If you have chosen to breastfeed your newborn, you have chosen an excellent way to get your baby off to a healthy start in life. Nursing can be exhausting. At first you feel as if all you do is nurse your baby. By the time you finish nursing, you feel as if you have a few minutes to either get a fast shower, take a short nap, eat a quick meal, and then your baby is hungry again! Hang in there! It gets better as your baby learns to nurse faster, and as the baby gets older, he/she will be begin to go longer stretches in between feedings.
There are some important things to keep in mind as a nursing mother and some natural solutions to help you along the way.
It is extremely important that you have proper nutrition when nursing because the baby will take the nutrients your body will need to stay healthy if you don't have enough for both of you.
Take all-natural whole foods supplements (I highly recommend a 3 supplement pack that you can contact me for more information and where to get it) that have great nutrients but also essential fatty acids, which if lacking, cause poor milk supply. Taking an additional natural omega supplement can also help with this.
If you get sick, take a natural zinc supplement in addition to these supplements. Keep nursing! You will give your baby the antibodies preventing your little one from getting sick! Isn't God's design of our bodies amazing???
Your milk supply should come in after 3-4 days of frequent nursing. If you are struggling with your milk supply, apply basil or fennel essential oil to your breasts (avoid the nipple area) or take internally in a veggie capsule.
If you have dry/cracked nipples, apply myrrh, lavender, roman chamomile, geranium, or sandalwood with a drop or two of fractionated coconut oil after nursing. Contact a lactation consultant for help. Dry/cracked nipples are often a sign of poor latching technique.
For engorgement, apply 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oils 3-5 times a day until milk is regulated. Note: Peppermint can cause a decrease in milk supply, so monitor for drop of milk supply and decreased satiety in your baby.
Mastitis (infection in breast) - SEEK MEDICAL HELP! In addition to medical help, take 3 drops each of Melaleuca, Thyme, Clove, and Oregano in veggie capsule 4 times daily for about 1 week. You can also massage any of these oils in the breast and lymph nodes in arm pit area: melaleuca, thyme, rosemary, orange, lavender.
This is the final blog post of my blog series on Natural Solutions for Labor & Delivery & Beyond. For links to all previous posts, read the introductory blog post.
Read more about the Doula Services that Christine Russell, RN offers.