Hard breasts, squishy breasts?
I know it’s normal to have hard breasts, it means that they’re engorged and you need to pump to relieve them of all that stored up milk. But is it normal for your breasts to be squishy? Does it mean baby is getting all of your milk? Does it mean your not producing enough? It’s it a good thing or a bad thing for them to be squishy?
A lactating mother will notice her breasts change both before and after a feed, and during the course of the day. Initially until milk supply settles down to supply and demand, breasts may appear quite full or engorged before a feed, or e.g. if your baby sleeps longer than usual. Once the baby has fed they will be softer again. After cluster feeding in an evening breasts often feel very soft compared to in the morning. Later as a baby gets older the mother may not notice these changes and her breasts may seem soft most of the time. To answer your question, soft breasts are not a problem as long as your baby is gaining weight and having plenty of wet and dirty nappies. See Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk? and Making More Milk for more information. As soon as a breast is full and engorged milk production will be slowed in that breast, and when a breast is empty (softer), milk production will be increased. Once a breast is engorged it is important to feed your baby or pump to comfort to relieve the engorgement to prevent mastitis see Engorged Breasts.
If your little one is only 4 weeks old it’s rather a long time to wait until 8 weeks for the next weight. If you do have any niggling concerns about milk intake, popping along to the next baby weighing clinic will put your mind at rest and pick up any potential problems early when they will be much easier to fix. The number of dirty nappies per day is also a useful guide to intake see Breastfed Baby Poop