Whether you intend to breastfeed or not, your milk will come in three to five days after birth, and your leading ladies will likely experience some serious discomfort. If you’re feeling swollen, wet and miserably full, try these simple at-home remedies to bring relief to your aching tatas (and take heart knowing engorgement typically subsides within 12 to 48 hours).
Hot and cold
Ever used Icy Hot for sore muscles? Apply the same concept by alternating warm and cool compresses on your chest. Use a heated wrap or water bottle or take a shower before feedings to help get your milk flowing. (Just be weary of applying heat for too long, which can increase swelling.) Afterward, place a cold pack on your breasts for 10 to 15 minutes.
Nursing often—at least 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period—will help keep your milk supply at bay. Try to feed on your wee one’s cues, and avoid skipping feedings. If needed, you can also pump between sessions to empty your breasts.
Food is medicine
Many women have relied on cabbage leaves to reduce inflammation and assist with an over- abundance of breast milk. After grabbing washed leaves from the refrigerator, place them on your breasts, taking care to leave your nipples exposed, and remove after 20 minutes. (Prolonged use can permanently decrease your milk supply.)