Breast engorgement is the overfilling of the breasts with milk, which can happen when milk isn't being removed well from the breasts by breast-feeding, pumping, or expressing by hand. Severely engorged breasts become increasingly hard, swollen, and tender; the nipples and areolae can become hard and flattened, making it difficult for a baby to latch on to the breast properly.
A mother with a regular breast-feeding routine can become engorged if she cannot nurse or pump as much as usual or suddenly stops breast-feeding. A mother who doesn't begin breast-feeding after childbirth will have several days of mild to moderate breast engorgement that gradually goes away when the breasts aren't stimulated to produce more milk.
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