Nursing is on my mind lately since the baby is due in three short weeks. I have completely forgotten about all the pain I went through nursing for the first time. Now all of the sudden I remember, it wasn't fun at all! But I was very determined to nurse and in my mind formula just wasn't an option. Once we got past the first month it became easier and easier (with the exception of a case of thrush). I am so happy we stuck with it, it made for a very happy, healthy baby and it certainly beat the price of formula. Not to mention I found breastfeeding extremely convenient. If I had to wash all those bottles and prep formula I would be stuck home, with breastfeeding I could go wherever when I wished because the food is always with us and always ready!
- Latch: The most important thing in preventing nipple soreness is to make sure the baby is latched on properly. It may help eliminate the problem all together. Some babies are naturally great latchers, others may need some help. Make sure the baby grabs on to the area around the nipple (the areola), not just the tip of your nipple. Otherwise you'll be in for some painful breastfeeding.
- Arnica: I had no idea how amazing arnica is until we tried it with my toddler's horrendous bruises. It made them go away so fast. Now we take arnica for all muscle aches, pains, and bruises. Used by many athletes, this no-side-effects natural pain reliever certainly works. It's safe to use while nursing - much safer than drugs. In this case you would not apply it topically, take internally - obviously you wouldn't want the baby sucking on arnica cream or gel!
- Lanolin: Most nursing moms are familiar with lanolin, especially the one made by a big brand and available in every baby store. It did help me the first time around, it's good to have some on hand. Although if you are allergic to wool, you may want to avoid it since it does come from sheep.
- Breastmilk: The very thing you're giving your baby has some amazing properties, it can help heal your nipples! After nursing just dab a little milk on and around the nipples, let air dry. Breast milk is naturally antibacterial. This is to be avoided only if you have thrush.
- Air: Give your nipples lots of air when you're home. Just like with diaper rash, this can go a long way to help with healing. When you need them covered, bamboo nursing pads are generally hygienically better than cotton.
- Healing aids: To further help you out, I have found some great products that I may try myself this time around if I have any issues. I've heard great things about Bamboob-ease Soothing Therapy Pillows, Native Remedies Nipple Conditioning Cream, and Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter. Moms rave about all of these natural products!
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