Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor. Sometimes a woman's breasts make milk even though she is not pregnant or breastfeeding.
Breast Engorgement | Michigan Medicine
Error: This is required. Error: Not a valid value. Once your baby is born, your breasts are given a signal to start full milk production. Blood flows to your breasts, and your milk usually comes in 1 to 4 days after the birth. Breast engorgement is when the breast tissue overfills with milk, blood and other fluids and is a common problem in the early days and weeks of breastfeeding.
What is breast engorgement?
Jump to content. Breast engorgement means your breasts are painfully overfull of milk. This usually occurs when a mother makes more milk than her baby uses. Your breasts may become firm and swollen, which can make it hard for your baby to breastfeed.
When you first start breastfeeding your baby, your breasts produce colostrum in small amounts that gradually increase over the first few days. One of the signs milk is coming in is your breasts become fuller and firmer. This swelling is not just caused by the greater quantity of milk, but also by increased blood flow and extra lymph fluids in your breast tissue. For most new mums, if their baby is feeding well and frequently, these feelings of heaviness pass without problems.