4 1/2 wks postpartum, breasts still leaking... too late to pump and put breastmilk into bottle?

(March 12, 2010)

Right after a woman has just given birth, her breasts will tend to get full and engorged. The milk that normally comes out over the first two to three days is referred to as colostrums and is said to be yellowish in color. This is known to be very good for the baby as it is very rich in antibodies. Post the colostrums coming in then in the next few days the milk is then said to ‘come in’. It normally is linked with a feeling of hardness in the breasts and also engorgement. The best solution to prevent this painful engorgement is for the mother to keep on nursing the baby as regularly as possible. This will lead to a reduction in the pain from the engorgement and will also help in the softening of the breasts.  

It is recommended and strongly advised that the women who are nursing wear a well fitting bra and even massage their breasts occasionally. For those women who are not breastfeeding, they may have a greater chance of feeling some pain from the engorgement. It is vital that they do not express the milk especially if they do not intend feeding the child as this will only result in the breasts producing more milk. Application of an occasional ice pack can aid in reducing any pain if so.If you have stopped nursing the baby and you breasts continue to produce milk then there is no problem in starting pumping milk then. There are various ways in which the breast can be pumped for milk.

Breast pumping can be done manually or by using a pump. For the manual process, start off by first applying a warm cloth around each breast for a little while. Then try doing a little massage around the breast starting in wide circles till you reach the nipple. Relaxing and drinking a warm drink will all help in the easy let down of the milk. This process should be repeated for each breast. There are various kinds of pumps available in the market. The hand pump works in such a way that there is a device that fits around the breast and manual pumping of the handle leads to the milk being expressed. It is always considered better for the child to be breastfed due to the abundance of nutrients and vitamins that are found in the breast milk. Studies have shown that children who are breast fed have stronger immune systems and are less prone to falling ill.

Submitted by P T on March 12, 2010 at 12:48

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