I am a first time Mom and feel very strongly about breastfeeding my kids. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I wasn't prepared for the extra nuisances that come along with the already uncomfortable parts. The first is engorgement. I'm glad my lactation consultant told me to purchase a head of cabbage ahead of time for this very thing. When your milk comes in 3-5 days after birth it can be rather uncomfortable. Take a couple leaves from the cabbage. Roll them with a rolling pin and break all of the veins running through the leaves. Place one leave on the entire breast. It is ideal if it covers above and to the side. Leave on for 20 mintues. I felt relief within minutes.
The next is worse. I have been battling clogged milk ducts, which is pretty common in the first few weeks. If these lumps are not worked out it can turn into mastitis. I was told to keep massaging with moist heat and to jump in the shower when possible and place really hot water on the clogged areas. I was told to massage with the palm of my hand starting with the top and work it downwards to relieve the built up pressure. I took about 8 showers in one day and would especially jump in right before nursing on the painful side. The idea is to work out the lumps. It takes time and dilligence, but is worth avoiding infection!