As you take care of your newborn baby, you also need to take care of yourself. Every little thing matters for boosting your mental, emotional, and physical health. If you are breastfeeding, no doubt you get a fair share of the job.
In the first few days after birth, plugged milk duct and sometimes mastitis is an unavoidable problem. An Epsom salt bath while breastfeeding is one of the guaranteed ways of relieving the milk duct tension.
Epsom salt is a popular remedy for body aches and soreness. Dissolving it in bath water will release the magnesium and sulfate ions that it contains. When the skin absorbs this chemical compound, it can serve various bodily functions. Increasing magnesium in the body eases inflammation, reduces pain, and stimulates proper breastmilk flow. It can open the milk duct to make it easier for babies to suck. Thus, breastfeeding will be a breeze.
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Uses of Epsom salt
Epsom salt has a similar structure to table salt. But the two are not the same. They don’t taste the same either. Epsom is used as a laxative for relieving constipation. It also has notable benefits in beauty care, where it is used as an effective skin exfoliator.
A nice and cool bath itself is a rewarding and relaxing feeling for every mom. For new mothers, Epsom salt bath is beneficial in promoting healing.
It soothes the mind and body and cures inflammation like it resets her body postpartum. Soaking in Epsom salt will also induce sleep and relieve stress.
Epsom salt bath is also beneficial in drawing out milk to relieve a clogged duct. It will get rid of the painful and tender lumps in the breast.
It reduces the pressure and heals or prevents lactation mastitis from developing.
Epsom salt for breastfeeding moms
You probably come across the benefits of Epsom salt for your postpartum problems. But upon checking the label, it says to consult your physician if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The caveat goes along with everything you are going to take or use while breastfeeding. It is a general rule to ensure that moms and babies are safe against harmful products.
However, doctors and other medical practitioners will have different opinions on unconventional medicine and healing methods.
Some physicians would advise against soaking in a bath right after delivery to prevent uterine infections. But once he clears you in your next check-up, Epsom salt bath is fine even for breastfeeding mothers.
What if you are not allowed to soak in a bath but developed a clogged breast? You can still use Epsom salt for relieving “bleb” or clogged milk duct. Simply soak your nipple in warm water with a couple of pinches of Epsom salt to clear away the milk blockage.
Safety tips for using Epsom salt soak
Epsom salts will leave a slightly weird aftertaste that your baby will not like.
Thus, you should make sure to clean your breast well after every salt bath and before feeding. But one other concern moms would always ask is if it can dry out their breastmilk.
Epsom salt may slightly delay the onset of breastmilk production when used during the first few days of breastfeeding. But once you have established your supply, a relaxing Epsom salt bath is proven beneficial in increasing its production.
Besides, a clogged duct will likely happen if you have an oversupply of breastmilk.
Here are some safety tips for using Epsom salt bath while breastfeeding:
- Make sure you have established breastmilk supply through continuous breastfeeding or pumping before using.
- Have a go signal from your doctor that you can soak in a bath and use Epsom salt.
- Test a patch of Epsom salt and water solution in your skin before using it for allergic reactions.
- Do not submerge in an Epsom bath if your wounds are still fresh.
Epsom salt bath while breastfeeding is a simple solution to promote a steady milk flow by de-clogging the glands. It will also help moms put themselves at ease and de-stress from the overwhelming throes of motherhood.
Despite the biggest shift in your life, it is still best to find time to have a moment with yourself. If you are physically, mentally, and psychologically ready, everything else will follow.
You will get over it and get to enjoy the most thrilling adventure that motherhood can bring into your life.
Ann Marie is a licensed nurse in the Philippines. She had experiences in handling and assisting deliveries of newborns into the world. She also used to train in labor rooms and pediatric wards – helping soon-to-be mothers and little kids in the process. Though not a mother by nature but a mother by heart, Ann Marie loves to take care of her younger cousins as well as nephews and nieces during her free time.