Congratulations you’re 3 days in! Your milk has probably come in today or is just about to. You’ll notice this by your breasts feeling very full, heavy, hard and tender. This is called engorgement. Engorgement will get better over the next few days as your baby helps you regulate your milk supply.
Difficulties with Engorgement: Baby Having a Hard Time Latching
Sometimes when your are engorged it can be harder for baby to latch properly. Especially little babies with small mouths! The breast is so full and firm that they have a hard time getting the areola into their mouths. To help this you can try to express a little bit before latching. (Link for a video on how to hand express below!) Remember to save all that good milk that you express!
When you express you are not trying to empty your breast. Just a few “strokes or motions” is usually enough to help get baby to latch. Using a football hold is also a great help if baby is not latching deep enough. This allows you to control baby’s head and your breast at the same time. With one hand you hold your breast in a “sandwich” and with the other you can really push baby onto your breast when he opens up wide enough. The video below shows some examples of this.
Engorgement will get better! Keep nursing your baby as frequently as he or she wants.
Nursing on demand will allow baby to respond to their own hunger needs and will teach your body how much milk to be creating. As your breasts start to adjust to how much demand your baby actually requires your supply will level out and engorgement will get better! However, you may notice your breasts feeling very “full” as you are getting near a feeding time!
During the 3-7 day period continue with good hydration, lots of rest and skin to skin! You are still on the beginning of your nursing journey but establishing a good foundation now will help you tremendously in the long run! Take a few minutes to watch the videos below on hand expressing and latching.
How was your first few days with nursing? Did you struggle to latch during engorgement? What helped you? Share with us in the comments!