Breast-pumps are builders of abscesses, if they are not used properly. When mothers are forced to their use, they should have them manipulated by someone who is well skilled in their use. I never advise the use of the breast-pump unless absolutely necessary. If there is no abuse or bruising of the breasts, there will be no cause for abscesses.
If for any reason it is necessary to dry up the breasts, it is not necessary to resort to the breast-pump to draw off the accumulated milk. This is often the cause of abscess. It is not necessary to take away the milk. If the breasts become feverish and swollen, the mother should lie down and put dry warm or hot applications over them. They may be painful for a short time, but it does not take more than a day or two to start the drying-up of the milk. This procedure is much safer and quicker than the use of the breast-pump. The milk dries up very rapidly after it has once started to do so. After about twenty-four hours of being swelled to the fullest capacity, the breasts begin to decline.
If the nipples become inverted, they should be drawn out daily and gently massaged.
The nipples may be hardened by gentle massage and daily washing with cold water.