In the early days of breastfeeding I wandered around the house with no top on and the flaps of my maternity bra open like some weird mother goddess figure or bondage queen. It seemed like no longer had I put my boobs away after one feed that a grabby little mouth wanted to get at them again. They were sore, really sore and worn out poor tired boobs. The most important things bar nothing to prevent and heal sore nipples is correcting and perfecting the latch however to help you continue breastfeeding when the damage is done Here are a few things that can help pep them up again:
Lotions Potions and Recipes for Sore Boobs
In the early days when I showered I had to hold my hands over the stinging nipples as the hot water really hurt them. To protect them I rubbed oil on them before getting into the shower and this really helped protect them as well as keep them supple.
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 drops of Lavender oil
Mix and place in a light tight container and store in a cool place. Great for boobs and preggy bellies.
Calendula Infused Oil
Calendula or Pot Marigold is a really common flower. Often planted alongside other plants to repel pests it has wonderful healing properties. If you don’t have any growing in your yard you can get seeds or plants from most garden shops and they are very easy to grow, mine grows like a weed. There are quite a few commercial calendula nappy or nipple creams, but they can be costly. If you infuse the calendula flower in oil you can use that oil on it’s own as a salve or lotion or include it is some other recipes like my bum balm.
3 cups of flowers
1 litre of extra virgin oil (any other carrier oil would be fine)
Pick as many flowers as you like don’t worry about picking too many, picking them simply encourages more growth. Make sure they are nice dry specimens without rain or dew on them. Spread them on news print or an old dry towel in a warm place out of direct sunlight. Airing cupboards or spare bedrooms are great. Once the flowers have wilted and are almost dry place them in a clean glass jar and cover with oil. Make sure there are no air bubbles or moisture trapped. After a week the oil should have infused and you can discard the flowers or turn them into a poultice. The resulting oil should be orange and can be used on skin, abrasions, bruises, rashes and blemishes.
I used this poultice directly on my nipples to aid in healing. It really helped soothe and close the cracks I had. Either use the flowers left over from Calendula infused oil or get some fresh flowers and remove the petals. Cover the fresh petals with oil and macerate. Keep refrigerated for up to a week and when you want to use warm the flowers and apply to your breast around the nipple. Be sure to rinse of thoroughly before feeding the boob monster.
Warm saline soak
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp salt
Mix together and place in a wide bowl, dangle your boob in as hot as you can stand it. It may sting a little if you have cracks but it can also be quite soothing. Pat dry.
Keep a few large cabbage leaves cool in the fridge, if you have engorged breasts slip them into your bra. Don't over do though as it can reduce your milk supply. I would not recommend this course of action if you have supply issues.
My midwife swears by this and she is right, squeeze a little breastmilk from the affected nipple and rub it on the cracked bit and let it dry.
Can't recommend it enough, it's free, healthy and quite calming as well. Gotta get that vitamin D
Hottie or Wheat Bag
If you have blocked ducts, engorged breasts or sore nipples a hottie or wheat bag can really soothe those enraged nungas.
Some other things that help...
Let bubs suckle the nipple which is less sore as the first suckle is the most active. Keep switching poitions with each feeding, thus avoiding pressure from the baby's mouth on the same part of the breast. Do not for gods sake stop feeding, boobs heal by frequent nursing with the passage of time. Even if it is cracked bleeding or infected your baby will not be harmed by suckling from you.
Exposure of nipples and breasts to air prevents growth of thrush. Avoid wearing bra for long hours of the day instead wear nursing bras with flaps. Then you too can look like a strange mother goddess or bondage queen....