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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Take it lying down. Lying on your stomach relieves the pull of gravity and for some women soothes the pain.