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If you are not breastfeeding, your breasts may feel painful or engorged when they are full with milk. Generally, relief from engorgement occurs in 24 to 48 hours. Until then, apply an ice pack such as a bag of frozen vegetables under your arms and along the sides of your breasts for 20 to 30 minutes several times a day. Do not apply heat or face the spray of hot water when taking a shower. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed. If there are areas on either breast that are red, hot, or tender, and you have a fever over 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, call your doctor.
You can ease the pain of your swollen breasts by manually expressing some of the excess milk and massaging your breasts in a hot shower. If you're set up to pump already, you can easily put away a few extra bottles. You'll probably also experience a lot of leakage until your milk production gets under control. In addition to wearing a bra with nursing pads, you may need to sleep on a bath towel so as not to soak your bed.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.