Very often, around the third week after childbirth, breast-feeding women experience stagnation of milk in the mammary glands, and this phenomenon is called lactostasis.
Causes of lactostasis
The reasons for this condition are:
- incomplete emptying of the breast when feeding a baby;
- doping baby with water;
- tight clothes (bra);
- habit of sleeping on your stomach;
- an abundance of fluids in the diet (tea, soup).
Inexperienced young mothers, who do not know how to properly attach a baby to their breasts, or arrange long intervals between feedings, primarily suffer from lactostasis.
The desire to «get in shape» immediately after birth also plays a negative role - physical exercise leads to poor drainage of the milk ducts. And instead of an aspen waist we get stagnation of milk. It is worth postponing gym trainings by the time when your baby will no longer need breastfeeding.
Symptoms of lactostasis
It is not difficult to guess that you have lactostasis. The following symptoms indicate milk stagnation:
- breast pain;
- breast pain;
- hard breasts;
- the presence of seals, lumps in the gland;
- temperature increase.
What to do?
The first thing that breast-feeding women needs to do, in the presence of the above symptoms, is to put the baby on her breast more often. It is advisable to do this every hour. Seals in the gland are massaged. It is useful to attach a cabbage leaf to the chest, having previously cut it with a knife (not until the end, but so that the juice flows).
An excellent assistant in solving the problem of lactostasis can be a breast pump, but as practice shows, it is not manual, but electric. After feeding, with intense pain, you can put a cold compress under your armpits.
How to express milk with lactostasis?
If there is no breast pump, and the baby does not suckle well, then you must try to manually pump the milk. And in order to improve the flow of milk, it is recommended that you first make a circular massage from the edge of the chest to the nipple. It is preferable to«warm up» the breast a little in the shower, or by applying a plastic bottle with warm water. But keep in mind that overheating of the mammary gland is dangerous because it can accelerate the growth of microorganisms and trigger mastitis. With breast massage, moderation should also be observed, because too intense massage leads to damage to the ducts in the lobes of the mammary gland.
Prevention of lactostasis
For the prevention of lactostasis, it is important to feed the baby not according to the schedule, but on demand, not to introduce solid food and water into the baby's diet for up to 6 months. Each mom solves individually the question: to pump herself or not, but if you notice that «lumps»,begin to appear in the breast, then it’s better to remove the excess milk.
Watch your diet, especially the amount of fluid you drink. And finally, try to be calm and in a good mood while breastfeeding - this is also a useful preventive measure for good health, both for a young mother and her baby
In case of problems with the mammary glands, you can consult a mammologist at the Bogoliuby Medical Center.