Maternal experiences are mostly similar, whether you are rich, plebeian, or an internationally renowned superstar like Zhang Ziyi.
The Chinese actress recently gave hubby Wang Feng a son (the Chinese rock singer has always longed for a son since he has three daughters), but she now experiences the unbearable pain of breast engorgement.
According to Healthline, this is a condition where a mother's breasts swell because of an increase in blood flow and milk supply. This condition can occur in the first few days after delivery and results in painful, tender breasts.
Before you dismiss it, though, she describes the pain as comparable to that of contractions and giving birth.
In the revealing Weibo post, the 40-year-old shared her experience with her followers in the hope that other mothers with a similar condition can benefit from it.
"Breast engorgement is the cruelest form of 'torture' for mothers who insist on breastfeeding!" she wrote.
She went through a similar ordeal when she had her daughter Xing Xing four years ago and experienced "excruciating pain".
Ziyi thought that she could avoid it if she started breastfeeding her son earlier. Unfortunately, the swelling started 53 hours after she gave birth and her breasts felt "as hard as rocks".
"The baby has to suck the milk out or it has to be pumped. The pain is not any lesser than that of a contraction or childbirth," she added.
As she already expected something like this to happen, Ziyi pre-emptively sought the advice of a breastfeeding expert who advised her to use a hot pack on her chest for 10 minutes before breastfeeding, and an ice pack 20 to 30 minutes after breastfeeding.
Ziyi wrote that the symptoms will typically subside after 24 hours and the amount of milk produced will increase. Mothers can also massage their breasts gently when using the hot pack and while breastfeeding.
Another tip? If there isn't enough milk, mothers are advised to supplement it with formula milk so the baby will receive enough nutrition.
Mothers who have this condition are also advised to stay away from food that could exacerbate the symptoms, such as radish soup, chicken soup, pig's trotter soup, and other soups cooked with bones.
"I hope my experience can help other mothers who are dealing with 'rock breasts'. You have to believe that you can overcome this," she said.
Ziyi gave birth to her son on Jan 1 and took to Weibo two days later to announce the news.
Wang Feng also celebrated the addition to their family and wrote: "Standing next to my wife for the second time, holding her hand tightly and welcoming the baby allowed me to once again feel a mother's greatness. Thank you my wife, thank you for bringing our family a super healthy, loud 3. 6kg chubby son on the first day of 2020."