5 Reasons To Never Massage A Newborn's Breasts


Newborn babies are delicate and require gentle care and attention to ensure their well-being. They go through several physical changes while adapting to outside environments. 


Swollen breasts in newborns are a common phenomenon that many parents worry about and may lead to confusion. Swollen breasts in newborns are quite normal symptoms due to hormonal imbalances and maternal influences. 


This article discusses why babies have swollen breasts and five important reasons why you should never massage the breasts of a newborn.


Why newborns have swollen breasts

Swollen breasts, especially among girls who are newborns, are very common and usually go away with time. Exposure to hormones from the mother causes neonatal breast enlargement.


A pregnant mother’s estrogen can cause growth in the developing tissues of the child’s breast during pregnancy.  


Normally, the engorged breasts in newborns often go away on their own within a few weeks or months as the minute baby’s hormonal levels are steady. It is regarded to be a regular and noncancerous condition that does not instigate any health issues.


 Nevertheless, if there are signs of infection including redness, heat, and tenderness around the breast area, or if the swelling persists beyond a couple of months, you need to consult a pediatrician.


5 reasons to never massage a newborn's breasts

  • Risk of injury: Newborn babies have soft skin and unripe tissues that can be easily damaged or bruised. If done with excessive force, massaging their breasts could result in agony, pain, or even hurt of the tissues.


  • Discomfort: Infants communicate by crying or being fussy, therefore, friction on delicate parts like their breasts can cause unwanted stress for the baby.


  • Interference with natural development: Swelling in a newborn’s breasts is a natural event that mostly resolves spontaneously without intervention. The breast massage interferes with this natural development and disrupts the endocrine balance that controls an infant’s breast tissue growth.


  • Risk of infection: When dirty hands are used to massage an infant’s nipples, it may lead to the introduction of bacteria that cause infection or irritant substances leading to infection or skin irritation. To prevent complications, maintain good hygiene when dealing with a baby’s sensitive skin.


  • No medicinal value: There is no medical benefit to the practice of rubbing an infant’s chest. The lumps on a baby's chest are temporary and harmless and they usually disappear on their own within a few weeks with tender care and close observation.


Though swollen breasts in babies may worry parents, it is important to note that this is common and normal in most cases because of hormone influence from being pregnant. 


Avoid massaging an infant's breasts because of potential harm, pain, disruption of natural growth processes, possible bacterial contamination as well as absence of medical reason. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Why does my baby’s breast bring out milk?

 The occurrence of discharge from or engorgement of an infant’s breast might be due to hormonal influences emanating from pregnancy. This process is temporary and usually resolves naturally without any intervention at all.


  1. Are swollen breasts normal in babies?

Newborns have enlarged breasts due to some hormones from their mothers passed during pregnancy. It gets resolved as the child adjusts its body mechanisms after delivery.


  1. Can I place a cold towel on my baby’s swollen breast?

There’s no need to apply any fabric on their swollen breast. It resolves naturally without any external factors. 

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