Feeding an infant with milk directly from human breasts is termed as breastfeeding. All newborn babies have an inbuilt sucking reflex that enable them to suck and swallow milk. Breast milk is considered to be the healthiest milk for the babies. It is recommended that mothers breastfeed for six months or more, without the addition of infant formula or solid food.
Home remedies for problems related to breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding, a seemingly natural process, may not necessarily be easy. Most new mothers have problems related to it during the initial stages. Sore or tender nipples, increased pressure in the breasts, blockage in the milk ducts, etc., just to name a few. One may contract breast infection called Mastitis, caused by bacteria; as a result of cracked nipples. To tackle these problems and help you enjoy happy motherhood, here are few household remedies that will ensure healthy breasts, smooth production of milk and event-less breastfeeding.
- If your nipples become tender or cracked due to repeated feeding, allow them dry in the air after the feed. Your own milk works as a great healer. Express a drop of it by pressing the nipple gently and apply it on the affected area.
- Vitamin E oil, olive oil and sweet almond oil too help to heal the cracks, tears and chapped nipples. However, make sure to wipe off the oil before you breastfeed the next time.
- Apply Aloe Vera gel on the affected area. It heals the cracked and chapped nipples while providing a soothing sensation.
- Garlic affects the flavour of mother’s milk in a way that appeals to babies. According to one US study, babies stayed on the breasts for a longer time and took more milk, if mothers ate a clove of garlic few hours before feeding. Garlic has other beneficial effects too!
- If you note a tender red lump in your breast, do not fret. It is a blocked milk duct, a common problem. Apply soap to the affected area while y1ou shower and slowly massage it with a wide-toothed comb. This will help stimulate milk flow and clear the blockage.
- Place a warm napkin on the breasts and massage it gently. This increases blood circulation and makes breastfeeding less troublesome.
- If your breasts feel constricted due to excessive accumulation of milk, express a little milk by pressing the nipples. This reduces pressure and the baby will be able to attach to the breasts more easily. Breast pumps too can help you to pump off some milk and relieve tension. Even a napkin soaked in hot water and kept on your breasts for few minutes helps ease the pressure off your breasts.
- Apply a paste made out of ground cumin seed on the breasts. This promotes milk production and kill germs in case of infection. The same can be done with the paste made of roasted turmeric powder. Eating carotene-rich (a type of protein present in foods like carrots) foods help nursing mothers a lot.
- Chamomile is an excellent remedy for inflamed breasts. It helps control the inflammation.
- In case of any infection in the breasts, apply bitter gourd extract or pulp on the breasts. This helps kill the germs, soothe the skin and eventually relieve purulence.
However, if the problems persist, consult your physician at the earliest. It may affect your baby’s feeds; and your own comfort too. Let nothing hinder the joys of motherhood.