Finally! Your baby is sleeping through the night! You’ve been waiting for this moment so you can catch some precious zzzz’s too, but now something else is keeping you up—your breasts are engorged. Ugh!

If you wake up in the middle of the night to tight, painful breasts, they should be emptied within an hour to protect milk supply and reduce the chance of clogged ducts or mastitis. As your baby starts sleeping longer, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of pumping or nursing right before going to sleep yourself (think: dream feed for you both!).  

If your breasts become engorged as the baby sleeps, pump or hand express milk to get relief and take notice of the time. The next night, try to stretch the time 15 minutes longer and think of the night time milk as an added bonus. 

Each evening, extend the time slightly from the previous night and over a couple of weeks you will be able to join baby in sleeping longer while maintaining your breastmilk supply.

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This article was written in partnership with our International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Wendy Wright, who loves working side by side with moms and babies to find that secret sauce! She’s also a mother of two and the Mom Experience Lead at Willow Pump.