Natural Remedies for Nursing Mothers
If only breastfeeding was as easy, self explanatory and uneventful as it is good for you! We all know that breastfeeding is best for mother and baby—it’s the perfect food at the right temperature and releases that magic hormone Oxytocin, which not only supports bonding but also helps shrink the uterus to help get mom’s pre-baby shape back.
When breastfeeding is hard, nothing beats a lactation consultant for managing those first few attempts at nursing. But when inflammation or infection threatens despite proper latching techniques, homeopathic remedies can work quickly and usually helps prevent the necessity of antibiotics. Know that even with mastitis, frequent nursing can help resolve the issue, but if ever in doubt, do seek the advice of a health professional.
Top Three Picks for Mastitis:
In homeopathy, remember to always choose the remedy according to the symptoms you experience—remedies are not given according to diagnosis, but is personalized to the person rather than the disease. In my experience these remedies can appear to work like little miracles, acting within a few doses of the correctly selected homeopathic medicine. Remember that because homeopathy works with the body’s ability to heal itself, if you give a remedy right at the beginning of an infection, it will act much more quickly than if the problem has been smouldering. While there are more than these top three homeopathic remedies for mastitis, it’s often enough to set things right but follow up with a homeopathic practitioner if you don’t see improvement quickly.
Belladonna 30ch: is a great choice when symptoms appear suddenly out of the blue. With Belladonna there is intensity, with heat, redness. The pains tend to be throbbing or pulsating, with streaks that radiate from the nipple. Belladonna is the remedy of choice when there is fever, the breasts feel heavy and hard, and any jarring of the breast brings on pain.
Bryonia 30ch is a common homeopathic medicine for mastitis when the infection builds slowly, and the least movement is painful. In fact, binding the breast tightly or wearing a tight bra may bring some relief while walking as pressure helps manage the pain when Bryonia is the right fit. The breasts tend to be very engorged and swollen.
Phytolacca 30ch is the better choice when the breast feels hard, lumpy and tender, the pains change location and radiate out from the breast. Typically, the pains start in the nipples as soon as the baby begins to nurse and shoots out to the rest of the body. The hue of the breast tends to be more purple than red and there may be cracks in the nipple. Note Phytolacca has a small sphere of action and may be difficult to find in a retail store unless it carries a wide range of remedies. Although not ideal, if you can’t find this remedy, try starting with one of the other ones instead.
Silicea 6x: To prevent nipples from cracking the Schuessler cell salt Silicea 6x is an excellent adjunct. While there are other remedies for cracked nipples, this is often enough to help toughen up to skin until it grows accustomed to the work of nursing. Since Silicea 6x is a low potency, it works more slowly but you can take it over a longer period of time and can be taken alongside other homeopathic medicine. Repeat the dosage 3-4 times daily for at least a week.
Dosages: repeat the carefully selected homeopathic remedy in a 30ch potency according to the intensity of symptoms. For intense symptoms repeat the remedies every 2 hours for 3 doses and then continue 3 times daily until symptoms subside. For less intensity, take the remedy three times daily. For mild symptoms repeat once or twice daily. If symptoms persist however, don’t wait – seek out the advice a homeopath for a better fit.
Homeopathy is not just effective for lactating mothers – it also works for lactating animals! In 2016 Prince Charles spoke at an international scientific convention recommending the use of homeopathy to reduce the overuse of antibiotics in dairy cows, as he uses homeopathic medicines for his own herd. He is not alone: One study published in in 2010, showed that homeopathy was effective in treating cows on organic farms when compared to a control group and in place of antibiotics. Although not all studies show clear results and more research is needed, many organic dairy farmers swear by the use of homeopathy for their cows.