Struggling to breastfeed - sore and engorged in Breastfeeding

Posted by Anonymous on - 1 reply

I'm 4 weeks into breastfeeding and not coping with it at all. My breasts are sore and engorged and i dont feel i want to continue. I have tried my very best but it is really getting me down to the point where im constatly crying. If i decide to stop whats the best way to change to bottle feeding?

Users' Replies

Nov 14, 2016 15:03 PM

I’m so sorry to hear what a tough time you are having. Experiencing sore and engorged breasts at 4 weeks is a likely indicator that milk is not being transferred as effectively as it could be. I wonder if somebody who is experienced in breastfeeding support has observed a full breastfeed with you? A Certified Lactation Consultant would be able to assess whether a baby is breastfeeding actively and draining their mother’s breasts in an effective way. The most common cause of this type of issue is a positioning problem and / or sometimes an oral issue for the baby, such as tongue tie. With support mothers experiencing the symptoms you describe can start to notice an improvement really quite quickly.

It’s completely understandable to be feeling so unhappy when you’re in pain as well as tired and looking after a new baby. I wonder if you have any friends or family that could help you this week so that you can get some rest and decide what you would like to do next?

To reduce or stop breastfeeding the key thing to bear in mind is that your breasts will take some time to catch up with your decision. If a mother stops suddenly after breastfeeding several times a day she may experience lumpy breasts due to blocked milk ducts. This may then lead to mastitis. Guidelines often suggest allowing a few days for each dropped feed. Some mothers find that they can progress more quickly than this whilst others with a more generous milk supply find they need to allow this time.

I really hope that this helps give you some ideas for a way forward that feels right for you and your new family.

Sharon George IBCLC