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Majority of new moms who breastfeed – either exclusively or not – know what it is like to experience breast engorgement. Unfortunately, more often than not, it is extremely unpleasant to deal with. Not all moms can keep feeding their baby with breasts that crack and feel like they are on fire. Due to this, engorged breasts can give moms trauma to the point they immediately plan to stop breastfeeding.
Luckily, there are many ways you can treat engorged breasts. You may take pills if you’d like, but if you prefer more natural ways to go about it, here are three methods you should definitely try!
Do you remember how you would hold and press an ice pack to your cheek when you have toothache, and how much that soothes the pain? That’s what compression does.
Compression is a good first step to relieving most muscle or physical pain. In treating breast engorgement, it is also effective to stimulate milk flow apart from just relieving the discomforts. But, should you opt for hot or cold compression? Why not both! You don’t necessarily have to try both of them at once, but if one does not work for you, at least you can go with the other type.
To apply heat, you may use a warm pack or make your own by filling a bottle with warm water and wrapping it with thick cloth. Apply the heat to your breast for about 5-10 minutes before you start breastfeeding. Alternatively, you can just step into a warm bath. Remember to keep the water at a warm temperature and NOT steaming hot.
In case that does not relieve the engorgement, you can opt for cold compression. Give it some time and do not try it immediately after you do the heat compression. For this, you may use a wrapped ice pack. Apply it to your breast for a few minutes where needed. This can especially help to reduce swellings and inflammations.
Wait…cabbage? The same cabbage you would shred and throw into soups? Yes, THAT cabbage. This unsuspected method has helped many mothers to relieve their acute breast pain. How does it work? This unusual form of therapy is effective because the cabbage leaves are able to absorb some of the fluids from the glands on the breasts, hence reducing the fullness or swellings of the tissue.
You may notice some improvements like reduced inflammations within 12 hours of starting it. Here’s how to do it, from A to Z!
If discomfort continues, you can practise this cabbage leaf trick. Still, try not exceed 2 times a day so you won’t be putting too much ‘pressure’ on your breasts.
Last but certainly not least, what better ways to relieve most common types of body discomforts but to massage them away! Massaging your breasts can help to stimulate breast milk production and prevent the risk of issues like blockage of milk ducts, breast engorgement, and mastitis. You may massage your breasts or have your partner do it once or twice a day!
Simple steps of massage you can practise before pumping:
If you are looking for how to clear engorged breast the natural way, you can always consult us at PNSG. We have a team of massage therapists who are certified and skilled to get rid of your engorgement through our postnatal massage.