Engorgement of breast is a natural phenomenon for first few days after child birth but if it stays longer causes lot of discomfort to women, home remedies for engorgement are effective and safe ways to reduce its duration and prevent complications. Engorgement is a pathological or natural condition occurring due to saturation of fluid vessels. After giving birth to a child women's breast get filled with yellowish milk called as colostrums, this is also called as pre-milk as this milk contains lesser fat, sugar and more protein compared to mature-milk of mother. The arrival of colostrums causes engorgement which usually fades away after few days under normal conditions. If engorgement persists for longer period then the breasts become prone to infections and cause severe discomfort to women, this condition requires treatment and home remedies for breast engorgement are natural and safe ways to reduce chances of infection and alleviate the discomfort in a short time.
Engorgement of breasts is natural process, women's body start producing milk or colostrums in the later days of pregnancy and produces it more quickly and in larger quantity during and after child birth. The production of colostrums makes them full and engorged. The fullness and tightness in the breasts for first few days of child birth is normal and natural which passes away as baby starts emptying the breasts. Engorgement creates trouble when breasts stop producing colostrums and switch on to mature-milk. Edema and abundance of milk are causes of primary engorgement. IV fluids administered at the time of child birth can cause edema whereas some women produce more milk than a baby needs and this overabundance of milk causes engorgement. Secondary engorgement is caused by delayed feedings or lesser milk consumption by the baby.
Home remedies for engorgement are useful and easy to use methods to alleviate the problem and provide relief to lactating mother. Heaviness, tightness and fuller busts even after few days of child birth and persisting even when body has stopped producing colostrums and have switched on to mature milk is a symptom of engorgement. Softer and lighter breasts after feeding the baby also suggest engorgement. If nipples have flattened out and baby is unable to engulf areola tissues while sucking milk along with tightness of breasts signify engorgement.
Some women suffer with mild fever too along with tightness and fullness in breasts due to infection. If baby remains hungry though mother's breasts are full of milk and sucks harder than normal then this can be a symptom of engorgement too. If milk flows out between feedings it is also a symptom of engorgement. Women suffering with cracked or sore nipples may also suffer with engorgement due to lesser or slow removal of milk from the busts. Usually women suffer with more severe symptoms and longer duration of engorgement after first child birth, the duration and symptoms diminish after second or third child birth. Home remedies for breast engorgement can cure the problem in a short time and maintain the health of the lactating mother in proper state.
Massaging the bosoms work as one of the effective home remedies for engorgement. Massage increases milk flow and baby can suck milk easily every time which relieves the breasts. The massage shall be taken between feedings to increase the flow of milk, due to engorgement baby is unable to latch on the breasts properly which reduces milk removal from breasts, massage is of immense help in such a condition and provide relief by smoothening the flow of milk.
Feeding the baby few times at regular intervals including in the night is one of the simplest home remedies for breast engorgement. Removal of milk relieves the breasts and once the balance between production and consumption of milk is maintained the problem goes away. Change sides while feeding the baby so that each breast gets relieved. This works as one of the simple and effective home remedies for engorgement.
Cabbage leaves have been used as effective home remedies for breast engorgement since ancient times. Take two cabbage leaves and crush them to make their size equal to the size of breasts. Cover the breasts with these leaves and wear a bra to hold them in position. Let these leaves stay for 20 minutes and repeat this remedy twice in a day. This is one of the most effective home remedies for engorgement. Stop using this treatment as soon as engorgement is beginning to diminish, over use of this remedy can decrease milk production in some women.
Applying ice on the breasts also relieves the tightness and fullness in busts and relieves the pressure of excessive milk. Apply ice packs rather than applying ice directly on the bosoms. This is one of the easiest home remedies for breast engorgement.
Using breast pumps for feeding also work as one of the useful home remedies for engorgement. Babies are unable to suck breast properly when breasts are engorged which aggravates the problem as removal of milk reduces and mother's body keeps on producing new milk. Breast pumps facilitate the consumption of milk which provides relief.
Expressing excess milk out between feeding is reckoned as one of the helpful home remedies for breast engorgement but it should be used as last resort. By expressing the excess milk out lactating mother can relieve her breasts for sometime. However this remedy provides temporary relief which shall be taken only incase of severe symptoms.
Take a hot water shower if bosoms are feeling too full between feedings, taking a warm towel compress before feeding facilitates smooth flow of milk which helps in relieving pressure of milk in the busts. Avoid wearing tight bras and check proper position of the baby while feeding, feed the baby more frequently and change sides regularly during feeding to avoid excess pressure on one breast or at a particular point of breast. Gently squeeze the breasts while baby is trying to suck to increase the milk flow and try to apply gentle pressure at every point so that breast is emptied completely.