What should be done if a lump in the breast is palpable during breastfeeding?

Assoc. Prof. Didem Öncel Yakar

Dr Öncel Yakar’s comments

A lump in the breast during breastfeeding is mostly due to insufficient discharge of milk. In this case, the baby should be regularly breastfed and one should make sure that the area is completely free of engorgement with a breast pump. If adequate drainage cannot be achieved, additional findings such as redness, pain, fever, and weakness occur in the event of a possible infection. In the absence of any of these findings, if breast engorgement remains for more than a few days or in the presence of specified complaints, a General Surgeon should be consulted.

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.