|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2014 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 291-292
Cabbage leaves and breast engorgement
Parvesh Saini1, Radha Saini2
1 Principal, Department of Community Health Nursing, Sri Guru Ram Das College of Nursing, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences, Amritsar, Punjab, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Nursing, Sri Guru Ram Das College of Nursing, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences, Amritsar, Punjab, India
|Date of Web Publication||5-Dec-2014|
Associate Professor, Department of Community Health Nursing, Sri Guru Ram Das College of Nursing, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences, Vallah - 143 501, Amritsar, Punjab
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Saini P, Saini R. Cabbage leaves and breast engorgement. Indian J Public Health 2014;58:291-2
Throughout the world, breast engorgement is one of the main reasons why women stop breastfeeding, , or suffer from a reduced/short duration of breastfeeding. One nonmedical intervention, cabbage leaf treatment, has become increasingly popular as it is cheap, easily available and is a natural remedy which some studies have found to be effective  while others have not. 
A pilot study was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of cabbage leave application on breast engorgement on 30 postnatal mothers admitted in the postnatal ward of a private hospital of district Amritsar, Punjab. One group pretest - posttest only research design without randomization was used and written informed consent from all research participants was obtained. Purposive sampling technique was used to select 30 postnatal mothers and hence independent variables, that is, age, education, gravida, type of delivery of all 30 postnatal mothers were matched before including them in the study. Postnatal mothers with infection in the breasts, breast abscess, and mastitis, broken skin of breasts, bleeding or cracked nipples, and allergy to sulfa drug were excluded from the study. Cabbage treatment was given in the form of cold compresses and for this cabbage leaves were refrigerated for approximately 1 h and then were placed on engorged breasts under the brassiere. This intervention was given for 3 consecutive days on all research participants and each intervention lasted for a period of 15-20 min. All research participants underwent this intervention 2 times a day. Hence, every research participant underwent 6 times application of cabbage leaves. One-time baseline data in the form of pretreatment score were assessed and recorded from all research participants using a six-point breast engorgement scale.  After each treatment sessions, that is, day 1, day 2, and day 3 the posttreatment scores of all research participants were recorded using the same six-point breast engorgement scale.
Descriptive and inferential statistics was used to assess the effectiveness of this treatment. The results indicated that pretreatment mean score of postnatal mothers was 5.06 (standard deviation [SD] -0.52 mean % -84.43, paired t-test -5.25) and this result was statistically significant at P < 0.001 level. Posttreatment results indicated that on day 1 the posttreatment mean score of postnatal mothers was 4.07 (SD -0.45, mean % -67.66, paired t-test - 4.87) and these results were statistically highly significant at P < 0.001 level. On day 2, the posttreatment mean score of postnatal mothers was 2.56 (SD - 0.50, mean % -42.66, paired t-test -2.09) and these results were statistically highly significant at P < 0.05 level. On day 3, the posttreatment mean score of postnatal mothers was 1.26 (SD -0.44, mean % -21.11, paired t-test -5.88) and these results were statistically highly significant at P < 0.001 level. There was no statistical significance of the independent variables (age, education, gravida, type of delivery) on efficacy of the cabbage treatment on postnatal mothers at P > 0.05 level. These results clearly indicate that the cabbage leave application is a very effective intervention in reducing breast engorgement in postnatal mothers. Need of the hour is to train and educate the accredited social health activists workers, trained dais, and public health nurses working in community regarding the significance of using the conventional, convenient, and economical methods in reducing breast engorgement of postnatal mothers.
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