4 Unexpected Causes Of Swollen Breasts In Newborns

Image: Shutterstock

You will sometimes see that newborn babies may have a slight swelling in the breast area.. During pregnancy, women have a high level of estrogen hormone which causes breast enhancement or enlargement in the mom-to-be; the same effect can be seen in newborn babies within days from their birth.

Hormonal Changes In Babies:

Swollen breasts are a common concern for parents of newborns, but it’s normally nothing serious.

  • The swollen breasts can, at times, produce a milk-like liquid. Do not be alarmed as this can be normal. Also, do not squeeze the nipples to try and get the milk out. If you just leave it alone , it will resolve on its own.
  • This swollen breast happens because the mother’s hormones are passed to the newborn baby before delivery.
  • Swollen breasts appear within a few days after the delivery and will disappear within a few weeks but can take up to a few months to completely go away.

[ Read: Baby Health Care ]

Causes Of Swollen Breasts In Newborns:

Many parents may get tensed by seeing the swollen breasts in infants, but once the cause for this swollen breasts is known, you will feel relaxed.

  1.  Typically in a pregnant woman there are many changes happening physically and mentally as well. You can notice changes in the breast in your entire pregnancy.
  1. In the final days of your pregnancy, you can see such changes a lot; this is due to your body preparing itself for breastfeeding your baby.
  1. These hormonal changes are passed to the infant also and the same effect is seen in them.
  1. When a baby is in the mother’s womb, he or she absorbs many hormones from the mother’s blood. But after the baby is born, this regular supply of chemicals is cut off. Due to this, certain hormonal changes happen in the babies, which are generally temporary in nature.

[ Read: Flu In Babies ]

Tips For Concerned Parents:

It can be worryingg for the parents to see these changes in their newborn baby’s body. Alway check with your doctor if you are unsure. Here are some general Do’s and Dont’s for at home.

          • Some parents try to pinch the swollen area too much and see if that will help in reducing the swollen breast, but that will cause irritation to the newborn babies. Avoid doing this!
          • Since this is not a serious problem , give it some time to shrink naturally. This will disappear around the 5th week of the baby’s birth.
          • Do not massage or touch the swollen area too many times. All you should do is just wash them cleanly during the bath. Too much of massage or pinching the swollen area can cause infection.

[ Read: Sinus Infection In Babies ]

When To Consult The Doctor?

As discussed earlier, there is nothing to worry about as newborn swollen breasts will shrink naturally after a few weeks.

          • Sometimes the swollen breast looks red and swollen too much and then those cases you will have to consult the pediatrician immediately.
          • If your baby is having high fever along with a swollen breast , then you should consult the doctor immediately without any delay.
            • If the swelling is increasing everyday rather than reducing then it is something that you should definitely worry about.

As a parent, it is very common that you will start worrying about the minute changes that take place in your infant’s body, but there are certain changes that are normal and you should not be worried about. These changes will last about two months and resolve or start resolving within that time. If this is not the case, then discuss with you paediatrician..

Ref: 1 , 2

Recommended Articles:

The following two tabs change content below.

Dr. Wayne Hough

(MBChB, MMed, FC Paeds)
Dr. Wayne Hough is a pediatrician currently based in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town in South Africa. He got his medical degree from the University of Stellenbosch. He then worked at the Tygerberg Children's Hospital before completing his pediatric training and qualification from the South African College of Medicine. Dr. Hough also holds a MMed degree in pediatrics from... more

Jessica Albert

Jessica Albert is a passionate writer who seeks to connect with her readers through wit and charm. Her work aims to invoke curiosity and keep the readers engaged through and through. She has prior experience working with magazines and e-commerce establishments as a content marketer and editor. Being a mother herself, she puts all her knowledge into creating content about... more