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Breastfeeding (full breast)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

This is a normal physiological phenomenon (1).

Usually occurs between 3 to 5 days after birth as the breast milk "comes in".

  • the patients feels uncomfortable and the breasts feel heavy, hot and hard, sometimes can be lumpy (1)
  • shininess, oedema, or redness is not present
  • the milk usually flows easily and sometimes drips out spontaneously
  • both breasts are usually affected (1)

If not managed properly it may lead to breast engorgement.

Treatment options include:

  • inform the patients that this is a normal occurrence
  • mother should be encouraged to breast feed frequently as fullness decreases after a feed
  • provide any advice on proper attachment of the infant to the breast which will improve milk removal and avoid damage to the nipples (1)
  • reassure the woman that after a few days the condition resolves and the milk production adjusts to the babies needs


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