Breast engorgement is when the breast produces more milk than is being used, thereby causing the breast to become overfull and painful. This usually happens when a mother attempts to wean her baby. During the weaning process, the breast continues to produce milk, but since the mother is no longer breastfeeding her baby, the excess milk causes the breast to become very full, firm, and painful.
Breast engorgement does not necessarily require a medical checkup. It can be managed at home with simple home remedies that will be detailed below. The pain can sometimes become unbearable for the mother, but following the steps below, she can manage herself at home and become better in a matter of 1 to 2 weeks. In this article, you will learn some ways breast engorgement can be managed during weaning.
How to Manage Breast Engorgement When Weaning
Here are the best methods for managing breast engorgement and the pain that comes with it.
Bath with hot water for at least 20 minutes.
This is very effective in easing the pain you feel in the engorged breasts. A hot bath will give you a huge relief. The heat from the water can cause milk to flow from your breast while you bath; gently press your breast to allow for more milk to pour out as you bath. This will leave you hugely relieved from the pain. However, you can alternatively bathe with cold water to avoid milk letdown.
Use a warm towel to massage your breast.
Massaging your breast with a warm towel will help you feel a lot better. When massaging the breast, ensure you concentrate on the swollen areas and make sure you’re massaging in a circular manner from the fullest part of your breast. To get the maximum result, you must do this as many times as you can.
Use your hand to press milk out of your breast.
Releasing the breast milk helps you to reduce the pressure that is pilled up in your engorged breast and thereby reducing the pain as well. This is called breast milk expression, Some people may want to use a breast pump, but this might cause your body to re-stimulate the breast for more milk production. So as much as you can, use only your hand to express the milk from your breast and ensure you don’t express too much per time.
Drink Sage tea
Sage tea is a type of tea made from the leaves of the sage plant. It is very effective in stopping the production of milk in the breast. You can drink like two cups of sage tea a day, and in no time, the milk production will stop and the engorgement with it. You can buy sage tea in shopping malls or make an online purchase.
Use cabbage leaves to cover your breast.
Covering your breast with cold fresh cabbage leaves will give you a huge relief and help you to manage the pain and discomfort of breast engorgement. You can get the cabbage leaves and line your bra before you wear it or place the cabbage leaves on your breast as you rub it on.
Get a good night’s sleep.
As much as the baby allows you, sleep! The importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized. It is during the sleeping period that the body makes the adjustment and heals itself. A good sleep routine will help the body adjust to the weaning process faster by halting milk production.
Use pain killer drugs.
When the pain becomes unbearable, it’s advised that you take painkiller drugs like paracetamol even as you carry out other measures that have been suggested earlier.
Engorged breasts during weaning is a major nightmare for mothers because of the accompanying pain and discomfort. But following the remedies listed above, the process of weaning can be less painful as engorgement of the breast is properly managed.