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Preventing engorged breasts while breast-feeding

Updated on April 1, 2017

How to prevent engorged breasts while breastfeeding

I write this hub with hope that it will be helpful to some women who have experienced engorged breasts or have heard about the condition and want to prevent if from ever happening to them.

Avoid going too many hours without the breast-feeding your baby or pumping your milk so as to prevent engorgement or leaking of the breasts.

Four hours has often been cited as the amount of time you can allow to lapse before you either pump your milk or breast-feed. The mothers who are primarily breast-feeding might do so as often as every 2-3 hours.

If you travel, work outside of the home, are frequently or even infrequently away from you baby, then this hub about preventing engorged breasts while breastfeeding should be helpful for you.

What to do when you don't have your breast pump with you

It important to be fully informed. For example, if it urgently needs to be done, did you know that you can express your milk by hand?! You can gently press your breast to encourage milk let-down, cup the breast near the areola and squeeze to express the milk. It is something you can do in urgent situations to prevent the pain of engorgement and infection. Do not do this regularly for expressing your milk because you will still need the sucking action of your baby or the suction of a breast pump to stimulate your production of more milk.

Check out Dr. Sears' website, to learn more about this. Basically, it is very simple and can be more comfortable for a woman to just express her milk by hand when she is not near her baby and her breast pump is not readily available or is uncomfortable to use.


Many women do not even seem to think of this as an option. Recently Marion Jones was interviewed on the talk show, "The Talk" and she mentioned being engorged and in pain while giving a press conference.

She had to travel for the press conference and noticed that her breast pump was broken when she unpacked it from her luggage. It seems that she could have expressed the milk by hand if she could not readily go to the pharmacy for a new pump.

Express your breast milk approximately every 4 hours

Breast-feeding and/or expressing your milk with your breast pump preferably at least every 4 hours and if it is not possible, then expressing it by hand are the key suggestions for preventing engorged breasts.

If you are not producing a lot of milk, you might be able to take a full night of sleep (8 hours) but you should express your milk in some way as soon as you wake up.


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    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 9 months ago from USA

      Thank you very much. I had written this hub about breastfeeding in hopes of being as helpful to others as possible. If it is found helpful, I take that as a terrific compliment! Hello Hello, Thanks for taking the time to post your nice comment.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I am sure this information if very helpful to a lot of women.