What causes engorgement or redness in the breast?

Assoc. Prof. Didem Öncel Yakar

Dr Öncel Yakar’s comments

In case of accumulation of milk in the milk ducts during lactation period, there may be swelling / engorgement of the breast region where these ducts are situated at. These swellings usually regress after the baby is breastfed or emptied with a breast pump. In case of insufficient evacuation, infection may develop in the breast. In this case, the engorgement is accompanied by redness and pain. High fever and general malaise are seen in mothers during this period. In cases where these symptoms are present, a General Surgeon or Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist should be examined without further delay.

Breast tissue consists of milk ducts and mammary glands (lobuloalveolar secretory unit) in adipose tissue. These structures complete their development at different stages with different hormonal effects. Breast development is not completed in women who have not given birth. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, there are serious changes in the breast tissue with the intense hormonal effect, thus milk production and nutrition of the baby are provided by one of the most miraculous processes of nature. In terms of breast health, it is recommended that every woman over the age of 40 should have a breast screening annually. However, breast health follow-up protocols during pregnancy and breastfeeding are tailored to the individual.

Knowing these processes closely as both a female surgeon and a mother, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Didem Öncel Yakar answers your questions about breast health issues that arise during pregnancy and breastfeeding. May health be with us in every moment of our lives.