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Mastitis is an infection that can develop in the breasts during the months while a mother lactates. Once one has mastitis, it can interfere with breastfeeding because it becomes painful to feed the baby (although the doctor I had recommended I try to nurse as much as I could because it would help to drain the infection).

What might a mom do to help make this part of getting well again and still caring for baby a little more comfortable?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Something often recommended is the leaves of a Savoy cabbage placed inside the bra.

If the cabbage is in the fridge the leaves provide a "nice cooling sensation". Some people say that there are enzymes in the cabbage that help.

You may prefer a hot poultice, in which case you can blanche the leaves in boiling water. Obviously care needs to be taken!

I'm not aware of any decent trials to show that cabbage actually works. Here's a paywalled article in New Scientist. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19426042.300-why-does-cabbage-work-as-treatment-for-mastitis-and-painful-breasts-when-breastfeeding.html

As always, this is not medical advice.

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