Breastfeeding Soreness: 5 Ways to Soothe It
Simple ways to make nursing more comfortable
To perform RPS, use the pads of your fingers to gently push on the breast tissue, working from the base of the nipple toward the chest wall. You should not be moving the fingers separately but instead use the combined pressure of your fingers to displace the fluid in your breast (this may take 60 seconds or longer). This technique should soften the breast so that the baby can latch on more easily. Your baby should be ready to nurse as soon as you’ve finished the massage and you can use this technique as often as you nurse.
Fasimpaur reminds moms that as a woman’s body adjusts to different hormones and the birth of a baby, only one-third of breast fullness is due to milk. Another one-third is from increased blood supply, and the last third is from fluids—especially if you had an IV during the delivery.
Use cold compresses to reduce swelling of the breast tissue. Fasimpaur advises women to use a wrapped bag of ice or even a bag of frozen bag of peas to bring relief to swollen breasts. Place the cold compress on the breast for no more than 20 minutes (any longer and you can risk numbing the area) at a time when you need comfort, up to four times a day. Don’t put pressure on the breast; simply place the cold compress on it.
After a few days the swelling should go down. You can stop using the cold compresses as soon as you feel relief.
That’s right, cabbage leaves can also relieve breast tenderness. Fasimpaur explains that researchers are not exactly certain what mechanism makes cabbage leaves so effective, but they’ve been used for centuries.
To try this remedy, first wash and pat dry green cabbage leaves and place them in the refrigerator until they feel chilled to the touch. Put the cabbage leaves around the breast and even up toward the armpit. Leave the cabbage leaves on up to 20 minutes (or until they wilt). Throw the cabbage leaves away afterwards. Perform this soothing strategy between feedings up to four times a day.
As with cold compresses, cabbage leaves should bring comfort within a few days. You can stop using them when you feel comfortable.
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