Breast oedema (tissue swelling)

Good day and welcome to The Baby Cradle’s first blog.

During October, as it is Breast Cancer Awareness month, I will focus on the breasts and taking care of mom and baby. Introduce Touch Therapy and how everyone can benefit from essential oils.

 If you are currently pregnant or new to breastfeeding, you will find this blog very insightful. 

One symptom that sometimes bothers moms is painful, swollen breasts. This used to be considered a ‘normal’ postnatal condition (back in the days when moms were routinely separated from their babies after birth and given the bad advice to breastfeed according to a restricted schedule).

While some fullness will occur as mother’s milk starts ‘coming in’ on Day 3, painful engorgement can be prevented by:

  • Not delaying the first feed
  • Optimal positioning and attachment at the breast
  • Unrestricted breastfeeds, both in frequency and duration
  • Responding to Baby’s early feeding cues
  • Not giving any non-human milk feeds or other fluids
  • Not expressing breast milk unnecessarily in the early days

Breast oedema (tissue swelling) lasts up to two weeks and is seen mostly in moms who receive excessive intravenous fluids, usually in a medicalised birth like inductions, epidurals and C-sections. It’s also made worse by the inappropriate use of breast pumps, to relieve what is thought to be engorgement, but which draws extra fluids in breast tissue towards the areola, making latching and milk flow difficult.

If you experience breast oedema, you can help yourself by:

  • Gently massaging the breast before a feed
  • Applying cool cloths or compresses to the breasts between feeds
  • Limiting the use of heat or warm compresses to only a few minutes before feeding
  • Expressing only very little and only if necessary 

If you are experiencing any problems or not too sure of what to do, please have a look at the list of services I provide on my Website or Facebook. WhatsApp me for advice and feel free to book your home appointment on my Website.

Article courtesy of Sister Lilian Centre.