How to Ease the Pain of Engorged Breasts

Once you’ve stopped breastfeeding completely, your breasts will stop making milk relatively quickly. As a result, your breasts may become engorged, meaning they are overfilled with milk. This can be very uncomfortable and painful at times. Ease the discomfort by:

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  • Expressing milk either manually or with a pump.

  • Taking a hot shower or putting a warm compress on your breasts.

  • Gently massaging your breasts from under the arm and down the nipple.

  • Taking the occasional non-aspirin pain reliever (such as acetaminophen). Just remember to refrain from taking any medications without first consulting your doctor.

If you have extreme engorgement, heat will not relieve discomfort but may actually further aggravate the situation. If this is the case, try using a cold compress or cool water as you express milk. Some women find it works to alternate cold and warm water. Whatever your method, engorgement should subside (along with the pain) in a few days.