Nursing 101: All About Breastfeeding

The Rules of Engorgement

Even if you nurse often, sometimes your breasts still get engorged. It's hard for a baby to latch on to a rock-hard breast, so here's how to relieve that painful feeling and get the milk flowing.

  1. Stay cool. Applying ice packs or bags of frozen peas to your breasts is one way of easing the pain. Another tried-and-true remedy? Cabbage leaves! Keep a large head of green cabbage in your refrigerator or freezer. When you feel sore, peel off a leaf, stick it in your bra, and voila! An instant breast-shaped ice pack.
  2. Take a warm shower. Heat promotes the flow of milk. You'll lose a little milk in the process, but if you're nursing regularly, there's more where that came from.
  3. Express yourself. Expressing a small amount of milk manually or with a pump can help soften things up so baby can latch on more easily.
  4. Take it lying down. Lying on your stomach relieves the pull of gravity and for some women soothes the pain.

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