Natural remedies for breast feeding issues
World Breastfeeding Week during the first week of August aims to highlight the huge benefits that breastfeeding can bring to the health and welfare of babies and their mothers. Benefits include the right balance of nutrients and immune-boosting antibodies at the right temperature, any time, anywhere. Breastmilk is also naturally sterile and for most babies, easily digested.
However, breastfeeding can have its challenges but here are some tips - all of which are safe for breastfeeding mothers and babies.
BREAST PAIN – Sore breasts are common as hormonal changes are preparing them to feed your baby. Your breasts may significantly increase in size. If the soreness is accompanied by fever you may have an infection (mastitis). Some women find wrapping cool cabbage leaves around their breasts soothing, as is gentle massage. Otherwise homeopathic Belladonna can effectively relieve the pain, inflammation, heat and fever of mastitis. Graphites can similarly be used if the breasts are swollen and hard.
SORE NIPPLES – Sore nipples can make breastfeeding very uncomfortable, especially as babies latch on. Calendula or Graphites cream can soothe the nipples and promote healing. Homeopathic Hypericum or Graphites taken internally can also support the healing of dry, cracked and blistered nipples.
TOO LITTLE MILK – Getting the hang of breastfeeding can take a little time and patience, but if your baby is not gaining weight satisfactorily, or you know your milk supply is down, the natural remedies Urtica Urens or Licinis Communis encourage the body to lactate. Also make sure you are hydrated, consuming enough calories, and as relaxed and rested as possible.
TOO MUCH MILK – The hormone oxytocin is responsible for the supply of breast milk, and whereas some women can not keep up with their baby’s demands, other women have an abundance of milk “on tap”. This normally settles down within a few days, and in some women the milk supply evens itself out within eight weeks. You may wish to express a little milk before a feed; sit your baby upright to feed; change breasts from one feed to another or use cold compresses after a feed to slow down milk production.
For more information and advice visit www.danielakarsten.co.uk
Daniela Karsten is a selected practitioner for Cambridge University Hospital Trust which includes Addenbrookes and the Rosie Maternity Unit.
Always seek the advice of a registered homeopath before using remedies.