A woman's body begins the process of producing milk almost as soon as she gets pregnant.
Early signs of lactation
include leakage of a yellowish fluid, colostrum
, followed about two to three days later by painful breast engorgement
when the milk comes in. If a woman resists expressing (pumping) the milk, the body will shut down production within 2-4 days. The breasts may continue to feel tender and swollen for several weeks, however.
To reduce discomfort, apply cold compresses to the breasts. For pain relief, your doctor may suggest using NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like Ibuprofen or an analgesic
. If the pain is severe, it's okay to pump a small amount of milk, but doing so may slow the drying process.