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Bec Judd's Bizarre Trick To Help With Breastfeeding Pain

As a mum of four, Bec Judd isn't afraid to talk about the nitty gritty side of parenting.

Case in point her conversation yesterday afternoon, as the model and television presenter spoke on her KIIS FM radio show about suffering from mastitis while breastfeeding.

Mastitis is usually the result of a blocked milk duct that hasn't cleared, with some of the milk banked up behind the blocked duct being forced into nearby breast tissue causing inflammation, according to the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

Early symptoms can feel like the flu and the breasts are usually red, hot swollen and painful. Yet according to Judd, she tried everything to treat it when she was breastfeeding her eight-year-old son, Oscar, and nothing worked.

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“I tried all the meds -- the Panadol, the Voltaren -- nothing worked,” the 37-year-old said.

However, she found an unexpected remedy that did help her with the engorgement she was suffering as a result of the mastitis she had with her eldest son.

“The only thing that saved my boozies when I was breastfeeding Oscar was a lettuce leaf,” Judd said.

Her co-hosts Yumi Stynes and Kate “Monty” Dimond were both stunned by the unexpected trick.

“A lettuce leaf?” Stynes questioned.

While Dimond found the admission entertaining, she did mention she'd heard of women using cabbage leaves on their breasts in an effort to unblock their milk ducts.

“Which is interesting because it’s a cabbage leaf… you’re putting iceberg down there,” Dimond said.

While it sounds a bit far fetched, apparently there is truth to the natural remedy.

A study has shown that cabbage leaves contain glucosinolates, which are turned into isothiocyanates following enzyme action. This is otherwise known as mustard oil, which has historically been a natural remedy for treating inflammation.

Speaking to 10 daily, lactation expert Pinky McKay said while she hasn't heard of using lettuce leaves as in Judd's case, she agrees that cabbage leaves can be helpful for engorged breasts.

"Wash chilled cabbage leaves and apply to your breasts -- keeping them clear of the nipple as the baby won’t want to taste wilted cabbage and you don’t want any pesticides near where your baby is drinking," she advised.

Take care to only use them for about 20 minutes no more than three times a day as they may reduce milk supply.

McKay suggested you can also apply cool packs made from a disposable nappy filled with water and keep them in the freezer after feeds or use a bag of frozen peas.

"A less messy option is to use specially designed ice packs," McKay told 10 daily.

However it's important to only do this after feeding, not prior, according to McKay.

"Applying warmth before feeds will help milk flow and cool packs afterwards will ease inflammation," she said.

Lactation expert Pinky McKay with a breastfeeding mum. Image: Supplied

But aside from helping with the inflammation, McKay advised you must still seek medical treatment to get rid of mastitis.

"The best thing for mastitis is to keep warm, rest and empty your breasts and check with your doctor as you may need antibiotics," she said.

"Mastitis is an illness that needs to be taken seriously."

Featured image: Instagram

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