Breastfeeding and Essential Oils
I always suggest that before you use any oils please check with your practitioner. If you are applying topically, use on a small area of your skin to check for adverse reaction. Wait 24 hours. I am not an expert, I am suggesting based on my learned experiences along with information provided, and accumulated through myself as well as my clients.
Most moms are looking for relief in swelling and soreness during the first few days of nursing their babies. Most problematic are sore nipples, cracked nipples, and bleeding nipples.
The best defense is a good offense. I dont know why, but one thing that I discovered as a mom, doula and childbirth educator is that, we never discuss how to prepare our breast for breast feeding. We practice all other aspects of birthing, but we leave breastfeeding to sort of “figure” it out later.
1.Examine your breast/nipples. Are your nipples inverted? You may need a nipple shield
2.After or during your shower, use a wash clothe to go around your nipples to simulate a baby nursing. It helps “roughen” them up.
3.Gently give yourself nipple massages to also help get your nipples ready for baby sucking and pulling during nursing.
4.Avoid soaps on your breast, this could dry out your nipples.
5.Make an appointment and build a relationship with a Lactation consultant while you are still pregnant. Most hospitals boast that they have breastfeeding “help” or LC’s. I have found they are available few and far between and most often incorrect information.
6.Join a breastfeeding support group like Le leche league.
7.Look for a really good breast pump. Not all breast pumps are the same.
8.Some insurance companies will pay for a good breast pump and will also pay for a lactation consultant or a IBCLC.
Essential Oils that are good for sore cracked and dry nipples are:
Essential oils for Sore Nipples
Sore nipples happen. It is especially common in the first few weeks as you adjust to nursing or when baby starts to get teeth. We can use gentle oils to help soothe the nipples but make sure to wipe off before baby nurses
•Dilute oils applied to the nipple to avoid drying out the skin. Coconut Oil is great for sore, cracked nipples and it’s a great carrier.
•Your own Breast milk is also recommended as a soothing healer
•If you don’t have Coconut Oil, you can use Olive or Almond as a carrier oil.
•Apply after baby nurses so there is plenty of time for it to absorb and fade before nursing again
•Always always, wash the oils off your nipples before nursing your baby. We dont want the baby ingesting the oils.
•Allow good air flow to your nipples after nursing your baby.
•Apply *diluted Oil to your nipples only after your baby has nursed
•Best suggested dilution is 2 to 3 drops per spoon of carrier oil.
•You could make your own DIY roller bottle for easy use and access.
• Best oils for sore nipples: Frankincense and Melaleuca. These oils are gentle and great for skin support. They will calm irritation and support a health bacterial environment as well (DoTerraOils)
•If you are interested I make a great herbal breast cream that is very soothing and can help heal cracked nipples.