When I was pregnant with my first baby, a friend (thanks Denise) gave me some advice to make my experience with breastfeeding much more pleasant. She told me that when having problems with blocked milk ducts or engorgement, many women drink Pineapple Juice. This is because Pineapple Juice is a natural anti-inflammatory. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical at first (that is the understatement of the century by the way, I thought it was totally nuts), but I drank some every day for a couple of weeks starting just after I had my baby (as a preventative measure) and never had a single problem with nursing.
Fast forward about a year to when I decided to ween my baby. I was a total idiot and decided to just ween her cold turkey...something I definitely DO NOT recommend doing. By the second day I was in so much pain that I just sat there and cried and cried... Then I remembered PINEAPPLE JUICE! Immediately, I had my husband go to the store and pick some up. I then chugged a bunch of it. Within about three hours I was nearly pain free. I couldn't believe it! I thought that the pain would be that unbearable for days. This information was a God-send for me, so I thought that I would share because it could help someone else out there, too.
I made sure to have some handy at all times while nursing babies # 2 AND 3 as well and I never had any issues with blocked ducts or engorgement.
In preparation for our baby #4, the first thing on my list to go in my hospital bag is some of those individual cans of Pineapple Juice. For the hospital, I prefer the individual little cans so that I can just drink one a day. That seems to be enough to do the trick. If you decide to try some just make sure that you buy the kind that says 100% Pineapple Juice 'Not From Concentrate'(and shake well before you open it).
It tastes about a million times better when it is cold, so when I'm at the hospital I usually just ask a nurse or my husband to get me a cup of ice to pour it over.