Engorgement and Mastitis

Engorgement and mastitis

In the entire Breastfeeding period and especially in the first weeks at home, the breasts may harden and be painful after breastfeeding, and you could feel as if you have flu (e.g. fatigue, pains in the joints, headaches, fever). Such symptoms point towards engorgement. It is recommended that you act as soon as possible against engorgement and do the following:

  • You should place a warm damp compress (e.g. Ardo Temperature Pack) on your breast for approximately 10 minutes before breastfeeding for making the milk flow better
  • Then, position your child so that its chin points in the direction of the hardened area
  • Massage the hardened area gently at the time of breastfeeding. If the breast is still hardened after breastfeeding, you have the option to use a gentle milk pump (e.g. Ardo Calypso) to express while massaging the hardened area.
  • After breastfeeding/expressing, you should cool your breast for about 20 minutes along with a cold compress (e.g. Ardo Temperature Pack)
  • You should allow yourself enough rest (ideally, go to sleep together with your baby) and drink plenty of fluids

If the symptoms do not diminish within some hours or if fever develops, you should contact an IBCLC Breastfeeding and lactation consultant or midwife, as there may be danger of breast inflammation (mastitis). Contrary to the popular belief, a woman with breast inflammation or who is taking antibiotics does not have to wean.