Many women experience engorged breasts at some point during their time breastfeeding. Find out what causes this common breastfeeding problem and advice on massaging your breasts to relieve the pain, from our lactation consultant Jani Combrink.
What causes engorged breasts?
Engorgement happens when milk, blood or other fluids builds up in the breast. This is common during the first few days after birth, (a process called lactogenesis II) or when your breasts haven’t been emptied regularly. The breast becomes very hard, swollen and tender, and the nipples can become flattened, taut and the breast painful.
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Massage can help relieve this condition. The most important thing to do is to empty the breast as much as possible. Swelling may make this difficult, and thus massage can help reduce this. There are different massage techniques that you can try to relieve engorged breasts.