Breastfeeding represents an excessive filling of the breasts with milk, usually caused by an imbalance between the milk supply and the needs of the child.
The diagnosis is made only on the basis of symptomatology, with no need for any tests or examinations.
After the first colostrum is produced for the newborn, the breasts begin to produce milk from days 2-5 after birth. When the milk starts to accumulate, the breasts will most likely be warm and heavy. Some women feel only a slight swelling, while others feel their breasts larger in volume.
This plenitude, called primary numbing (swelling) is perfectly normal, being caused not only by the accumulation of milk, but also by the existence of an increased amount of blood and lymph.The body uses these increased amounts of fluids to produce more milk for the baby.
primary distress occurs most often on days 2-5 after birth, when the mother's milk supply is born, and the newborn does not have a well-established breastfeeding program;
a mother with an established breastfeeding program can swell her breasts due to the fact that she cannot breastfeed or cannot breastfeed enough, because she stops breastfeeding, the baby is ill or has started eating solid food - this is called secondary angulation (swelling);
a mother who will not start breastfeeding after birth will feel a mild to moderate breast tightness which will be accentuated if the breasts are not stimulated to produce more milk.
Too much milk causes the breasts to quickly become swollen and painful, which results in severe distress. Its most common causes are:
late start of breastfeeding;
Short breastfeeding does not empty breast milk. Children who are given supplemental feed with formulas or water are less likely to be breast fed properly.
Severe numbness creates difficulties in breastfeeding and breast feeding, aggravating this problem. So:
- the child does not receive enough milk;
- the breasts do not empty completely;
the suction stimulates the breasts to produce more milk and thus will not be completely emptied, and the distress becomes worse.
Can breastfeeding be prevented?
Yes, closely controlling the amount of milk produced by the breasts and its continuous flow. Thus, during the first two weeks, until a breastfeeding program is established, make sure that the breasts do not become too full.
The child should be breastfed whenever he is hungry; if the breasts are too hard and too full, enough milk is released for the nipple to be soft before putting the baby to the breast.
The mother must make sure that the baby is properly breastfed and nourished properly.
The breasts should be emptied at each breastfeeding, this will help the milk to flow normally and will maintain the milk supply to the level the baby needs.
If you have any questions or questions you can ask the doctor or a lactation consultant (a person who teaches mothers how to properly breastfeed).
Treatment of distressed breasts
Breast numbness is a common postpartum problem during breastfeeding, which can be prevented and treated at home. It is not necessary to consult the doctor if there are no symptoms of infection (mastitis), which may require antibiotic treatment.
Currently, there is no treatment available to stop breastfeeding and prevent breastfeeding for mothers who do not want to breastfeed. The American Drug Administration (FDA) has prevented the use of bromocriptine for stopping milk secretion a few years ago. This drug blocks the production of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates breast tissue, but can have dangerous side effects.
What can I do to prevent and treat seizure?
If you are breastfeeding, focus your efforts on increasing the elimination of milk. There may be a slight improvement in the first 12-24 hours, but the discomfort produced by this normal primary distress will disappear within a few days.
If you do not breastfeed, any numbness will diminish as the milk secretion decreases. The pain and discomfort disappear in 1-5 days. Home treatment can be helpful in alleviating the symptoms of distress.
If you intend to breastfeed, the following measures are required to prevent severe numbness:
Start breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth and continue as often as possible. The baby should be fed every 1-2 hours during the day. This is the most effective way to prevent severe numbness.
Make sure the breasts are soft enough to allow the baby to suck properly. If the breasts are hard and too full, milk a small amount of milk with the hands or a pump and then put the baby to the breast.
Breasts should be emptied at each breastfeeding.
Hold the baby in one breast for at least 15 minutes or longer, before moving on to the other breast.
If the child has become saturated before emptying the breasts, use a pump or even hands to express (milk) the remaining milk, which can be stored for later. This aspect is very important during the initial period of breastfeeding.
Premature numbness will decrease as breastfeeding becomes routine and the baby is able to feed for longer periods of time.
Change, from time to time, the breastfeeding position of the child to ensure that all areas of the breast have been emptied.
Make sure the baby is sucking properly. If the nipple is flat, gently massage the nipple and areola. Thus, you stimulate the nipple to become more erect. Then support the easy breast with your thumb on top and the rest of your fingers underneath. This additional support will ease the sucking effort of the child.
Tips for proper breastfeeding
when the baby is not properly breastfed, the problems of distress can be prevented;
if the breasts are too full, take a warm shower, letting the water flow to the breasts. This should trigger the "flow" reflex, allowing the milk to stretch and so the nipple and areola will soften slightly. Removes excess milk and relieves pressure by pumping or by hand (manual expression);
if the milk does not flow properly, giving the sensation of too full, apply warm and moist towels to the breasts before breastfeeding;
at times when the baby cannot be breastfed, every 3-4 hours, express the milk manually or with the help of the pump;
when the baby is ready to be weaned, gradually stop breastfeeding for a few weeks. It starts with giving up breastfeeding at the least favorite moment of the little one. It waits for a few days until the milk supply runs low and then gives up another meal. In this way, the baby will gradually give up the breast and the milk secretion will decrease.
Gradual weaning is beneficial for both mother and child. Thus, the breasts have time to adapt to the ever-decreasing needs of the child and give the child time to develop new eating habits.
If you want to breastfeed but cannot because of numbness, follow the tips below to maintain milk flow, ease pain and increase volume:
the nipple and areola should be soft to avoid injury. If they are soft, the nipple goes out and the baby can feed properly;
if the milk flows freely, use warm compresses for a few minutes before breastfeeding;
pumps a small amount of milk easily, but carefully to avoid damaging breast tissue. Automatic cyclic pumps that have suction capacity adapted to a lower level are the most effective for improving distress;
massage your breasts gently to initiate the flow of milk;
in order to relieve the symptoms of distress, breastfeed the baby as often as possible or, if breastfeeding is not possible, pump the milk.It is necessary to empty the breasts every time. The extracted milk can be frozen in clean containers and used later.
you can take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen (for example: Motrin or Advil) in combination with other non-drug treatments.
Anti-inflammatory drugs are an effective treatment for alleviating the symptoms of distress. Used as directed, ibuprofen can be safely used during breastfeeding.
you can use ice - apply on ice a wet towel ice cream, cold gel or ice bags for 15 minutes every hour, whenever necessary. To prevent tissue damage, do not apply ice directly to the skin. You can wear a thin garment between the skin and the ice bag. Recent research suggests that cold applications do not actually improve the symptoms of distress. However, they can be useful.
you can apply raw cabbage leaves on the breasts, under the bra; these should be changed after they wilt or after 2 hours. Although research shows that cabbage leaves are no more effective than cold applications for symptom relief, some moms find them useful. A decrease in the milk supply can be observed.
Avoid too tight bras that press on the breasts, as they can reduce the amount of milk leaking through the ducts and can cause them to become blocked.
Tags Breastfeeding Breastfeeding