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Relieving Pain Associated With Breastfeeding

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After the birth of my first son, I was having problems breastfeeding. First, neither he nor I could really get the hang of it. In addition, I was extremely sore. Each time I heard that familiar newborn cry, I wanted to run the other way.

My breasts felt heavy and full. My poor, once normal nipples were now red and tender from the hourly feedings that my baby demanded. I was lacking sleep and desperate for advice to relieve the pain that I was experiencing. Luckily, I remembered that the nurses in the hospital had told me about cabbage.

I sent my husband on a mission to the grocery store looking for cabbage. I had complained so badly about the pain that he brought home not one, but two huge cabbage heads. I washed it and gently slid it onto my breasts under my nursing tank. The relief was instant. The coolness from the cabbage leaves was refreshing on my skin. It seemed like a miracle cure.

Shortly after my “cabbage remedy,” there was a soft knock on our front door. One of our neighbors had stopped by to offer congratulations on our baby boy. We invited him in and talked with him for a bit. I even felt better. Thank goodness for that cabbage. We said goodbye to our neighbor and walked him to the door. As soon as we shut it, my husband turned to me with a serious look and then suddenly burst into uncontrollable laughter. “What is it?” I asked him with concern. All I could think of was that he better not be going crazy. I was the one that had gone through labor only days before. I was the one that was breastfeeding around the clock. Yeah, if anyone deserves to be a little crazy, it was ME!

He couldn’t speak. He could only point. He pointed at my shirt and the green leaf that was sticking out of the top of it. I felt my face turn as red as my poor nipples.

I would like to point out that if you use the cabbage, you may find yourself replacing it frequently. The crisp, cool leaves will shortly become wilted once in contact with your skin.

For cracked nipples, try tea bags. Regular black tea was what I used.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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