For lactating mothers, it not uncommon to experience an episode of, engorgement. This happens when the breasts are making more milk than it can empty, one reason why mothers are advised to feed the baby frequently. However, at times engorgement becomes unavoidable and this leads to heaviness and hardness in the breasts. But it is necessary to treat this condition or else it could lead to mastitis a condition that leads to painful breasts and soreness due to blocked milk ducts. This could at times need surgery too. So, it is necessary to treat engorgement, here are few natural ways to do it.
Nurse frequently: Avoid long breaks or intervals between two feeds as this leads to a surplus of milk in the breasts and subsequent engorgement. So feed your baby every two hours especially in the initial days when the chances of engorgement are high.
Hand express: If you feel that your breasts are engorged and heavy don’t just offer a feed to your baby; it could lead to a chocking episode or overfeeding. Instead, hand express your milk from both the breasts and then offer a feed to your child, if she needs one.
Hot and cold compress: Use hot and cold compressors alternatively to relieve engorgement and help drain out the excess milk before offering feed to your child.
Hot massage: A hot oil massage helps to relax the makes it easy to express milk by initiating a letdown and draining the milk from the breasts.
Cold gels: Don’t apply ice cubes directly into the skin, use cold gel packs to soothe engorged breasts. Apply them over your breasts for around 5 to 10 minutes which will help to reduce inflammation and soreness.
Cabbage leaves: This is a very common remedy which works like wonders. Place cabbage leaves inside the bra and keep it for a while it helps to reduce engorgement. For best results get fresh cabbage leaves and place them under your bra for a couple of days. Slowly you will see that you aren’t facing too many incidences of engorgement.
Use a breast pump: This is not just a natural remedy but a practical one. If you feel engorged it is better to use a breast pump and pump your breast milk and store it for later use