Engorgement happens when the milk producing cells are
uncomfortably full. Engorgement is sometimes apparent in the areola or
the breast or both, in one breast or in both breasts. (you may have just
one engorged, sore swollen breast).
When the “Milk Comes In"
Between day 3 and 5, a mother’s milk changes from colostrum into mature milk and her breasts become swollen with breast milk. Engorgement during this time is normal.
Timing your baby on each breast during a breastfeeding session can cause engorgement. It is recommended to allow your baby to breastfeed until he/she indicates that they have had enough, then offer the other breast. Alternate breasts with each feeding session.
Mothers with small breasts, may struggle with engorgement more. Ladies with small breasts have a lower storage capacity, which means that they will need to feed more frequently than a larger breasted woman.
Breasts may be swollen and engorged due to any change in a baby's feeding pattern. This can happen if your baby starts sleeping more.
Women who have already had children, seem to experience more engorgement.
Ladies who have had breast surgery (reduction or augmentation), may experience engorgement problems, if the breast milk ducts have been damaged; the breast milk may not have an opening to leave the breast.
Symptoms of Engorgement
Breasts feel huge
and swollen. The skin of the nipple and areola are stretched tight,
making it difficult for a baby to latch on to. This can also cause nipple
Breasts are hard to the touch.
Breasts are tender or painful and may be throbbing.