relieving engorgement

Essential Oils and Breastfeeding

Are you a nursing mother? Were you an aromatherapy fan previous to that but dismissed it’s uses through fears of it having a detrimental or harmful effect on your baby? Well fear no more because it is possible to combine essential oils and breastfeeding to the benefit of both you and your little one. Breastfeeding is often discussed as one of the best gifts a mother can give to her new child and many essential oils and blends can be used during this time as long as they are diluted properly.

Initially, as any new nursing mother will confirm, the nipples will often become both cracked and sore. This can be a painful time and there are many different lotions and creams available to treat this unsightly and sore affliction. If you would like to try going down the aromatherapy route then many advocate the use of Roman Chamomile as a great way of soothing the affected area. Just dilute with a base carrier and massage onto the nipples daily. If you are unlucky enough to end up with mastitis, which is a breast infection, then the suggested remedy is to dilute equal amounts of Lavender and Tangerine oil with a carrier oil and then massage over the breasts and the underarm area twice a day. Myhrr, Helichrysum & Geranium oils (when mixed with coconut oil) are also considered great soothers for sore nipples.

Are you enjoying breastfeeding, want to continue, yet don’t feel you are producing enough milk? Then try using a blend of fennel and basil oils. These oils are both galactogogues, meaning they increase the speed and production of milk in humans. They can be applied neat to the nipples or mixed with a carrier oil and spread over the entire breast. Both ways have been reported to show a remarkable increase in the production of milk for your baby. Fennel is considered great at boosting the production of the female hormone estrogen, which not only increases milk supply but has such healing properties in it that it can protect the baby from trapped wind and help sooth colic. It has also been suggested that Clary Sage, fennel or basil oils are all great at doing this too.

Alternatively, if you are looking to decrease your milk flow, then you should more likely be looking at using oils such as peppermint essential oil which has been used traditionally for decreasing milk production for some time now. Aromatherapists advise adding a few drops to peppermint tea before consuming and that a few cups a day is most effective if you are trying to wean your little one off the boob. Likewise, using peppermint drops on a cold compress and holding against your breasts has also been reported to work.

If you enjoy breastfeeding but worry that the constant filling and refilling of milk on those breasts of yours are going to cause stretchmarks then look no further than the moisturising and healing properties of rose oil. Blend this with a carrier or base oil and massage into the breasts daily to stop those unsightly marks in their tracks.

It’s important to note that if you are breastfeeding, essential oils should be used in moderation. Increasing milk supply by too much can lead to painful breasts, blocked ducts or infection. Many women report that just a couple of applications of essential oil are all they need to achieve the solution they are looking. And many increase and decrease their uses dependent on how successful their results are.

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