BREASTFEEDING TIP: Pain in the breast!
Sometimes, there is pain associated with breastfeeding, but there are ways to avoid this and ways to rapidly heal this too! If you experience extreme pain in either of your breasts, you should consult your doctor. In the mean time, here are a few at-home pointers.
Engorgement is often described as being very painful and while the pressure can get uncomfortable, the pain is unnecessary. On demand nursing will usually result in nursing every two hours or so. While this may seem like a lot, if you nurse on demand, the discomfort associated with engorgement is minimal. You do not have to wait until the baby is crying to feed him. He will let you know that he is hungry with signals such as:
- Increased alertness or activity
Paying attention to these cues will make engorgement much less of a problem. The American Academy of Pediatrics sites crying as a LATE indicator of hunger. If the baby does end up crying for his feeding don’t feel guilty though, you just gave birth and you’re certainly quite exhausted and it may be difficult to pick up on minor cues like these.
If the pain is associated with itching or reddening of your nipples you may have thrush. You can recognize thrush by the patches of white on the inside of the baby’s mouth and on his tongue. You can treat thrush with a great remedy called Three Sister’s Anti-Fungal Tincture taken internally. Your baby will get its benefits through your breast milk.
If your baby gets thrush, you’re probably only a day away from him developing a diaper rash with tiny blisters that look like a heat rash on his butt. You’ll want to treat the baby’s butt very quickly because a yeast rash can get very raw very quickly. If your breast itches, run out and get your baby butt supplies to have on hand. Even catching it a few hour earlier can spare your baby’s butt a lot of pain.
- An over the counter yeast cream put on the baby’s butt consistently and for a good solid week after the rash disappears will work really well and probably keep you out of the ped’s office if you apply it as soon as you catch it.
- Just because the rash goes away, doesn’t mean you should stop treating it, it’s lurking inside waiting to pop back up, you can be sure of it.
- Just a reminder, when your baby is just born, always wash your diapers on hot so that they don’t build up with yeast. Check the hot water heater, mine is at 130 degrees and worked perfect.
It’s good to up your yogurt intake as well. Yogurt must have live and active cultures to do its job. Inside of the yogurt are bacteria that live in our bodies naturally. They eat yeast. Common causes for thrush infections are:
- Antibiotics prescribed because of Group B Strep also kill the good bacteria.
- Antibiotics prescribed for C-Sections also kill the good bacteria.
- Eating too much sugar before and after birth. Sugar feeds yeast.
Another great route for combating thrush is to take a really good pro-biotic. You can find them at your health food store; just ask the attendant. While you’re there, ask about homeopathic remedies for yeast infections. There are lots available now. I’ve even seen some at Walgreens by the women’s personal items.
Mastitis / Clogged Ducts
Pain in the breast could also indicate that you may have mastitis or a clogged duct. This should also be mentioned to your doctor if it lingers more than a day or two or you have a high fever. In the meantime, here are some (non-drug, non-medicinal) home remedies for mastitis and clogged ducts:
- A regimen of Happy Ducts Mastitis Remedy
- Hot compresses every couple of hours
- Frequent nursing
- Breast massage
- A few doses of the homeopathic remedy Belladonna 30X
Since we already learned that antibiotics will cause a yeast infection, which will in turn be given to your baby, trying these at home options first is definitely worth it. No sense in trading one pain in the breast for another!