If You’re Engorged, Don’t Pump


When I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter, Annelyne, I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to breastfeed her. She latched right away and I told the nurse that I didn’t need a visit from the lactation consultant after all! I was so wrong! What I didn’t know until two days later was that my daughter had a very shallow latch and I started having awful pain every time she nursed, which was every hour on the dot! I had the lactation consultant come see us before we left the hospital and we were able to correct her latch.  When we got home the pain was so bad from all the incorrect latching that I broke down. Sobbing, I offered her a bottle, which she refused so I pushed through the pain and it was gone in a couple days!


All Annelyne’s cluster feeding at the hospital caused me to have a huge oversupply! I was getting painfully engorged and getting lots of clogged ducts! I contacted my local WIC office and they recommended that I pump to relieve the discomfort. This was not good advice and I wish that I had spoken with a IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) instead! I was making so much extra milk, that I soon had a completely full freezer! I decided to go onto Facebook to find a group where I could donate it. I found so many great breastfeeding groups and was able to donate to a mom in need, who I found through “Human Milk 4 Human Babies”! Two months later I learned from my local Facebook group “Badass Breastfeeders of Colorado”, that my pumping was causing the oversupply! I tapered down on my pumping sessions until I  was no longer pumping and my supply finally regulated! Now my little girl is 16 months old and nursing her is easy and wonderful! I’m so glad I stuck with it even though it was hard at the beginning! My daughter is wonderfully healthy and I am so thankful that I have been able to provide her with the nourishment she needs! The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends breastfeeding to two or beyond so we are going to continue nursing until she decides she’s done!

  1. Rainy says:

    Although I agree with what is explained in the end, the little sound byte “If you’re engorged, don’t pump,” is really misleading. I would suggest to any woman who is engorged and baby is struggling to latch, PUMP! Not excessively, but enough to relieve pressure. I would also explain – the more milk comes out – into baby or into a pump – the more your body will get used to making – so when pumping to relieve engorgement, don’t over-do it – often a manual pump or hand expression is enough – if reverse pressure softening won’t work. I would also recommend to ANY woman trying to increase her supply – pump BEFORE you’re engorged – your body makes more milk when you’re not full – so pumping when engorged is certainly a needed thing in that situation! Perhaps the only “bad advice” this person was given was not “bad advice” at all, but incomplete advice – pump – but only enough to allow baby to latch well.

Any thoughts?