when i couldn't feed my baby because she wasn't hungry, you can also get a pump and store it, and if you find you don't need the milk you stored then the WIC program will take the milk you have pumped and give them to babies who need the breastmilk but the mom's aren't able to feed them. Its called a milk bank.

Inzhiya031010 - posted on 06/05/2013

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Hey! I'm a 1st time mom and i just recently stopped producing milk. nursed for 8 months. I might still have some left, it comes in a while.... I had the same problem boobs hard as rock... My milk didn't come for 4 days so i started pumping every 3 hours for 15 min each and i had soooooo much milk! And my boobs were like almost football size and so hard. I felt like they were burning! Is this the kind of feeling? I didn't know what to do either. My friend told me to massage them and squeeze the milk out and nurse baby as much as possible. It was horrible. Milk barely came out and my boobs had so much milk. The problem got solved for me after a while but they were still hard inside from outside getting softer. I think this problem with many 1st times mom is because the tubes are still small and milk is not able to go through. That's why you got to work with them for a while. I had to massage them very very hard, and had to have my husband hands help me because he is more stronger.. I don't know if i liked doing this way anyway.. I would suggest trying to massage them and get the milk out, and try other ways as well.

My friend 1st time mom, on the other hand never had to pump and her mom told her just put the baby as much as possible to the breast and let her suck for a while.. (i would say 10 to 15 min on each). And she did that and it got better. Once your boobs are soft you will feel that your milk is coming (tingle feeling, such as burning) Especially when you drink hot stuff. But later your milk will adjust to the babies need. Your boobs won't feel as hurt as before. Make sure you pump some milk out when baby is not eating if you feel like your boobs are getting overloaded with milk Or wake the baby up to feed her. Just don't pump all the way, you will have more milk coming if you do. And YES, I HERD CABBAGE LEAVES HELP. My friend tried with second baby, she said it worked! I should of listened my dr before. But i wouldn't put COLD on your breast that's bad. ... make it at least room temperature.That's why many say cover well your breast in winter when especially nursing. Stay strong! I cried very badly but it is worth it!

Kkrjrpleggett - posted on 06/05/2013

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Perfectly Normal!!! Nurse that baby or pump to ease the pain. All I did was breastfeed, so I have no other advice, after a month or so of nursing I no longer had that problem at all. I have heard Cold Cabbage Leaves help.

Amanda - posted on 06/05/2013

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all great advice below. and yes normal. my midwife also suggested cabbage leaves on the breast. i wasn't that uncomfortable so i didn't try it but its an old tried and true remedy. and it will be gone before you know it.

Sarah - posted on 06/05/2013

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Hi theres loads of good advice here. You sound like its just early days and your unlikely to be blocked. Most probably engorged with milk. A good way to relieve the pain is to get some milk out before you feed your baby as it makes it easier to get a good attatchment.a good skill to learn is hand expression. This is one of the best times to learn as your just starting and those hormones rushing about. You don't need to keep that milk its just to relieve the pressure. All you need are your hands and cup or bowl. Make sure your hand are clean and if you want to keep the milk have a clean and sterile container ready and also a clean and sterile cup or bowl too. Having a towel or flanal can be helpful too. 1 warm the breast with a warm flanal or warn hands first. This opens ducts and gets blood flowing.2 Then gently massage all around the breast. Make sure you are comfortable and relaxed too. Be ready to collect the milk as it may start to flow. If it needs a bit more you can gently roll the nipple which should release the hormone to let the milk flow. Repeat these steps until milk starts to flow then have your container ready to collect. Gently press and roll your fist from chest to nipple down the breast and then use your thumb and fingers to gently press them together and bring out the milk. If it slows
Repeat the steps masaging a different part of the breast.

Chastity - posted on 06/05/2013

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Very normal... with all three of mine... a pump may help and make sure baby is nursing enough, even though it hurts... otherwise you may get mastitis.

Saph - posted on 06/05/2013

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Sounds completely normal. I had that with all three of my children. The hardness will go away in a few weeks after your breasts adjust. Feeding your baby will make them softer. If you end up having too much milk and are uncomfortable after about a month, it will help to only nurse on one breast each nursing session, unless of course your little one wants more. Just make sure to nurse long enough on each breast to get the fatty hindmilk.

Darlene - posted on 06/05/2013

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I remember this with my firstborn. It hurts!
I agree with the recent posts by other moms wholeheartedly! I moistened towels with very warm water and laid them on by breasts for maybe 20 minutes, then used green cabbage leaves...crumple them in your hands a couple times before lining your bra with them. They smell, but really work to reduce the swelling and hardness. My baby didn't care, and kept nursing any way. When you shower, take the time to let the warm spray soak your breasts as well. I found I could "leak" a little of the pressure off then. It's very important to keep nursing/pumping regularly to keep the milk flowing.
With warm compresses and cabbage, my breast hardness started to subside within 24 hours so I could be more comfortable, then got better from then on. I also used the cabbage leaves (crumpled slightly) lined in my bra when weaning my kids later. It was so much easier!
It would be a good idea to check in with a lactation consultant or your doctor if there's no improvement in a couple of days just to be safe.
Best wishes! We're thinking of you...

Jennifer - posted on 06/05/2013

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Definitely try the cabbage leaves. The lactation consultant at the hospital turned me onto this and it worked. The soreness will not last forever and breastfeeding and one of the times where you do something great for your child and you bond! I loved it. All the best.

Amy - posted on 06/05/2013

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I had a hard time at first nursing. i even bled a little bit but keep at it! I know you probably hear it from everyone but it is worth it! If you have soreness try taking a hot shower and use something that has oatmeal in the body wash. It helps with drying out or just plain soreness. If you find you are making too much milk get a breast pump. It's great just to have in case your baby is asleep and you need to get milk out. And don't worry! Your baby is learning how to feed to. It will take time to get into a habit for both of you. Write down when, how long and which boob you feed too so you don't forget. and as I always tell everyone with a newborn Sleep when they are asleep!!

Jennifer - posted on 06/05/2013

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I used diapers, wet them with water and warmed up in the microwave. Worked like a charm!

Sheri - posted on 06/05/2013

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You need to get some green cabbage. Take the large leaves and place them on your breasts until they become soggy and then replace them. It usually takes about 2 hours to reduce the engorgement with this method. You may take Advil or Motrin to ease the pain until the cabbage kicks in. It will not harm the baby and will ease your pain. You may continue to nurse the baby without the cabbage if it gets hungry. it will not affect your production and the cabbage has no affect on the baby.

Sue - posted on 06/05/2013

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I don't recall ever experiencing that kind of pain when I nursed, but I'm wondering if you're so overloaded with milk that you feel like you're going to "burst". As the baby nurses it will keep emptying out and bring relief, as long as that is the actual reason. After nursing over time our body picks up on how often and how long the baby is nursing and regulates the milk supply accordingly. The baby's saliva penetrates into the Montgomery glands through the blood stream to the brain. The brain picks up on these signals and knows exactly how much milk to tell your body to produce as well as what immunities are needed for that individual baby.
if after a while the pain is still there then I'm wondering if there could be a blocked milk duct somewhere, but try continuously nursing and see if that brings any relief.
If you want to try pumping a little to see if it brings relief you can either freeze the milk to use at a later time or pour it in your bath water for a milk bath. It's supposed to be good for the skin. Pumped milk also helps with cradle cap when you rub it on the baby's head. it softens the scales and they come right off. it has a lot of external medicinal uses. We have to stop and figure how people in early history dealt with different things naturally before drug stores were invented. Breast milk is liquid gold.

Jessica - posted on 06/05/2013

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You are engorged and the best thing to do is to keep nursing until the fullness or pain goes away is it the whole breast or lumps in your breast? If its the whole breast that's normal you are engorged, keeping nursing and pump a little if needed but mostly nurse as you don't want to over produced if you are too full, if you have lumps you need to nurse exclusively on that breast till they are gone as your milk ducts are most likely clogged and you don't want them to get infected but whatever you do don't give up unfortunately all you are experiencing is quite normal in the beginning as your breast get used to expressing and your baby learns to as well keep up the good work:)

Meg - posted on 06/05/2013

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Hunnie get some cabbage leaves!!! Place them in the fridge till they are really cold and then put them on your breasts! This will help with the inflammation. You may want to try having a hot shower or putting a heated wheat pack on before you try to breast feed - best to keep feeding, it may be painful but bubs will help move the milk through your blocked ducts. I would also suggest massage after applying the heat too. Also get your midwife or doctor to check you out, cause you might have mastitis - I had mastitis in both breasts and ended up on antibiotics, apparently this can be VERY painful - I was one of the lucky ones as it wasn't too unbearable for me. Good luck chicka. Hope you feel better soon!

Liz - posted on 06/05/2013

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Hi Katie, your breasts are rock hard because they've got a lot of milk accumulated in there. If you have a breast pump, you could try expressing it so as to ease the pressure and reduce the pain. Alternatively, you could get a clean cloth, dip it in warm water and gently massage the breasts. This will cause some of the milk to sip out and bring you some comfort.

Karianna - posted on 06/05/2013

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http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/e...

This is one of the best research based professional sites for help re all things Lactation! You need to read this and understand what is happening to your body... learn how to help with their instructions but I would recommend a consultation with a Lactation Consultant IBCLC trained, it is the best way of solving any issues you may have xxx good luck

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