How to Reduce Swelling during Breastfeeding

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Swelling during breastfeeding is, unfortunately for many women, a very common thing. In some instances, swelling during breastfeeding simply comes because your breasts are full of milk. In more rare cases, this fullness that causes swelling turns into pain, and can be a sign that you are experiencing engorgement. You’re most likely to have swelling during breastfeeding during those early days of breastfeeding, during that time in which your body is adjusting to your baby’s need for milk.

The good news is that there are some things you can do to reduce swelling during breastfeeding:

  • Use a cabbage leaf compress for swelling during breastfeeding. Literally for centuries women have been able to use a compress to help ease swelling during breastfeeding. In former years, cabbage leaves may have been used, and those work fine for some women today. Simply use a green cabbage, rinse the leaves and dry them, and then cool them in the refrigerator. remove the base, gently pound them, and you can then use them to soothe swelling during breastfeeding.
  • Try a herbal compress. Herbal compresses may use any number of herbs to help soothe swelling during breastfeeding. Chamomile is a popular ingredient, as are black tea leaves.
  • Consider a hot towel. Many women experience relief from breast feeding using a hot towel. Do make sure that the breast is cooled before your baby latches on to feed, however, as you don’t want to accidentally burn your baby’s mouth.
  • Feed more frequently. Obviously you need to balance your baby’s need to feed against your need to address your swelling during breastfeeding. However, some women find that feeding more often relieves the swelling.
  • Express your breasts or use a pump. If your baby isn’t hungry, express your breasts until they are soft, but not until they are empty.

You should also be vigilant about infection. Watch out for the signs that your breasts have become infected, and make sure that the swelling isn’t the result of such an infection.

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This entry was posted in Breastfeeding.


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