Wednesday, September 21, 2011

relieving the pressure

Almost every breastfeeding mama out there has had to deal with severely engorged breasts at one point or another, usually within the first couple of months after the birth of baby. If left untreated, this can lead to blocked milk ducts and mastitis, a potentially serious infection of the breast.

Engorged breasts usually result from a problem with supply and demand- your body is supplying more than your baby is demanding. The first line of defense is to encourage baby to nurse as much as possible when you feel your breasts start to get engorged.

Sometimes that doesn't always work. Baby is sleeping, or not as hungry that day, or you are out and don't realize that you haven't fed in a while. Next thing you know, your boobs look like something out of Victoria Secrets, but lumpy and painful.

With both of my newborns, I always turned to aromatherapy to solve this issue. There are two ways to cure engorgement with essential oils:

1) To a hot bath add 2 drops of lavender oil and 2 drops of geranium oil. Swish water to disperse oils. Lie back and let water cover breasts, or cover breasts with a wash cloth soaked in the waters. 

2) Make a compress- fill a bowl with hot water and add 2 drops of lavender oil and 2 drops of geranium oil. Swish washcloth in bowl and hold to breasts, repeating as the compress cools.

Both methods work wonderfully! You will feel the pressure lessen almost immediately- and the oils help to boost your tired mama mood. Bonus- these oils will also cure mastitis, used in the same way every couple of hours.

**Only use essential oils that are labeled 100% pure essential oil, or therapeutic grade. Do not use perfume oils or body oils, as they will not have the same medicinal properties.

Find more mama and baby aromatherapy help in one of my favorite books: Aromatherapy and Massage for Mother and Baby, by Allison England


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