Breast-Feeding Problems

see also Breast Problems

Failure to Breast-Feed
Very full breasts are difficult for the baby to suck; if this is the case, expressing some milk before feeding will solve problem. Sometimes the milk is too watery or it may have a salty or bitter taste which the baby does not like; this can be due to emotional problems in the mother, or maternal malnutrition, or the mother may be taking salty or strongly spiced foods, strong tea, chamomile tea, or drugs, which give an odd taste to her milk. Sometimes the mother needs to be nurtured by another female figure (her own mother, for example) before she can produce enough milk. Difficulties may also increase with successive babies. Constitutional homeopathic treatment can sometimes help, but in the meantime one of the remedies below should be tried. Try increasing fluids.

Specific remedies to be taken 4 times daily for up to 3 days

  • Poor quality milk, mother large and prone to chills and sweats Calcarea 30c
  • If downward movements while nursing cause baby to scream Borax 30c
  • If baby is thin, with a large, sweaty head, and vomits after feeds Silicea 30c
  • Sudden excessive milk production in a young, healthy mother Aconite 30c
  • Breasts hard and swollen Bryonia 30c
  • Overproduction of milk, mother young, timid, and weepy Pulsatilla 30c

If the baby refuses to feed or if you decide to stop breast-feeding the breasts can become painfully distended with milk. Cabbage leaves kept in the freezer and applied to the engorged breast may ease soreness. Expressing milk provides immediate relief, but one of the remedies below should also be taken.

Specific remedies to be taken every 4 hours until engorgement passes

  • Feeling weepy and sensitive to cold, hating to be in stuffy rooms Pulsatilla 30c
  • Extreme sensitivity to cold, cold sweats, tendency to be overweight Calcarea 30c

Exhaustion from Breast-Feeding
An unusual reaction, but can occur because of the fluid loss which breast feeding entails. In addition to the remedy below you could try expressing some milk so that your partner can give one of the night feeds.

Specific remedy to be taken every 4 hours for up to 10 doses

  • China 30c

Hardness of the Breasts

Specific remedies to be taken every hour for up to 10 doses

  • Suspected breast abscess or mastitis Bryonia 30c
  • Suspected breast abscess or mastitis, with red streaks on skin Belladonna 30c
  • If neither Bryonia or Belladonna help Calcarea 30c

Loss of Milk

Specific remedies to be taken 4 times daily for up to 3 days

  • Remedy of first resort if milk production stops Agnus 30c
  • If Agnus fails and milk stops after exposure to cold, breasts swollen, sore, and sensitive Dulcamara 30c
  • If Dulcamara fails Pulsatilla 30c
  • If due to grief Ignatia 30c
  • If due to anger Chamomilla 30c
  • If due to shock or fright Aconite 30c
  • If due to jealousy Hyoscyamus 30c
  • If due to extreme joy Coffea 30c

Sore or Cracked Nipples
After each feed bathe the nipples with Arnica solution (10 drops mother tincture to 0.25 litre [½ pint] boiled cooled water), then dry them thoroughly and apply Calendula cream (from chemist or healthfood shop). One of the remedies below should also be taken.

Specific remedies to be taken every 4 hours for up to 6 doses

  • Nipples inflamed and very tender to the touch Chamomilla 30c
  • Sore nipples, especially if associated with grief Ignatia 30c
  • Sore nipples, especially if mother is timid and weepy Pulsatilla 30c
  • Pain and soreness made worse by exposure to cold Aconite 30c
  • Cracked nipples which causing smarting, burning pain Sulphur 30c
  • Nipples cracked and sore, with blisters on them Graphites 30c
  • Cracked nipples associated with plentiful milk production and distended breasts, although milk is poor and baby dislikes it Calcarea 30c
  • Ulcerated nipples Silicea 30c

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Ailment & Diseases

  Breast Problems
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Other Treatments

  Arnica solution
  Calendula cream
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Related to Childbirth & Post Natal
  National Council For One-Parent Families
  Cry-sis Helpline
  La Leche League Great Britain
  Down's Syndrome Association
  National Childbirth Trust
  Association for Imrovements in the Maternity Services (AIMS)
  Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID)

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