Breastfeeding is full of extremes.
It has ups and downs. Highs and lows.
There are moments of sheer joy and there are moments of utter despair. You can be curling your toes in pain one minute and then beaming with contentment the next. It can be a tough time, but it can be a beautiful time as well.
Thankfully there are solutions, especially for those times when breastfeeding proves challenging – hot therapy and cold therapy.
Hot therapy can help relieve the symptoms of engorgement, plugged ducts and mastitis, and can encourage milk let down before feeds while cold therapy is used between feeds to help relieve pain and swelling due to engorgement.
For more than 30 years Lansinoh® has been helping mums breastfeed for longer by soothing, healing and protecting sore, cracked nipples. Now they’re helping tackle other common breastfeeding challenges with their Lansinoh® THERAPEARL 3-in-1 Breast Therapy. Here’s how …
3 ways hot or cold therapy can help while breastfeeding
Milk let-down is that tingling feeling you get right before you feed. It is the reflex that makes your milk available for your baby and usually it happens without much encouragement (sometimes even when you’re not about to feed your baby, maybe in the line at the checkout!). Sometimes though it might need some coaxing – especially when you’re trying to express milk without your baby there to help nature along.
Heat therapy can help with let-down, you can drape a warm wet facecloth over your breast or take a warm shower. Lansinoh® THERAPEARL 3-in-1 Breast Therapy is a quick and convenient alternative – it can easily be microwaved to provide heat therapy and is segmented in shape, which allows it to conform to the size and shape of your breast.
It is also designed to fit around a breast pump and can help reduce the time spent expressing.
Engorgement is that very-full feeling you’ll notice in your breasts until your milk supply sorts itself out. When your milk first comes in it will come as quite a shock – your breasts will be larger, heavier, warmer and may feel uncomfortable.
Engorgement is normal but it can be painful if your breasts are quite full and swollen. It can also make it hard for your baby to latch on correctly as it may cause your nipples to flatten and tighten.
The best way to relieve engorgement – and to regulate your milk supply – is to feed your baby when they’re regularly and, if necessary, express for comfort after feeds. But that can be hard to do when your breasts are as hard as rocks.
Heat therapy can help encourage your let-down and help your milk flow.
You can then use cold therapy between feeds to help relieve pain and swelling associated with engorgement. There are a few methods of cold therapy – cabbage leaves, frozen peas and even frozen disposable nappies make good cold compresses but they’re not always convenient or hygienic. The Lansinoh® THERAPEARL 3-in-1 is easily frozen, reusable and hygienic. It is also easily pliable – even when frozen.
Easing the symptoms of mastitis
Mastitis can be very nasty. It is localised inflammation of the breast and it causes fevers and flu-like symptoms. If you think you might have mastitis then you should see a doctor immediately.
Mastitis can be caused by a blocked duct that has become infected. It is most common during the first 12 weeks of breastfeeding although it can occur at any time. Frequent bouts of mastitis is a common reason for women to stop breastfeeding earlier than they had planned.
One of the key ways to help treat mastitis (after you’ve seen your doctor) is to constantly drain the affected breast of milk. You might be told to feed your baby from the affected side first and more often. You might be advised to express milk to ensure that the affected breast is always fully drained.
Using hot therapy before a feed can help trigger the let-down reflex and improve milk flow. Cold therapy can be used between feeds to help give relief from the pain and swelling associated with mastitis.
This blog post is sponsored by Lansinoh
Flexible and reusable, Lansinoh®THERAPEARL 3-in-1 Breast Therapy packs can be slipped comfortably inside your bra to relieve any discomfort that can be caused by some conditions associated with breastfeeding. BPA, BPS and latex free, they are also shaped to fit around a breast pump to encourage let down and promote faster milk flow. Visit www.lansinoh.com.au.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.