There are many issues that can crop up when breastfeeding such as cracked nipples, engorged breasts, mastitis, plugged milk ducts and also low quantity of milk that moms can turn to natural remedies to bring relief or improvement in those conditions. Breastfeeding should be a bonding and nourishing situation for mom and baby so avoiding or improving this situation is critical for maximum comfort and enjoyment of this very special time.
Breastfeeding itself is a natural act in which infants and babies are nourished. The health benefits are great for the baby because only breast milk provides the critical immunity passed from mom to baby in those first few days of colostrum that protects the newborn from disease. The act of breastfeeding is a nurturing act because the smell, caresses and affection given to the baby by the mother and the smell and feel of the baby to the mom helps to form the critical bond between mom and baby.
There are many natural remedies that can help relieve the breastfeeding issues that may threaten this bonding process.
An improper positioning of the baby when the breast is offered is the main cause of cracked nipples. When the baby sucks and is not positioned on the breast correctly the nipple can become irritated, red, and painful. If the baby continues to be positioned incorrectly on nipples that are already sore, they can even start to bleed.
Natural remedies can help ease the pain of cracked nipples. Use calendula cream to soothe and to heal cracked nipples. Calendula cream is safe if the baby swallows the cream. You can also use chamomilla to help heal cracked nipples. Another home remedy for cracked nipples is called pulsatilla. The best thing you can do is to as a lactation specialist to show you how to properly position the baby to avoid cracked nipples.
A common issue for women who breastfeed is breast engorgement. Typically it occurs in the first two or three weeks after the birth of the baby and can happen be irritating when there is poor elasticity of the skin. Breast engorgement occurs when there is an over abundance of milk that fills the breast together with blood and other fluid retention. The symptoms of breast engorgement are a feeling of fullness, tightness, or tenderness. Engorged breast tissue can feel hard, hot to the touch and painful. A woman can also run a fever when she has engorged breasts. When the breasts are engorged the baby may have a difficult time latching on and sucking.
In order to bring relief in a natural way, take a handful of Confrey leaves and steam them for just a few moments and then wrap them in a gauze and place on the engorged breast tissue. This should bring relief. You can also use homeopathic Belladonna 6X. Another remedy is to place a hot moist towel on the breast for ten minutes before putting the baby to the breast. You can also use elder to reduce the swelling and Chamomile to help control inflammation. It is important to offer the breast frequently on both breasts for at least 10 to 15 minutes on each breast.
Low quantity of milk:
If a breast-feeding mom suspects low quality or quantity of milk supply due to poor diet, medications, or being on antibiotics or from consuming a high amount of caffeine her may notice colic or sleeping problems in her infant. Breastfeeding moms need to eat a well-balanced diet, preferably foods with no traces of pesticides as these can become poisonous in large concentration in the breast milk.
If the mom uses a breast pump it could inhibit the production of milk, lowering the amount available for the baby while nursing.
You can use natural remedies to correct the quality as well as to increase the supply of breast milk for the infant. The mom should eat alfalfa or take it in capsules in order to stimulate lactation. Alfalfa also improves quality and quantity of the breast milk. Taking Chaste tree also increases the milk flow, because it has an affect on the pituitary’s prolactin secretion.
Midwives have used the herb Goat’s rue for many hundreds of years for breast milk quantity.