Breast-Feeding Woes & Home Remedies: Excess Lactation

After the delivery of their new bundle of joy, many moms experience breast pain, tenderness and swelling as a result of an overproduction of milk. Maybe it’s because the baby hasn’t gotten used to breastfeeding yet and isn’t feeding as smoothly as Mom might like or maybe there’s some sort of blockage that’s not allowing the milk to flow out the way it should. Whatever the reason, Moms everywhere will be happy to know that there are home remedies out there to ease the pain.

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These remedies do not take the place of good medical care, and your doctor should be consulted – especially when you’re a new mom and are experiencing unfamiliar changes in your body.

Too Much Milk

Water Therapy Provides Some Relief

Here’s one soothing hydrotherapeutic solution that’s pretty simple to do: Begin by filling your bathroom or kitchen sink with warm water until it’s about half full. Then simply bend over the sink, allowing your breasts to be submerged into the water. Gently massage your breasts starting in the ribcage area and working your way up to each nipple. As milk begins to flow out with the application of light massage and warm water, you should feel some relief. You may do this as often as you like throughout the day.

Herbs Have Their Place

The herb comfrey is noted as not only a remedy for treating minor bruises and other skin problems, but is also deemed by herbal specialists as an effective pain reliever for swollen, tender breasts as a result of overproduction of milk. You can make a cataplasm that can be applied directly to the breasts to ease the pain. Here’s how:

Place a small bunch of comfrey leaves into a cloth diaper and bind it up with string (make two of these if both breasts are sore). Put the cloth with the enclosed herbs into a pot of water and boil on a low flame for about 15 minutes. Drain off the excess water from the herbal pack and allow it to cool enough that it’s not too hot to the touch. Apply the herbal pack(s) directly to the sore or swollen breast(s). Again, you can try this several times a day, as needed, but be sure to use fresh herbs each time.

A parsley pack can be prepared in the same way as comfrey, and it’s usually easier to come by.

Cold Potatoes, Too

Did you know that cold potatoes can also be used as a poultice to reduce inflammation and tenderness, as well as open up blocked breast ducts, associated with excess lactation? Here’s another great home remedy you can try:

Refrigerate a few potatoes ahead of time for use in this process. Grate or grind up a couple large potatoes (unpeeled or peeled doesn’t matter). Cover your entire breast, or breasts, with the ground potatoes. Then cover both breasts with a cloth and relax for about 15 minutes. Repeat this as often as you need to until your pain and swelling subsides.

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