Tuesday, September 15, 2009

And then you wind up with a cabbage leaf on your boob

I don't know if you've ever used the words "engorged" and "my breast" in the same sentence.

If you have not, let me just tell you, it is a very hurty proposition.

And come to think of it, how often does one use the word engorged anyway?

The Engorgement happens when your breast fills with milk, but then doesn't get emptied, or not adequately anyway. And so then milk won't come out and it hurts like all fucking hell and a duct can get clogged and you can wind up with an infection.

The very idea of a boob infection just makes you do a cringy little twitchy dance, doesn't it?

So your engorged breast essentially looks like an overfilled balloon - it gets all huge and shiny and hard. And huuuuuuuuuuuuurts.

And you try to keep nursing to help get the milk out, which, until things improve, only serves to annoy your progeny.

My lovely boy awoke at 5:30 am to eat. And instead of being all, "Yay! Boobie!" he was all fussy and kicky.

Which annoyed me. Because if you are going to wake me up at 5:30 am, you are most definitely NOT invited to kick me in the abdomen. As if this needs saying.

So I was all, "Goddammit! No with the kicking mama in the scar!"

Out of context that would sound really bizarre-o, wouldn't it?

As it turns out, he wasn't getting any milk on that side, which was annoying him. Which he vented with kicks.

When I figured this out I felt bad about the profanity, but what can you do.

I spent my entire day working on my breast. Hot compresses. Massage (owfuckowowow!). Pumping (to no avail). Nursing (also to no avail). And starting again from the top.

An entire day trying to unclog my boob.

Finally I put a cabbage leaf on it - a suggestion on kellymom, which is a really helpful breastfeeding website. Also, I took an hour nap with the cabbage while the boy was sleeping.

It definitely helped.

And as I type, I'm holding a mashed fenugreek seed compress to my chest.

Which just goes to show that you will do pretty much anything for love.

Also, it's worth mentioning that if you ever have too much time on your hands, you should try calling around for fenugreek seeds.




  1. Don't know if your internet searchings turned this up, but if you start taking fenugreek as a pill, you'll smell faintly of maple syrup. It's strange and delightful as a fall morning all at the same time.

  2. Oh... you're going to be like that? You're going to go there? Really, you're going to put "engorged" and "breast" in one line on your blog and expect sympathy (well, from men that is)? Ha ha. Alright, maybe painful for you, but still a delight. Perhaps even a virtue. 'Allo from London, where all of life is a stage... I love London (just doing bidness here). Have a great rest of your "engorged breast" week. -longtime reader

  3. :-(

    I hope you feel better soon. Mastitis was one of the most painful things I have ever had.

    They suggest putting quark on your breasts here. As in cheese. No joke. Also pasta boli. That was a lotion that smelled like icy-hot. Great names, no?

    I hope you feel better soon!

  4. Boy is going to grow up to be just like you and Nick - prone to saying things that, out of context (or perhaps sometimes IN context), are going to make certain Boring Persons purse their lips in disapproval.

    Which is really quite a fun thought, isn't it?

  5. When I went through this (ouch), I was told to get a breast pump and start pumping. OUCH! Like the idea of the fenugreek seeds with the side effect of a maple syrup scent. Something the whole family might enjoy!

  6. Engorgement is so not fun. :( I'm sorry.

    I remember my milk would come in, and suddenly I'd freeze (because even moving an arm would use muscles in my side/chest) and I'd start saying "ow.ow.ow." and my husband knew what that meant - grab the baby, change the diaper, and try to nurse.

    Hopefully your milk supply will adjust in a couple of days. I know that doesn't help you now...but there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Keep on keepin' on... :/

  7. There's a salad on your boob? I'm confused. And I will never miss a birth control pill ever again in my entire life.

  8. so glad to have you and your sense of humour back. I can use engorged in a sentence but it doesn't have anything to do with the female anatomy... Good luck with the pumping and all the other remedies, hope it works, then you can pump and store, for days at grandmas, or days at home with dad while mom goes to the spa! who knows, you may even make enough to donate if your flow doesn't regulate to where you want it to be.

    so happy to have you back, will you be making borsht and greek salad after? ;-) love you, soph

  9. I've said it before and I'll say it again and just keep saying: Men do not know what women go through having a baby and then afterwords.

    Also, OUCH!

  10. Breastfeeding was one of the most stressful and horrible experiences of my life! I hated it. And you're right -- the things we do for love. :) I also remember engorgment...but I never tried the cabbage! I wish I had known back then...

  11. i have heard about the cabbage leaf cure, but unfortunately not back when i had breast engorgement issues of my own . . . it's so good to see new posts from you, girlie!

  12. Your corner has become by far the most educational of my blog readings lately.

  13. what about the boob ice packs? i've heard about them... do they help??

  14. Yet another reason I'm secretly glad I can't breast-feed. So many of my friends have gone through this and it sounds brutal.

  15. Engorgement yes I remember that.....fark it hurt! Tighty, hard, swollen ouchies that made me want to weep and look for a bucket of ice to relieve the burning. (ok that really sounds like porn lol) Anyway I had a lovely c cup before the "teenager that lives in my house" was born. Afterwards they never went back they have stayed at an E cup ever since waaaaaa.
    Cabbage leaves were a godsend for me. My mum told me about them....bliss, used to walk around the house with cabbage leaf in each cup lmao. Ex Hubby used to call me Mrs Coleslaw.
    One thing that may help with the kicking in the scar, I used to put the baby on a pillow on my lap instead of having to hold him constantly, sounds lazy but it did stop him putting the boot in.

  16. Oh and Yay for cat-napping, do that as often as you can it really does help and you become very good at catching a nap.

  17. I don't know if this will make you feel any better and possibly might make you feel worse - but I am awed by the fact that I am reading a Mommy Blog... voluntarily... and find it terribly interesting.

  18. you have probably figured this out by now but the place to get fenugreek is INDIAN stores. Its called "dhanya" An infusion of fenugreek seeds actually tastes pretty sweet and tasty and its great for increasing milk supply (if J is going through a growth spurt for instance)


Tell me about it.