When I was young, and people would say “life’s not fair,” it never occurred to me that the statement could someday apply to breastfeeding. I mean, it was usually a response to a classmate taking the ball I wanted to play with at recess, or the last a cookie being devoured by someone who wasn’t me. It was not issued as a warning that, despite all the effort one goes through to maintain a pregnancy and to establish breastfeeding, things can still go wrong. By “things,” of course, I’m talking specifically about engorgement, and the weird things moms do when they’re engorged.
Seriously, I have no judgment about any and all ways a breastfeeding mom decides to alleviate this specific situation, because it’s such an annoying ailment that often requires immediate attention that. Personally, I've gone from, "Am I even making milk anymore?" to, "OMG someone save me from these rock boobs," and tried everything to make sure my engorgement didn't escalate into mastitis, which, as many of us know, is the absolute worst.
Since breastfeeding is often at the crux of engorgement relief, we can add all the regular yet quirky breastfeeding habits that a woman may have developed in order to save herself from this particular problem. While I don’t think my experience is representative of every other mom’s (because it isn't) I think there’s something soothing about knowing we’ve all felt what it’s like to have rocks in our breasts. Here’s a small sampling of how I suspect many of us have coped: