- Cabbage leaves - I had such a hard time getting a leaf off the head of cabbage that I decided not to do this. Supposedly you refrigerate the leaves, put them in your bra with your nipple exposed and the rest of the breast covered. I think it's probably just a cooling issue so I bought reusable, breast-intended freezer pads instead. They work wonders for comfort and engorgement.
- Vitamin B6 - Apparently 200 mg a day for 5 days will work to ease engorgement. B6 supposedly also aids peripheral nerves, skin, mucous membranes, and the blood cell system.
- Sage - Since I'm not down with tea I got an alcohol tincture of Sage which is a liquid herbal extract. It is also 68-78% proof. The dumb lady at the health food store said to just do a straight dropper. This led to me gagging for about 20 minutes with my burnt uvula. Let me tell you, Sage tastes like shit. Instead, add a dropper (30-40 droplets) in a little bit of water, take the shot and then chase it with your favorite beverage every six hours.
- Peppermint - It is also suggested that Altoids will help. Not like a couple a day but a bunch. Go figure.
- Estrogen based birth control - Yup! Back on the trusted NuvaRing. Since I haven't had what I can assume is a "real" period since Casey was born, I just put it in yesterday. We'll see how that goes but in the meantime, we're going to double up with condoms for added protection (when we get a MOMENT to be intimate. Heh. Intimate.)
- Pump to comfort - Lumpy milk ducts are not a good thing. And an engorged boob is painful. I think I pumped twice yesterday and then went about 12 hours without pumping. I only pump about 2 ounces from one boob and 1 from the other. Tapering down will help you avoid blocked ducts and mastitis. I also massaged the lumps in the shower and expressed a bit of the milk then. Bliss.
- Sports bra - Wear it all day and in your sleep; basically all the time unless you're in the shower. This is more for comfort to keep your tender jubblies from bouncing around all the time. I am not taking the advice to wrap an Ace bandage tightly around your boobs because all evidence points to that leading to blocked ducts. It may have worked for some, but I'm not taking a chance on mastitis.
- Breast pads - You don't want to leak through your blouse now do you?
- Ibuprofen - Yeah. This shit hurts.
I am going through the milk suppression process because I decided to stop breastfeeding Casey. His babysitter told me last week that he was spitting up a lot with the milk I had pumped for her so she tried the formula and, lo and behold, he didn't spit up and he slept better with less gas. Since Maria has four grown children of her own and basically raised my nephew and his cousin, I am going to take her word for the gospel truth. When you Google lactation suppression, you get some crazy answers so I decided to take a handful of them and give them a shot: