Ask The Expert: What does engorgement look like?


Every member of our Customer Service team is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) or an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), so when you have a problem, they are well-equipped to solve it.

And because sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know, we’d like to share their answers to frequently asked questions to keep you informed.

We are breaking down the questions by subject. Today we are talking about how you prepare your milk for feedings.

Meet Kristi Dodson. International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and on our amazing customer service team. (Seriously, if you ever need help, Kristi is just an email away).

Q: What does engorgement look like? 


Many women experience engorgement as milk comes in, typically 2-5 days after giving birth.

Here are some of the signs that your breasts might be engorged:

  • Breasts feel hard, with skin tightness and a shiny appearance.  
  • Warmth, tenderness, or throbbing of the breast. 

If you do experience it, it’s important to resolve it quickly, as it can lead to mastitis – an infection that can be serious. Try nursing, pumping, or hand expressing to remove the milk from your breast to relieve it.

Note: Sometimes the areola can become so hard that it’s difficult for baby to latch or to pump, in which case, try gently massaging to move milk from the areola to the breast. If the breast continues to feel full after nursing or pumping, a cold compress and inflammation-reducing OTC meds can help. If the issue persists, reach out to an IBCLC or your doctor.

Joanna Wolff

Joanna Wolff is a creative consultant who loves weaving together a brand's story. When she's not working she enjoys spending time with her son and husband, traveling, squeezing in yoga where she can, and using any excuse to be by the ocean. She also prides herself on finding the perfect gift for kids' birthdays.