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Breast engorgement

Breast engorgement

Breast engorgement is a common problem seen in the early days of breastfeeding, it results in hard, swollen, painful breasts with overfilled milk. It occurs due to exaggerated normal venous and lymphatic engorgement of the breast, this, in turn, prevents the escape of milk from the lacteal system. More commonly seen in primiparous and woman with inelastic breasts.


  • Pain, tenderness, and heaviness in both breasts
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Painful breast feeding
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes in the armpits.

Here are some preventive measures to lessen the effect of breast engorgement:

  • Manual expression of remaining milk after each feed.
  • There should be a short interval between each feed.
  • Apply ice bag for 10-15minutes between feeds to reduce swelling.
  • Before feeding apply moist warmth to the breast for a few minutes to help the proper flow of milk.
  • Gently massage the nipple area in a circular motion
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Wean slowly.

Contact your doctor for medication if tenderness and swelling are too much.

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