MoonDragon's Breastfeeding Information
For "Informational Use Only".
For more detailed information, contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
The Breast is Best!!
Nature's Most Perfect Food... Breastmilk.
GENERAL BREASTFEEDING / NURSING INFORMATION
Contrary to what you read and hear from the advertisers and baby formula companies - there is no substitute for breastmilk for your newborn baby.
Breastfeeding is the natural way a mother uses her milk to feed her newborn baby. Breast milk is the perfect first food for babies. It is easy to digest, prevents constipation, lowers the risk of food allergies and provides antibodies that protect the child from a number of infectious diseases. Nursing also promotes healthy oral development, satisfies suckling needs, enhances mother-baby bonding, offers an ideal opportunity for skin-to-skin contact and can lead to more intelligent children. Mothers who choose to breastfeed also benefit because nursing reduces the risk of bleeding from the placental site, offers regular opportunities for rest and speeds uterine contraction. Breastfeeding burns extra calories and breastfeeding mothers experience faster post-baby weight loss than mothers who bottlefeed. Breastfeeding releases hormones in the mother and acts as a natural form of birth control by suppressing ovulation and menstruation in those who use breastfeeding as the only means of feeding their infant during the first 6 months to a year following childbirth (however, we do usually recommend using a hormone-free form of birth control in addition to breastfeeding to be on the safe side).
Making the decision whether to breastfeed or bottlefeed can be difficult for some mothers. The new mother and her baby's pediatrician should work together to decide which feeding method is best for her baby. Some mothers are unable to breastfeed due to insufficient milk production, improperly formed nipples, baby's allergies, multiple births, illness, and more. If a mother cannot or chooses not to breastfeed, there are a number of excellent formulas to choose from as a secondary form of nutrition for your baby. Some women will choose to feed their infants goats milk, instead of formula. Goat's milk is similar to human milk and is much easier to digest than cow's milk, with less chance of developing a milk allergy often associated with cow's milk..
MoonDragon's Articles: A to Z Breast-Feeding Advantages
MoonDragon's Articles: 101 Reasons for Breast-feeding
MoonDragon's Womens Health Information: Breastfeeding
MoonDragon's Breastfeeding Information: Breastfeeding & Guilt
MoonDragon's Breastfeeding Information: 16 Benefits of Breastfeeding
MoonDragon's Breastfeeding Information: Before The Baby Arrives
MoonDragon's Breastfeeding Information: Preparation Recommendations
Breastfeeding.com: The Lighter Side - Tru-Breast - A Revolution in Infant Feeding
Breastfeeding.com: The Lighter Side - The Lighter Side Gallery
HOLISTIC & HERBAL RECOMMENDATIONS
These suggestions should be tried before a breast abscesses at the first sign of problems. Information was obtained from Susun Weed's Wise Woman Herbal For The Childbearing Year:
Painful breasts have 3 main causes:
1. A blocked milk duct which can cause swelling of the breast and acute pain. It usually feels like a bruised lump and a red streak or color may radiate from it.
2. Mastitis, an infection in the breast causing pain and generally accompanied by fever and acute tenderness and redness of the breast.
3. An oversupply of milk (engorgement) caused by not nursing enough or not at all. This causes swelling and soreness of the breasts that may extend up to and under the arm pits. The breasts become very hard and sensitive to touch.
SORE BREASTS & ENGORGEMENT
Engorgement is a painful, full feeling in the breasts that occurs two to five days after childbirth. Engorgement is caused by the rapid increase of blood supply to the breasts and the pressure of new milk in the ducts. The breasts feel full, tight, hard and tender. They also can feel hot to the touch and the skin often appears shiny. Engorgement can be relieved by giving the baby short, frequent feedings and expressing milk between feedings to decrease pressure. Massaging the breast during feedings and applying moist heat half-an-hour before each feeding can also help.
REMEDIES FOR ENGORGEMENT
Drink Sage tea or an infusion of Sage. Sage is an anti-galactagogue and dries up the flow of milk. Be careful if you do not want to cease breastfeeding.
Take 2 drops of Poke Root tincture daily to decrease swelling. The same dose can be used to prevent engorgement.
POULTICES FOR SORE BREASTS
Poultice, compresses, and soaks are the best general first aid for painful breasts. Hot water alone has a beneficial effect, as it stimulates circulation and eases the tension in taut tissues; herbs increase the effectiveness. Frequent (4 to 5 times a day), short (3 to 5 minutes), consistent applications work better than sporadic, lengthy treatments. If infection is present, throw away poulticing materials after use. If there is no infection, brews and towels may be reused a number of times.
Run a sink full of warm water. Bend over it with your breasts in the sink. Allow the milk to flow out, massaging down from the back of the breast toward the nipple. This relieves engorgement and eases pain. This can also be done while in the shower with hot water flowing on the breasts while massaging the milk from the back of the breast to toward the nipple.
Use a hot compress of Parsley to ease swollen and painful breasts. Place a handful of fresh or dried parsley leaves in a clean cotton diaper, tie with a rubber band, and steep in simmering water for 10 to 15 minutes. Compress the breast with the hot wet bundle.
Try a hot compress of Comfrey leaves, fresh or dried, to soothe sore nipples, soften engorged tissues, reduce the pain of swollen breasts, and help unblock tubes and ducts. Prepare and use like Parsley.
Prepare a cold poultice of grated Raw Potato to draw out the heat of inflammation, localize infection, and unblock clogged tubes. Grate raw potato and apply directly to the breasts, covering with a clean cloth. Remove or replace when dry.
Soak breasts in Slippery Elm and slimy Marshmallow root. It delightfully soothes tender tissues, opens clogged ducts and tubes, powerfully draws out infection, and diminishes the pain of engorged, inflamed breasts and sore nipples. Make an infusion of the dried root, steeping two ounces in a half gallon of boiling water overnight. Reheat the infusion to near boiling. Pour it into a sink or basin and soak the breasts until the infusion cools.
Gently warm a handful of dried Elder blossoms in just enough olive oil to cover; keep warm for twenty minutes. Strain, cool, and rub the oil into the nipples and breasts to relieve pain and sensitivity.
REMEDIES FOR BLOCKED TUBE OR DUCT
If a milk duct is not completely emptied while feeding, the duct can become plugged, causing soreness and a lump in the breast. Tight bras can also result in plugged ducts. To prevent plugged ducts, be sure to remove tiny drops of dried milk from the nipples and massage the breasts firmly to stimulate milk flow. If a duct becomes plugged, offer that breast first when sucking is strongest.
Continue nursing on a breast with a blocked or plugged tube. Cessation of nursing can increase the discomfort and endanger the milk supply. But go carefully; nurse or pump every hour but just enough to empty the breast.
Right before nursing, use any of the above warm compresses for 5 or 10 minutes.
Be sure to get plenty of rest. The blockage will usually clear within a few hours or overnight.
REMEDIES FOR MASTITIS
Mastitis, also known as a breast infection, can occur if a plugged duct is left untreated. Mastitis can also occur if there are cracks in the nipple, allowing bacteria to enter. Symptoms of mastitis include sore breasts, fever, redness in the breast, yellow secretion from the nipple, flu-like symptoms and overall fatigue. A woman with mastitis should drink plenty of fluids, rest often, wash her hands before and after breastfeeding and allow breasts to air-dry after feedings to prevent cracking.
Treatment for mastitis with herbs should include:
1. Hot applications to the breast at least 4 times daily.
2. Plenty of bed rest.
3. Nursing as often and as long as possible on the infected breast.
Breast infections are almost always a sign of too little rest. Time to take a daily nap, and 10 minute breaks every 2 hours: Put you feet up, enjoy a cup of Violet Leaf infusion; relax deeply. It is important to nurse often, keeping the breasts empty to promote prompt healing. (The breast infection will not make your baby sick.)
Poke Root tincture made of the fresh root stimulates lymph gland activity and clears mastitis quickly. Poke Root is potent and the effect is cumulative; use no more than 2 drops daily. Poke Root can be combined with Echinacea, but it may be as effective if used alone.
Propolis is a substance secreted by bees as a glue. It has a history of use against infection in Russia and a strong following among midwives in North America. It is said to accelerate healing time by increasing the body's metabolism and general resistance to disease. A dose of the tincture is 10 to 15 drops twice a day; it combines well with Echinacea tincture.
Elder root, dug and grated fresh into boiling water makes an excellent poultice for mastitis.
Echinacea is an excellent remedy for even severe cases of mastitis. Use 1 ounce of the root in a quart of boiling water and drink one or two cups daily for another week. If you must use the tincture, use 1/2 drop per pound of body weight in a single dose. Repeat the dose up to 6 times a day until fever remits. Continue with 2 to 3 doses daily for another 7 days or until all symptoms are cleared.
REMEDIES FOR SORE, CAKED NIPPLES - PREVENTION
Expose the breasts to air. Do not wear a bra all day and all night. Wear your nursing bra with the flaps down whenever possible.
Expose the breasts to sunlight or brief periods of ultraviolet light (maximum of 3 minutes, but increase to this level very gradually.
Rub Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Lanolin Oil Salve, or Comfrey Root Ointment into the nipples throughout the latter part of pregnancy and the beginning weeks of nursing.
Place the baby correctly, making certain that the entire areola (dark area) is in her / his mouth and that the nipple is centered.
Experiment with different nursing positions.
Nurse often so that the baby does not get hungry enough to tear at the breast.
Avoid washing the nipples with soap. Soap removes the natural oils and predisposes the nipple to chapping and cracking. Cologne, deodorant, and powder should also be kept away from the nipples.
REMEDIES FOR SORE NIPPLES
Apply crushed ice in a wet cloth or a wet and frozen gauze pad to the nipples immediately before nursing. Ice is a good local pain killer; it also helps to bring out soft or small nipples or the nipple of a very full breast so the baby can feed more easily.
Use Comfrey Root Ointment to soften and strengthen nipples at the same time. Comfrey root ointments are exceptionally soothing to sensitive nipples and rapidly heal any fissures or bruises. Be sure to rinse any ointment off the areola before nursing so the baby can grasp the breast properly.
MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Healing Wound Salve Recipes
Yarrow Leaf poultice or ointment totally relieves pain and heals cracked nipples rapidly.
Vitamin E Oil helps to heal and strengthen the nipples. Apply the oil after nursing. Be sure to use only pure Vitamin E, not preparations or synthetics.
Any of the poultices described for painful breasts may be used. Comfrey and Marshmallow are especially effective. Several brief poultices work better than one or two lengthy sessions.
Apply the clear gel from a fresh Aloe Vera leaf to soothe and heal sore and cracked nipples. Be sure to wash it off before nursing as the taste can be quite bitter.
Try Homemade Calendula Ointment or quality commercially made Calendula Ointment or Cream to heal and strengthen nipples.
MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Calendula Ointment Recipes
CAUTION: Ointments containing antibiotics, steroids, and anesthetic (pain-killing) drugs are potentially harmful to you and your infant.
POSSIBLE LIFESTYLE CHANGES FOR BREASTFEEDING / NURSING
Eat a well-balanced, varied diet and take a multivitamin (such as your prenatal vitamin supplement) daily. Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. Limit caffeine intake and eliminate alcohol. Do not smoke. Try to relax while feeding to encourage the let-down reflex. See the following link for nutritional guidelines, dietary plans and food guide to make sure you are getting enough nutrition to support you and your breastfeeding infant.
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Supplment & Herbal Information Index
BENEFICIAL DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS
Free-form Amino Acid Complex supplies needed proteins for breastfeeding. These supplements contain a balanced or 20 essential and non-essential amino acids.
Calcium and Magnesium are needed for both mother and baby.
Multivitamin & Mineral Complex provide all nutrients necessary for mother and baby.
Alfalfa, Blessed Thistle, Dandelion, Fennel, Horsetail and Raspberry Leafcan be beneficial for the mother.
Nettle Leaf has a tonic effect and contains needed nutrients.
Aloe Vera Juice or Gel helps heal sore nipples when applied topically.
MOONDRAGON'S PREGNANCY TEA
(Useful for after baby arrives too!)
2 Parts Red Raspberry Leaf
1 Part Alfalfa Leaf
1 Part Nettle Leaf
1 Part Peppermint Leaf
Mix herbs together well. Use approximately 2 tablespoons herbal blend per cup of hot water. Steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain. Drink several cups throughout the day. This tea can be a good base tea for adding other herbs and tinctures.
FENUGREEK FOR INCREASED MILK SUPPLY
Use a Fenugreek Seed poultice. Taken internally, Fenugreek helps to increase milk supply of mothers.
MoonDragon's Health Therapy: Poultices
BENEFICIAL DIETARY PRODUCTS
Amino Acid Complex Supplements & Products Calcium Supplement Products Magnesium Supplement Products Multivitamin and Mineral Complex Supplements Products Alfalfa Herbal Products Blessed Thistle Herbal Products Dandelion Herbal Products Fennel Herbal Products Red Raspberry Leaf Herbal Products Nettle Leaf Herbal Products Aloe Vera Herbal Products Peppermint Leaf Herbal Products Fenugreek Seed Herbal Products
NOTIFY YOUR MIDWIFE OR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER IF
You or a family member has symptoms of a breast abscess. Any of the following occur during treatment:
- Pain becomes unbearable.
- Infection seems to be spreading, despite treatment.
- Symptoms do not improve in 72 hours.
- New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.
MOONDRAGON BREASTFEEDING LINKS
MoonDragon's Women's Health Information: Breastfeeding
MoonDragon's Women's Health Information: Postpartum Breast Care
MoonDragon's Nutrition Guidelines & Diet Index
La Leche League Home Page - LLLI
Infant Feeding Action Coalition - Canada INFACT
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action
International Baby Food Action Network - IBFAN
National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy - NABA
Nursing Mothers' Association of Australia - NMAA
Baby Milk Action
International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes - Read it in it's entirety.
Ted Greiner's Breastfeeding Website
ProMom Site - Promotion of Mothers Milk
Breastfeeding the Hospitalized Baby - Cyndi Egbert
The Adoptive Breastfeeding Resource Website
BREAST PUMPS & PRODUCTS
Medela Breast Pumps
Avent Breast Pumps
Hollister Breast Pumps
ADVANTAGES OF BREASTFEEDING LINKS
American Academy of Pediatrics: Breastfeeding & The Use of Human Milk
Kathy Dettwyler's Thoughts on Breastfeeding
KellyMom: The Benefits of Breastfeeding
Jan Riordan: The Cost of Not breastfeeding
KellyMom: Cost Benefits of Breastfeeding
Brian Palmer DDS: The Importance of Breastfeeding
FDA: Breastfeeding Best Bet for Babies
Diane Wiessinger: Breast or Bottle
La Leche League: Breastfeeding & Parenting Resources on the Internet
Breastfeeding.com Article About Midwives
MoonDragon's Library: Breastfeeding Books - Page 1
MoonDragon's Library: Breastfeeding Books - Page 2
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AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
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MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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