Are you a young inexperienced mom? How has your breastfeeding journey been like? As you embrace the allure and awesomeness of holding a young one in your arms every day, I’m sure the experience has not been without its trials and temptations. The everlasting bond you build with your little one comes with a price. You earn it every dawn and dusk. Breastfeeding defines a significant part of this splendid journey. It is a beautiful experience that can sometimes cost you a bunch of sleepless nights. Today, as we provide an overview of breastfeeding, we also analyze some essential oils for breastfeeding mums and how they can be used to cope up with breastfeeding-related challenges.
Breastfeeding can be defined as the act of providing infants with food and nutrients for proper growth and development. Normally, mothers are advised to initiate breastfeeding a few minutes after birth. It is important to breastfeed a young infant for the first six months after birth. Institutions such as the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services have engaged in awareness campaigns that promote exclusive breastfeeding for six months after a child is born. Breast milk provides young children with the ideal nutrients that are essential for mental and physical growth. Proteins, immunological components, carbohydrates, minerals and essential fats are the main nutrients found in breast milk.
Breast milk protects the baby from illnesses such as pneumonia, allergies, and diarrhea. It is also associated with long-term health benefits including the reduction of chances for developing obesity during childhood and adolescence. Breastfeeding is linked to higher intelligence quotient (IQ) in infants. Breast milk affects the cognitive and neurological development of infants. As for the mother, the benefits of breastfeeding are also numerous. Firstly, it reduces the chances of developing cancer associated with the breasts and ovaries. Secondly, breastfeeding improves the health of the mother and it contributes to proper spacing of children.
Despite these immeasurable benefits, breastfeeding comes with multiple challenges. Most breastfeeding challenges target young inexperienced mothers. Breastfeeding challenges can be physical, emotional, social, and/or psychological. Some of the physical challenges linked to breastfeeding include; cracked nipples, production of insufficient milk, breast engorgement, and sore nipples. In addition, there are cases where babies reject breastfeeding. All the other challenges of breastfeeding are inter-related and they include; emotional stress, maternity leave shortage, anxiousness, increased responsibilities and support from family and the society.
In some societies, people attach negative beliefs and connotations to breastfeeding. For example, there are societies that popularize the notion that breastfeeding in public is wrong. In addition, there are communities where people loathe and disprove the idea of breastfeeding. Such attitudes and believes affect the confidence of breastfeeding mothers. Women with busy work schedules prefer to pump milk for their babies. However, this practice can lead to emotional stress because it is time-consuming and inconvenient. Sometimes, pumping breasts during work hours can be impractical.
Even though all these challenges come with tension, agony and pain, there are various coping mechanisms that can be implemented successfully. One notable remedy is the use of essential oils.
Essential oils are natural oils that are extracted from different parts of aromatic plants through distillation. They are commonly used for cooking, beauty, aromatherapy and curative-related purposes. Incorporating essential oils in your breastfeeding journey can lead to tremendous changes. The section below covers some oil suggestions and their benefits.
Best Essential Oils for Breastfeeding Moms
Here are three essential oils that cure milk production related problems.
Clary Sage: Clary sage is one of the best essential oils used for increased milk production. The oil is linked to properties and components that support the hormonal system. As a result, it is commonly used after birth to ensure that mothers produce enough milk for their babies.
Fennel: Fennel or rather Foeniculum Vulgare is commonly used for cooking and curative purposes. It is rich in properties that assist in management of menstrual issues and production of breast milk. It is commonly used by Asian women to stimulate milk production.
Basil: Basil essential oil can cure the breastfeeding blues you are experiencing in a snap. Try it and experience the magic you have been looking for.
For effective results, blend 2 drops of fennel, basil and clary sage. Use fractioned coconut as your carrier oil. Massage the mixture on your breasts and you will notice increased milk flow. Do not apply the mixture on your nipples.
For mums experiencing emotional problems, here is a list of the essential oils that you should consider
Lavender: Lavender is a readily available essential oil that is obtained from the flowering tops of Lavandula angustifolia. Lavender is known for its calming and relaxation effects. It is commonly used to induce peace, restlessness, and sleep. Inhale it and relieve yourself from the tension and stress that has accompanied your breastfeeding journey.
Frankincense: Frankincense is among the most effective oils used to treat stress-related disorders. If you intend to achieve profound calmness and spiritual grounding this is the oil to go to. For increased effectiveness, use it together with lavender.
Chamomile: Achieve inner peace and harmony with chamomile essential oil. Chamomile is a highly effective antidepressant. It is used to treat anxiety and related disorders.
Essential oils for Mastitis
Lavender: Lavender essential oil is used to treat mastitis because of its antibacterial properties. Accordingly, it is used to treat infections successfully. It is also associated with soothing effects and thereby used to relieve pain from burns, bites, stings and other form of infections.
Tea Tree: Tea tree essential oil is associated with anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. As a result, it is used to treat a wide range of infections. All these properties make it an ideal selection for fighting the bacteria that cause mastitis.
Basil: Basil is also one of the best essential oils for breastfeeding mums with mastitis. Application of basil oil on infected breasts provides a cooling sensation.
There goes a list of the best essential oil for breastfeeding moms. It is important to note that all essential oils (apart from lavender and tee tree) should be used with a carrier oil. Additionally, it is important to test essential oils on a small part of your skin before full application. Everything good is not for everyone!