7 Tips to Treat Breast Engorgement
Are your breast engorged after your baby's birth? Treat breast engorgement with these 7 simple steps.
Are your breast engorged after your baby’s birth? Treat breast engorgement with these 7 simple steps.
1. Get some heat on the breasts
Before each feeding, apply some warm, moist heat (with a warm cloth or compress) on the breasts for a few minutes, or take a short, warm shower if you are not practising strict confinement. If showering, ensure that the water is hitting your back and not your breast. Warmth will help the milk to flow – but do not apply heat for more than five minutes, because it may make the swelling worse.
2. Wear a well-fitted nursing bra
Wear a well-fitted nursing bra for good support during this period. Ill-fitting bras could lead to mastitis. If you are not sure of your breast size, then opt to use a nursing tank. Many breastfeeding mums recommend the nursing tank from Uniqlo which retails at around $19.90 when on offer.
3. Breastfeed your baby frequently
Allow your baby to breastfeed frequently, round the clock, as the infant suckling is the most effective mechanism for removal of milk.
4. Massage the breast
Massage the breast, nipple and areola prior to and during milk expression to clear any blockage and enhance the flow of the milk.
5. Apply a cold pack or cold cabbage on the breast
Apply a cold pack (ice pack over a layer of clothing) or cold cabbage compress on the breast between feedings to help reduce swelling. 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off; repeat as needed. It’s not clear why cabbage leaves help treat breast engorgement, but the green cabbage plant contains a high concentration of sulphur, which is known to reduce swelling and inflammation in all tissues.
6. Express milk before feeding
If your breast is uncomfortably full at the end of a feeding or between feedings, then express a bit of milk (by hand or with a pump) before feeding, so that the breasts do not become over
7. Apply a fenugreek seed(methi) poultice
Apply a fenugreek seed (methi) poultice. This is traditionally practised custom in India to treat breast engorgement and mastitis. Steep some fenugreek seeds in a cup of warm water. Let seeds cool, then mash them. Place on a clean cloth (handkerchief), warm it up and use as a poultice on engorged breasts to help with let-down and sore spots. Do not apply for more than five minutes.