If you haven’t guessed it already, if you’re a guy you might not want to read (or care about reading) this post. Unless you are a new daddy maybe, then you can tell your wife about this.
I know this may not be true for everyone but for a lot of new mamas, when their milk comes in a few days after baby is born it feels like their breasts are about to explode. I always feel like I have enough milk to feed three babies at that point; its just ridiculous! If the thought of pumping doesn’t appeal to you, here’s another option: cabbage leaves.
It sounds weird, but it works!
Just buy a head of green cabbage -a big one if you’re well endowed 😉 -I have to get the biggest one I can find- and bring it home and gently peel off the outer leaves and stick them in your bra. This is something you can do before bed, or if you aren’t going anywhere, as it looks kind of funny. Leave them in until you feel your breasts are no longer too full, switching the leaves out every day or so. Keep the rest of the cabbage in the fridge so it will be nice and cool. I usually have to do this for two days at first, but it really depends in how much milk you have to begin with. Just listen to your body-when your breasts stop hurting and you feel like they are nice and soft after your baby nurses you are probably at a good level.
When my oldest child Ethan was a newborn, he wouldn’t nurse after the first two days and we ended up bottle feeding him with formula. It turned out that he had weak muscles in his mouth and couldn’t latch on properly, but we didn’t know that until he was much older and had a severe speech delay. He did speech therapy for a couple of years and now at 6 years old you’d never know it- he speaks super clearly. But back to the point- so he stopped nursing and I had all this milk.
Now that I think about it, the smart thing to do would’ve been pump my milk and then bottle feed it to him so he could still get the goodness of breastmilk, but I was young and a first time mom far away from family and had no clue what I was doing, so we formula fed. And I used cabbage leaves to dry up my milk.
Seriously, cabbage leaves are a life-saver. The coolness of the leaves soothes sore breasts and something in them helps your milk dry up. I have no idea why, but it works. God obviously meant for them to be used in this way, I mean look at the shape of them! They fit perfectly over your breasts! 😉
I’ve used cabbage leaves after the birth of both my girls too, to reduce my milk supply to a comfortable level at the beginning, then as my first daughter got older and began to nurse less, I used the cabbage leaves to keep myself from getting mastitis and to dry up the extra milk she no longer needed. I’m sure I’ll do the same with Olivia as she starts cutting out feedings and begins to eat solid foods in a few months.
So, tell all your new mama friends! Just make sure you don’t dry up all your milk if you don’t want to. I wouldn’t leave the leaves on for more than a day or two. Just use common sense.
Also, tell your older kids that not everyone uses cabbage in this way. Then they won’t comment loudly in the grocery store, “Hey Mommy! There are the breast cabbages!” as you quickly shush them and tell them that actually they are just called cabbages. Yup, that happened. 🙂
Have you ever used cabbage leaves in this way before? I’d love to hear from you!