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Engorgement happens when the breasts go into full production. The milk glands fill to bursting with milk, some of which leaks out, causing inflammation and swelling and pain (but no permanent harm).

Engorgement is best prevented by frequent small feeds from birth.

Treating engorgement requires two things:

  • Remove the milk, either by baby or by hand expression or by pump.
  • Treat the swelling, usually with cold compresses.
  • Treat the pain, with cold or with a mild pain-killer.

If you have more milk than baby will take, consider freezing it for future use.