Weaning: How to Treat Engorged Breasts

Ogbugoh Terundu Joy

You succeeded in weaning your baby but now you are left with lumpy, swollen and hardened breasts throbbing with pain. It feels uneasy and you are frantically in need of a way to ease the pain. Below are tips on what to do when you have engorged breasts:

  • CABBAGE LEAVES. Buy a small cabbage and let it sit in the fridge to chill. When cold, pluck out some layers of its leaves and  return the chunk of cabbage back into the fridge. Insert the plucked cold leaves into your bra so that it is pressing firmly against your breasts, this would bring a soothing relief to your engorged breast. When the cabbage leaves in your bra have gone limp, dispose them and replace with other cold leaves.
  • ADMINISTER PAIN KILLERS: Buy a tablet of paracetamol or Ibuprofen and swallow as prescribed.
  • DO NOT MASSAGE: Resist the urge to press out the milk as doing this would subside the pain but at the same time send a message to the brain that the breast is empty and more milk needs to be produced.
  • WEAR A FITTED BRA. This would support the breast and keep them in place, preventing anyone from accidental bumping into your already painful breast. You might have to wear the bra to sleep as well until you feel better.

Prevention however is indeed better than cure. Breast engorgement happens as a result of abruptly stopping breastfeeding, your body goes on to make milk weeks after that which end up in plugged ducts. It is best to slowly ease into the process, if you used to breastfeed ten times in a day, make it 9, then ease your way into 8 and further down, that way, your brain would  pick up on the decrease and thus produce less milk so that when you eventually stop breastfeeding, you would not have to deal with the pain of an engorged breast.

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