Postpartum Breast Lump?

(April 14, 2010)

A woman experiences numerous changes in her body throughout her life. This especially holds true with regard to the reproductive phase of her life. Following pregnancy, in addition to the natural processes of the body contracting to its original size, hormonal variations play a crucial role in bringing about changes in the mother’s body. One of the most obvious changes is the change in a woman’s breasts due to the production of milk for breastfeeding.

Following pregnancy, the breasts may seem different throughout the day, due to the actively functioning milk glands that give the breast an uneven texture. During the breastfeeding phase, the breast tissue undergoes a number of changes and it is absolutely normal for a woman’s breast to feel lumpy or nodular. The breasts look larger as they swell up with the secreted milk. They are also more tender and even a slight touch may result in pain, especially when full of milk. As the baby drinks, they become softer and less painful.

Conducting a self examination of your breasts immediately after breastfeeding is recommended. If you find that there is a lump, the most probable cause is that the particular part of the breast has not been able to empty out the milk produced by the glands. It is not a matter of major concern and can be dealt with by fermenting the breast. Apply a hot pack or pour hot water on the affected area during a bath. Then gently massage the breast towards the nipple. If the lump is caused due to an accumulation of milk, this will help to drain out the milk through the nipple and provide relief from pain. Another common cause of a postpartum lump in the breast is mastitis, a very common condition faced by new mothers, wherein the mammary glands get inflamed or infected.

The formation of an abscess due to infection is also very common. At times, due to breastfeeding, the nipple cracks providing a gateway to germs. This leads to the formation of a small lump just below the skin. For this, a visit to a doctor is recommended for draining out the abscess. In order to minimize infection, cleansing the nipples with warm water before and after a feed is recommended. Applying a little virgin coconut oil to the nipples will prevent the formation of cracks. On daily examination, if you feel that the lump persists, is growing in size or changing in texture, a visit to a doctor is definitely recommended.  

Submitted by P T on April 14, 2010 at 11:25

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