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My breasts feel too full.
Do I have too much milk?

When your baby is 2 to 5 days old, your milk will become thinner and bluish-white in color, like skim milk. Your breasts will also feel fuller. When this happens, it is very important to nurse your baby frequently to keep your breasts from becoming too full or engorged.

If your breasts become too full, take a warm shower or place a warm, wet towel over your breasts and nipples for a few minutes before each feeding. Gently massage your breasts toward your nipples. Hand express or gently pump your breasts to get the milk flowing. The idea is to soften your breasts so your baby can latch on.

Ice packs can be used between feeds to keep the swelling down. Green cabbage leaves can be used along with or in place of ice packs.

Here’s how to use cabbage leaves to reduce the swelling:


  • Remove leaves from a head of cabbage and wash them.
  • Remove the large center vein and cut a hole for your nipple.
  • Place cabbage leaves inside your bra or over your breasts, covering all of the swollen area. Leave on for 10 minutes.
  • If your breasts are still very firm, change leaves and repeat up to four times or until breasts begin to soften.
  • The use of cabbage leaves should be discontinued after four uses or when breasts begin to soften or feel tingly, or milk begins to drip from your nipples.
  • Overuse of cabbage may decrease your milk supply.
Do You Have Questions About Breastfeeding? Contact Your Local WIC or Call the
Breastfeeding Hotline