What is breast engorgement?
Breast engorgement is severe swelling and tenderness in the breast. It is caused by having too much milk, blood, and lymph fluid in the breast. The breasts become very hard and painful. Engorgement is most common in the first week after birth but can happen whenever breastfeeding or expressing is suddenly reduced or interrupted. It can be avoided by effective breastfeeding or expressing. Engorgement can also make the nipple root hard, causing latching problems and nipple pain and damage. It can cause a decrease in the eventual milk supply and should be treated as soon as possible.