While the benefits of breastfeeding are substantial, you've probably learned by now that it can be uncomfortable at times. When I was nursing, there were some days I wanted to give up, but I knew it was the best option for my baby so I pushed through. Discomfort is the price we pay for raising our children the best way. That doesn't mean we have to live in misery, however. We have some natural remedies available to us to help relieve any pain we might experience. Here are a few you might find helpful.
1. Warm Compress
Have you ever had bad cramps or back pain? If yes, then you know how wonderful a warm pad can feel on the area of pain. The same thing goes when breastfeeding. Sometimes a duct can become blocked, which causes swelling and can look bruised. One of the best natural remedies for this pain is a heating pad. Leave it on your breast for 5-10 minutes when feeling uncomfortable and the swelling should decrease. Another trick for me was getting into a hot shower, bending over at the waist and hanging upside-down. Relax and breathe deep. The combination of hot water, reversing blood flow direction, and relaxation helped me tremendously with relieving engorgement caused by plugged milk ducts.
2. Olive Oil
I personally would like to know why no one warned me that my nipples would feel sore! Breastfeeding can really do a number on your nipples, that’s for sure. If you have sore nipples,rub a little olive oil on them. This will create healthy, flexible tissues resistant to cracks, tears and chapping.
3. Drink Tea
Sage tea is a great remedy for engorged breasts, which can be extremely uncomfortable. Try drinking this tea three times a day. You will notice that after a while your breasts feel less swollen and you are no longer feeling sore. Fennel, fenugreek and chamomile (or any combination of those) are also wonderful for nursing moms.
4. Air them out
Let the girls breathe! Try to expose your nipples to air whenever possible to help toughen them up and to prevent continuous contact with moisture, which can cause nipple irritation, soreness, and even damage. Whenever you are home and without company, don’t wear a bra. It will make your breasts feel better! Also, wearing a light tee-shirt is best during this time, because the fabric feels nice and light and less material will rub against your nipples.
5. Crushed Ice
Before nursing, hold crushed ice in a paper towel against your nipples. This serves as a great pain killer and will make the feeding session itself feel less uncomfortable. The ice will numb your nipples and alleviate any pain or discomfort that will come. It also helps reduce swelling if your baby is rough with your ladies. If your baby is teething, cool nipples will soothe some of his discomfort so he doesn’t have the urge to bite.
Guest Blog by Sandy Clark, Inventor of San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillow
San Diego Bebe® was designed by San Diego native Sandy Clark, a passionate breastfeeding advocate and mother of twins. Clark was inspired at a San Diego beach one day where she witnessed a young mother unsuccessfully nursing her baby. As the mother struggled to keep a blanket across her shoulder for privacy while her baby wailed from heat and hunger, Clark vowed then and there to design a product that would help resolve the issue of discretion while nursing in public. San Diego Bebe® was born that day.
After Clark read a recent Duke University study on toxic chemicals in baby products, she sent her nursing pillow to Duke to be tested and reviewed. Duke University Chemical Scientist Dr. Heather Stapleton, the nation's leading fire-retardant research specialist, and a new mother herself, said, “It's wonderful to find a nursing pillow on the market that is not treated with chemical flame-retardant additives in the filling material. San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is not only a very supportive pillow with amazing features for discreet nursing, but is also free of flame-retardant chemicals that have been shown to cause adverse health effects in animal studies. I applaud this manufacturer for taking steps to produce high quality products that meet the same flammability standards without using these chemicals.”
San Diego Bebe® Eco-Nursing Pillow is the healthiest and most innovative nursing pillow on the market. Made with virgin Eco*Loft™ fiber, a non-toxic and hypo-allergenic foam-alternative, it’s void of harmful chemicals. It’s also recyclable and eco-friendly. San Diego Bebe® is available in two versions, for nursing one baby or twins. The entire line is baby-safe, and is covered with deluxe plush fabrics including organic cotton.
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