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Should you breastfeed your child if you are suffering from breast engorgement?

It is the most common thing to do during breast engorgement, but is it good for your baby?

Written by Debjani Arora |Published : November 23, 2017 4:43 PM IST

If you are breastfeeding and experience engorgement the advice you will get from most people elders and some experienced mothers is to offer your baby a feed to empty your breasts. One reason your breasts get engorged is because they are making milk at a faster rate than it is getting emptied. A surplus of milk staying stored in the breasts leads to engorgement. At such times offering feed to the baby usually helps, but the question is should you do it and is of healthy for the baby. Here are ways to avoid breast engorgement during breastfeeding.

When I asked my paediatrician this question, he pointed out that while it is okay to feed your baby on demand, it is not right to offer a feed to help yourself relieve an engorgement. Here are few reasons why you should avoid giving a feed to your child while your breasts are engorged:

  • Once your child starts suckling it might fill her mouth too quickly and she might have problems swallowing the milk too fast. This could give rise to a choking episode.
  • Even if your child swallows the milk the pace at which it comes, it could lead to overfeeding during a session and lead to episodes of bloating, gas and also colic. Here are other reasons for colic that you should know.
  • If you are offering your baby a feed every time you are engorged this could lead to digestion issues and make your child throw-up after feeds.

What you can do:

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If you are experiencing engorgement the best thing to do is to relieve the breast on your own without making your baby s mouth a suction tube. You can hand press some milk and then offer a feed to your baby or alternatively use hot and cold compressors to relieve your milk.

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