Picture from Babble.com
If you've never breastfed a child before, you'll likely be surprised at how uncomfortable it can be. From pinched nipples to chapping breasts, it can be quite challenging to make it through the first year. Yet it doesn't have to be an awful experience. Certain home remedies can help you deal with a number of issues.
As your baby nurses regularly throughout the day and night, it's not uncommon for your nipples to start to chap. Chapped nipples then bleed. Bleeding in your child's mouth can cause health problems, and if your nipples become too chapped, you may not be able to breastfeed at all for a time. To help prevent this and keep your breasts healthy, you need to moisturize them. However, typical lotions are not a good choice. The fragrances and ingredients are not the sort of thing that you would want in your child's mouth. Additionally, the fragrances and mineral oils present in most common lotions can cause irritation and further pain.
Instead, you need to use lanolin or cocoa butter. Before applying it, you will want to cleanse the area with either a damp washcloth or baby wipes. Then apply a liberal amount of lanolin or cocoa butter to the area. Make sure that whichever one you use is pure. Pure lanolin provides the strongest moisture locking, but it also takes a while to soak in. Cocoa butter, on the other hand, works best for the entire breast and nipple, helping to prevent stretch marks as well as discoloration.
Aching Breasts and Engorgement
When you're breastfeeding, you may be surprised to realize just how much your breasts ache, particularly when they are engorged. In this case, one of the best home remedies is actually an old wives' remedy: cabbage leaves. According to The Lactation Consultant, fresh cabbage leaves inserted into the bra for a couple hours at a time helps reduce the aching and engorgement. Doctors still aren't sure why, but it works for most mothers. Make sure that you get fresh cabbage. Frozen cabbage does not have the same effect.
Broken Blood Vessels
Your breasts go through a great deal of strain when you're breastfeeding. To help prevent your breasts from bruising and sagging, you need to make sure that you give them proper attention. Broken blood vessels generally develop from poor handling and lack of support. Your first step should be to make sure you are properly positioned in your nursing bra. The nipples should be pointed upward, and the underside of the cup should meet the base of your rib cage. When removing your breast from the bra, do so gently, lifting it up rather than pulling it. If you already have broken blood vessels, you should apply liberal amounts of aloe vera and cocoa butter.
Part of breastfeeding is dealing with breast pain and chapped nipples. However, you can address this easily with home treatments. Use lanolin or cocoa butter to deal with chapped nipples. For aching breasts and engorgement, insert fresh cabbage leaves into your bra. To avoid broken blood vessels, make sure that you give them proper attention, fit them into the bra well, and lift them out rather than pulling them when it's time to feed the baby.
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