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Birth. 1993 Jun;20(2):61-4.

Do cabbage leaves prevent breast engorgement? A randomized, controlled study.


A randomized, controlled trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of cabbage leaves on mothers' perceptions of breast engorgement and the influence of this treatment on breastfeeding practices. The subjects, 120 breastfeeding women 72 hours postpartum, were randomly allocated to an experimental group who received application of cabbage leaves to their breasts, or to a control group who received routine care. The experimental group tended to report less breast engorgement, but this trend was not statistically significant. At six weeks, women who received the cabbage leaf application were more likely to be breastfeeding exclusively, 76 and 58 percent (35/46 vs 29/50; P = 0.09), and their mean duration of exclusive breastfeeding was longer (36 vs 30 days; P = 0.04). The greater breastfeeding success in the experimental group may have been due to some beneficial effect of cabbage leaf application, or may have been secondary to reassurance and improved confidence and self-esteem in these mothers.

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