Sore Breasts

Natural and herbal remedies for the treatment of sore breasts.

Sore Breasts

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  1. What are Sore Breasts?
  2. Help for Sore Breasts
  3. More Information on Sore Breasts

What are Sore Breasts?

Sore breasts can result from a number of factors related to a number of conditions, which can include injury or a muscle strain, to pre-stages of the menstrual cycle (known as premenstrual syndrome) to pregnancy and fibrocystic breast disease. Wearing a tight bra or clothing, sleeping in an awkward position or pressing your finger on your breast may also cause sore breasts or blocked ducts.
Most commonly, many mothers experience sore breasts during nursing Sore breasts may occur as a result of engorgement, mastitis, blocked ducts, cracked or sore nipples, thrush, or biting.

Engorged breasts refer to breast fullness when your breasts become large and heavy and produce greater quantities of milk. Breasts feel hard, tight and very uncomfortable. They usually develop a few days after delivery or if you are not feeding the baby frequently.

Mastitis develops when the breasts become inflamed, hot to the touch, red, and painful. There is usually a lumpy area in the breast and you may have flu -like symptoms. It may be caused by an infection or inflammation in a blocked duct or infected cracked nipples. Blocked ducts are tender or sore lumps in the breasts caused by holding the baby in the incorrect position, not feeding at regular intervals or missed, interrupted or rushed feeds.

Sore or cracked nipples often occur when you start breastfeeding and are caused by poor positioning and the baby not latching on properly. Thrush is a fungal infection which affects the baby’s mouth and diaper area as well as the skin around the area of the mother’s nipples. It appears as a pink, itchy rash on the nipples and may cause pain. In babies, white patches develop in the mouth.

Babies often bite or nibble on the nipple after sucking, during or towards the end of a feed or when they are teething. When biting occurs, you should detach the baby from your breast immediately. Babies who are teething should be given lots of things to chew on to ease the discomfort of their gums.

Help for Sore Breasts

Natural remedies

Over-the-counter and prescription medications that may be ingested by the mother and passed into the baby’s body are very harmful during breastfeeding. Using natural remedies is a gentler alternative. Herbs such as Calendula officinalis (Marigold) and Chamomile have excellent anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that prevent infection and soothe and reduce pain and discomfort – acting as natural pain relievers. Other ingredients such as Calc. Flour, Vitamin E oil and Silica promote skin healing and reduce itchiness and discomfort.

More Information on Sore Breasts

Tips to relieve sore breasts

There are a number of things that you can do to alleviate the pain and discomfort of sore breasts and these include:

  • Feed your baby on demand and express milk when you need to.
  • Make sure that your baby’s positioning is correct and that he or she is latched on properly.
  • Check that your nipple and most of your areola is in the baby’s mouth.
  • Start feeds on the breast that is least sore and then transfer to the sore breast once the milk starts flowing.
  • Apply cold cabbage leaves, as well as hot or compresses to your breasts to relieve the discomfort.
  • Eat healthily and get plenty of rest.
  • Wear a supportive bra and not one that is too tight.
  • Massage your breasts gently while breastfeeding.
  • Air your nipples between feeds.

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