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Whether you are feeding your baby at the breast or with a bottle, your body will naturally produce milk. As your milk supply increases, your breasts may become very tender and/or swollen. This is called engorgement and begins on the second or third day after your baby's birth. It will last about 24 to 48 hours.

If Your Breasts Become Engorged When Breastfeeding

  • Wear a bra with good support 24 hours a day.
  • Take a warm shower or apply a warm face cloth to your breasts. The heat may help milk flow.
  • Pump or hand express milk before nursing to soften the breast if your baby is having trouble latching on because your breasts are engorged.
  • Apply a cold compress after feeding. It may help relieve swelling.
  • Take Tylenol or Motrin for discomfort.
  • Nurse your baby frequently to help your milk supply and reduce engorgement.

If Your Breasts Become Engorged When Bottle Feeding

  • Wear a bra with good support 24 hours a day.
  • Avoid handling your breasts.
  • Do not pump or hand express milk. This will only increase the engorgement.
  • Take Tylenol or Motrin for discomfort.

Call the Warm Line at 1-800-711-7011 if you have any questions or concerns.