At about 9p.m. two nights ago, my right breast started to feel engorged. During Baby V’s first night-feed a short while later, he could not get the milk out. I suspected a blocked duct and tried pumping, but saw no improvement. Trying to feed Baby V several times through the night did not help either.
By 4a.m., I felt very uncomfortable and painful. A few hours later, I developed a 37.8 degree Celcius fever and felt chills all over even though I was wearing long sleeves and pants. It seemed like flu has set in, and I recognised these as symptoms of potential mastitis.
On my nurse’s advice, I placed cold cabbage leaves on the swollen area and rested in bed, feeding Baby V as frequently as possible. The cabbage leaves reduced the engorgement within half a day and I felt much better.
I also used a sterilised needed to burst a nipple bleb, which contains blocked milk.
Within a day, I recovered and continued to use cabbage leaves treatment for one more night. Fortunately, this problem was solved quickly. Otherwise, infection could have set in and I would have needed to seek medical help.
Pros (of cabbage leaves):
- Simple and effective method of relieving engorgement
- Low cost
- Leaves a vegetable smell behind for a while