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What does 'engorgement' mean?

Engorgement is fairly common in the first few days after delivery as your milk begins “coming-in”. It is when the breasts become very overfull and tender and is caused by the increased blood supply to the breasts that comes as the milk production changes from colostrum to mature milk. I advise frequent feeding until the engorgement settles down, which takes a couple of days.

It can sometimes be difficult for a baby to attach onto an overfull breast. You can hand express some milk off first to soften the breast to make this attachment easier. Then, to combat the tenderness, my top tip would be to take a lovely green (the greener the better!) cabbage leaf from the fridge and pop it in your bra. It might sound weird, but the cool leaf provides brilliant relief! There aren’t any strict instructions but I normally recommend putting them in for about 20 minutes a few times a day, be it after each feed or whenever they feel they need it, it’s up to you!

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