Before the birth of a child, the question of breastfeeding arises and each mother is free to make her choice. For mothers who have decided to breastfeed, an image often comes to mind: that of the happy baby suckling with appetite under the tender eyes of his mother. It is true that this special skin-to-skin moment can be very powerful for both mother and newborn. However, the reality can sometimes be quite different. Between pain, cracked nipples or random amounts of milk, breastfeeding can sometimes be a source of discomfort and questioning.
1. What natural remedies to promote lactation?
In the first six weeks, the body must adapt and may not produce enough milk. In this case, diet is a first area to focus on. If our grandmothers drank beer, reputed to be galactogenic (it favors the production of maternal milk), women can nowadays be satisfied with brewer’s yeast. Indeed, it has the same property without being alcoholic and it limits the loss of hair after childbirth. Wheat germ in yogurt and salad is also a plus. Very regularly, you can also invite to the menu :
- Foods from each group: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products… A balanced and varied diet is very important!
- Omega-3 and omega-6: salmon, tuna, sardines, soybean, walnut, sunflower oils, etc.
- Water to keep you sufficiently hydrated every day
- Fresh carrot juice, dried figs and sprouted alfalfa and fenugreek seeds
In herbal teas, in your dishes or in food supplements, certain plants are also galactogenic. This is the case with fenugreek seeds, fennel, cumin, green anise and borage.
2. What if we produce too much milk?
Hyperlactation can occur at the beginning of breastfeeding, because the body needs time to find the right rhythm according to the baby’s needs. You will notice an untimely secretion of milk outside of feedings, which can be unpleasant. Little by little, the quantities of milk will be regulated. In the meantime, consuming artichoke juice can help. Consuming sage or parsley can also help to reduce and regulate lactation.
3. Natural tips for sore or engorged breasts due to breastfeeding
Do you feel that your breasts are tense, full and painful? No doubt about it, it’s probably because you are suffering from engorgement! At the beginning of breastfeeding, during the rise of milk, it is a very common phenomenon and there is no lack of natural tips to relieve it, starting with patience, because it usually passes in less than two days. Remember to empty your breast even if your baby is no longer hungry to avoid overflowing.
The kale leaf poultice remains the most essential of all remedies. Indeed, its glucosamine is a natural anti-inflammatory and soothing substance. Moreover, it is often used on small wounds or against period pains. To use it, wash two cabbage leaves from the fridge. Then pass them a few seconds with a rolling pin to remove the large veins. Put it all in your bra until the leaves wilt (2 to 4 hours). Above all, do not stop feeding a painful breast at the risk of having an engorgement and therefore more pain. Simply use a breast pump if breastfeeding is impossible because of the pain of sucking your baby.
4. Natural tips for breastfeeding-related cracks
If you are not vegan, lanolin allows you to moisturize your nipples (this natural oily substance comes from the wool of sheep). Otherwise, it is possible to apply compresses of breast milk every 4 hours to heal them. Indeed, it is antiseptic, healing and moisturizing. Moreover, breastfeeding shells keep a little bit of breast milk on the nipples like a compress and avoid milk leakage and dryness of the breasts. So this can be a good solution for you. Sweet almond oil or comfrey balm (available in pharmacies) are also very gentle healers for cracks.
And above all, avoid systematically washing your nipples before or after feeding. This encourages the appearance of cracks! In addition, after feeding, your nipples secrete a liquid that naturally disinfects and lubricates them.
5. Stop the proliferation of breast candidiasis
If the infant has thrush in his mouth, the mother will have fungus on her breasts. In this case, avoid the application of lanolin which nourishes them. Instead, switch to coconut oil to treat your nipple fungus. As a background treatment, you can also drink 10 ml of colloidal silver per day to stimulate your immune system. You can also apply this antifungal, antiseptic and antibiotic product to your breasts. You can also clean your baby’s infected breast and mouth with baking soda diluted in water. Alternatively, dilute two large tablespoons in a bowl of warm water and bathe your breasts in it.
6. And finally, what are the natural tips against mastitis occurring with breastfeeding
Do you notice a painful redness on your breast and feel flu-like symptoms (fever, aches, chills)? These are signs of mastitis, a condition that is favored by stress, fatigue, less regular or insufficient feedings on one breast, cracks or poor positioning of the baby during feeding. Normally, this inflammation disappears in two or three days with a little rest. After this time, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. In the meantime :
- Continue to feed the affected breast even if it is painful and massage it during the feeding to help the milk flow. Breastfeeding as much as possible with that breast will help it heal!
- Use warm compresses, hot water baths or the shower to dilate the ducts and make the milk flow more easily.
- Apply compresses of parsley infusion or clay in which you add a few drops of St. John’s wort oil.