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Your newborn baby and breast lumps

Newborn babies, girls and boys, can often have swollen breasts that may ooze some milk.

This is because of the mum's hormones being passed to the baby just before delivery.

Causes of enlarged breasts and lumps in newborns

In the womb, babies are exposed to all of their mother’s hormones. The same hormones that cause the mother’s breasts to swell and milk glands to be stimulated can do the same to the baby’s breasts. These lumps and enlarged breasts in the baby may be quite noticeable at birth. They might even continue to grow after birth for a while. If you were to squeeze them, some real breast milk may be expressed.

Over weeks, or sometimes even months, when there is no more exposure to the hormones, the breast tissue begins to shrink and eventually becomes quite flat. Occasionally a small lump of tissue remains but it doesn’t grow or cause discomfort.

Tips for concerned parents

Sometimes overly worried parents touch and pinch the breasts so much that the area gets irritated. Leave them alone and let nature take its course in shrinking them.

When to worry about swollen breasts or lumps

In the rare case when the breasts look infected (swollen, red, tender, or with a discharge) and the baby has a fever, seek medical advice to check if an infection has developed and requires treatment.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on December 22, 2015

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