Uses of Cabbage Leaves for Breast Engorgement – Women Should Be Aware!

It’s common for woman in post partum period (period of woman who just gave birth) to have breast engorgement. It’s a kind of feeling when woman feel discomfort and tenderness at the breast. This condition can make woman feel painful and willing to stop breastfeeding the baby. Besides, this condition can also lead to mastitis and breast abscess which can lead to more serious cases.

Until now, there are various form of treatment for breast engorgement that have been studied but only little evidence found as an effective intervention to treat one. Those treatments are using hot or cold packs at the breast, breast acupuncture and using cabbage leaves at the breast. Here’s the uses of cabbage leaves for breast engorgement.


Breast engorgement is the condition when a post partum woman feel the breast being hard, painful, tight and difficult to breastfeeding the baby. It can happen because of the overfilling process of the breast by milk. it is usually due to compromised milk removal either from wrong feeding practices and/or ineffective sucking by the baby. The overproduction of milk can also lead to breast engorgement but this is a less common situation.


Before jumping into how to cure breast engorgement by using cabbage leave, we have to understand first about types of breast engorgement. There are 2 types of breast engorgement, the physiologic and the pathologic one. The physiologic engorgement is the normal process of engorgement that may occur at day 2 or 3 post partum.

There will be some symptoms like increasing breast size, feeling warm at the breast as well as feeling uncomfortable. These symptoms developed by being triggered by the increasing amount of secretory activity in the breast. While the pathologic breast engorgement is the engorgement that happen beyond normal limit as explained before.

It can appear since day 3 or even as late as day 14 and affecting between 15-50% of woman and even higher based on the definition being used. Some symptoms that may appear are breast tend to be larger, warmer, uncomfortable, painful, and are usually diffuse, bilateral and sometimes followed by low grade fever. Based on the research that have been done before, about 82% of woman with breast engorgement feeling difficulty on breastfeeding their babies. You may also find out about Breastfeeding Newborn Tips for First Time Mothers

Natural Breast Treatment 

There are numerous form of treatment that have been talked about to cure breast engorgement. But there are some of them that being abandoned like complete manual emptying of the breast, having fluid restriction, using diuretic to flow out the excessive milk and applying mechanical compression like binding the breast. Using anti-inflammatory medication is also being abandoned because it have not been widely accepted.

Nowadays, the application of cabbage leaves become a popular form of treatment for woman with breast engorgement. Even though there’s no active pharmacological substance in cabbage leaves that has been identified in the literature, there are some benefit that we can get from using cabbage leaves as the treatment.

And those benefits are using cabbage leaves only need low cost, it has convenient shape, it has wide availability and it’s soothing effect make in sought for those who use it as a treatment. Beside, it can also reduce pain, the hardness of breast and also increase the duration of breastfeeding. You may also find out about Characteristics of Acne in Breast

These are the steps of using cabbage leave as the treatment for woman with breast engorgement :

  • Leave the head of cabbage in the refrigerator for a while until it cold down.
  • Once it’s cold enough, take it out from the refrigerator and tear up the 1st layer and throw it away. Then take the 2nd and 3rd layer to use, and put the rest of cabbage back into the refrigerator.
  • Cold the cabbage you’ve take in the cold water to wash out all the dirt and unwanted substances.
  • Remove the excess water from the cabbage by tapping it off into a dry towel.
  • Cut out the center of the cabbage leave but don’t tear in apart.
  • Place it over the breast with keeping the nipple wide open and not covered by the cabbage leaves.
  • Let the leaves stay in place until 15-20 minutes or until it dry and take it off.
  • Wash your breast with warm water afterward.
  • Repeat this process until the tenderness and discomfort gone.

Be careful not to overdo these steps especially when you still have to breastfeeding the babies. Once you’ve feeling better and the breast engorgement gone away, stop using the cabbage on your breast. It can effectively reduce the symptoms of breast engorgement like swelling, discomfort and tenderness, but it can also decrease the milk supply.

So if you keep doing this although the symptoms already gone away, your breast milk can decrease so your baby will only receive small amount breast milk and it won’t complete the amount of regular need for the baby. You may also find out about Foods to Avoid during Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer and Treatment

Health Tips

There are some current recommendations for the treatment of breast engorgement such as:

  • Emptying the breast sufficiently to relieve the feeling of discomfort
  • Moist heat to the breast to aid the oxytocin uptake
  • Facilitate frequent breastfeeding
  • Apply cold compress after breastfeeding
  • Correcting the position and attachment of the baby to the breast during breastfeeding
  • If it’s not possible to have breastfeeding, hand expressing or pumping the milk from the breast to relieve the feeling of discomfort

So these are the symptoms of breast engorgement and how to treat it by using cabbage leave. It’s a common condition that every post partum woman can have, but it will leave them feel uncomfortable and be in pain if it isn’t cured well.

Although until now there’s no enough literature stating about the effective active ingredient of cabbage leaves and how it can really work to treat breast engorgement, previous researches already state that this be a popular effective way to treat breast engorgement and people can do it easily by remembering we can find the cabbage everywhere and it will only cost us a little. You may also find out about Dangers of Morning Sleep for Pregnant Women

But it’s better to not overdo it if the symptoms already decrease and the breast engorgement already gone away, because it can cause the decrease of milk production which isn’t good for the baby. Indeed, that’s all about the uses of cabbage leaves for breast engorgement.

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Kategori : Breast Health