Breast tenderness, in simple terms, means softness in the breast tissues that is accompanied with pain. It is characterized by discomfort, heaviness, soreness and increased sensitivity of the breasts. Females approaching menopause, breast feeding mothers, and those undergoing pregnancy or menstruation often suffer from breast tenderness. Here are some suggestion for easing the discomfort created by your hormones. Vitamines, herbs and oils can work to keep fluid retention in check and coax your hormones into a breast friendly balance (more progesterone , less oestrogen). And a few dietary changes may help to relieve some of that breast pain, too.
Massage With Soap:
• When you’re in the shower, soap your breasts and gently massage them from the center of your chest out towards your armpits. This Improves blood circulation and the drainage of lymphatic fluid, the clear fluid that carries infection fighting substances around your body.
Ice to get relieve from sore breast:
• Wrap a towel around a bag of ice cubes or frozen peas and apply it to each breast for about 10 minutes. The cold pack treatment reduces swelling and dulls the pain.
• Consider wearing a support bra instead of an underwired bra when your breast are tender.You may want to wear a soft support bra to bed to reduce night time jostling. When you try on a new bra, make sure it cups your breasts without pinching. Once you by new, more comfortable bras, throw away the old, out of shapes ones that don’t provide your breasts with proper support anymore.
Look at Food Solutions:
• Eat more soya beans, Soy includes phytoestrogen which is quite like a hormone that can balance hormonal fluctuations. Since most of the soreness and tenderness in breast takes place due to hormonal imbalance, you must consume good amount of soy foods in order to get relief from such breast problems. You can also get some meat substitutes that are based on soy. Those meats must be consumed positively to keep your breast well maintained. You can also consume soy milk to replace soybean as this also have proved to be an excellent source of estrogen.
• Consume plenty of fiber, such as fruit, vegetables, beans and pulses – kidney beans and lentils, for example – and whole grains. • Dandelion, this herb is incredibly effective against pain and tenderness of breasts. Considered a diuretic with potassium richness, it is able to get rid of excessive fluids in the body and help you avoid water retention. Thus pain will be alleviated greatly. That is why this herb is on the rise in the list of home remedies for breast pain.Take a teaspoon of dried root into some boiling water and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then have it strained and put in some honey. Consume 3 cups per day.
What’s cause ?
The uterus goes through a cycle of changes every month so the breast also changes.There is a changes of hormone known as progesterone and oestrogen in the body which trigger the growth of breast tissue and retention of fluid for the pregnancy. This can cause pain and may also lumps .The cyclical breast tenderness called fibrocyst breast disease but now it know as side effect of menstruation.
• Cut back your intake of hydrogenated oils found in margarine, biscuits, manufactured pies and snack foods. When you eat these oils, your body loses some of its ability to convert the fatty acids in your diet (essential to your health) into GLA- a necessary link in a chain reaction that prevents breast tissue from becoming painful.
• Reduce your consumption of methylxanthine. ‘Methyl what’, you may ask. Methylxanthine is the unfamiliar name of a group of stimulants that includes caffeine and theobromine – found in coffee and chocolate respectively. It’s present in many other common foods and drinks, too, including colas, tea, wine, beer, bananas, cheese, peanut butter, mushrooms and pickles. Most women who suffer from painful lumps on a cyclical basis will improve if they cut right down on or elimimate, foods that are high in this compound. • Aim to get fewer than 30 per cent of your calories from fat. Women who live in cultures where low fat diets are the norm generally have a lower incidence of breast pain.
• Go easy on the salt, and watch your intake of sodium from tinned soups and other processed and package foods. Sodium increases water retention, which causes your breasts to swell. Be especially careful to keep your salt consumption right down during the two weeks before your period.
Other Ways to Improve Hormone: • If you take contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), then talk to your doctor about altering your prescription. A relatively minor dosage adjustment might help.
• Exercise at least three times a week, especially during the week before your period. Exercises decreases the stress hormones in your body. And that is significant because those hormones play a role in causing breast pain. Exercises also helps to reduce fluids in your body while increasing levels of feel good chemicals in your brain.
• Make regular, sacrosanct time for yourself and practice meditation, breathing exercises or other relaxation techniques that can reduce stress hormones.
Call the doctor ?
If you’re taking any prescription medication, tell everything to your doctor about any breast pain or tenderness, because it could be related to that drug. Other breast changes should be reported as well, especially any lump in your breast or under your arm. Even if you have come to expect breast pain associated with your period, tell your doctor it the pain becomes severe or if you notice discharge or blood from the nipple.
For many new mothers, it’s a shock to discover that breastfeeding, which seems so natural, is not necessarily easy. You’ll probably be given much useful advice by your midwife, health visitor and friends, but every newborn gives birth to brand new nursing experience. When your breast start producing a regular milk supply a few days after birth, they may feel painful tight and your baby may have trouble latching on. Many other factors affect your baby’s feeds and your own comfort. When problems arise, like nipple soreness or a blocked milk duct, it helps to know a few age old tricks.
Take the pressure off:
• If you feel uncomfortably full, before starting a feed express a little milk by hand. Press repeatedly with your fingers above and below the areola (the dark area around the nipple.)
This will take off some pressure and allow your baby to attach more easily. The smell and taste of the milk will also encourage the baby to latch on.
• If your breasts are so full that no milk comes out, apply a warm, damp compress for several minutes. A wet flannel will work, or try a disposable nappy, which holds a lot of water and retains heat. Just soak the nappy in hot water and lay it over your breasts when you’re in the bath.
• Use a breast pump if the baby falls asleep while feeding or finishes feeding and you still feel uncomfortable full pumping a little milk may relieve the tension. But as this will encourage more milk next time, don’t make it a routine thing or you’re producing more than the baby requires.
• Nurse often, day and night. In fact, you should nurse about 8 to 12 times during every 24 hour period. This will keep your breasts from filling up with too much milk. Feed your baby every time he or she seems interested in eating.
What’s wrong ?
A number of problems can arise during breastfeeding that leave the mother sore and the baby irritable and sad. The most common problems are incorrect positioning of the baby and faulty latching on. Other issues include cracked or sore nipples, blocked milk ducts and breasts that are painful engorged with milk (or, conversely don’t seem to be producing enough milk). Also especially in the first few weeks, breastfeeding can be a physically tiring process, and it may take a while for mum and baby to learn how to work smoothly together.
Position yourself (and your baby) for success:
• Use a nursing pillow; this is a horseshoe shaped cushion which is specially designed for nursing mothers. It fits around your midriff, providing a convenient armrest when you’re breastfeeding your baby. Nursing pillows are available from stores such as Mothercare, from catalogues such as Blooming Marvellous and online.
• Make sure your baby is not too warm. If infants are too warmly wrapped while nursing, they’re more likely to doze off in the middle of feeding.
• Feed your baby in a quiet, dimly lit environment. Being relaxed makes the process easier for everyone.
• When you feed the baby, make sure the entire body is facing your. Hold the buttocks in one hand, supporting the head in the crook of that elbow. Slide your other hand under your breast, fully supporting it. Tickle your baby’s lower lip. This will prompt the mouth to open wide. Pull the baby straight in quickly, so the mouth attaches to your areola (the dark area around the nipple). Be sure the whole areola is taken, or as much of it as possible.
• Sucking will stop when the baby is full. If you need to detach the baby from your nipple for any reason, such as to transfer to the other side (or to answer the door), gently insert your little finger between the corner of the baby’s mouth and the skin of your nipple to break the suction. Babies have a natural survival reflex ; they hold on tighter of they’re suddenly interrupted while sucking. If you can gradually break the seal between your nipple and the baby’s mouth before you pull the infant away, you’ll reduce tugging which can contribute to nipple soreness.
• To make sure each breast is doing its share, start each feed with the breast you ended with at the previous feed. If you are so tired that you can’t remember which breast that was, fasten a safety pin to your bra on the side you need to begin next time. By switching the breast you offer first, you give each one a chance to get completely emptied.
Become more productive:
• If you feel you aren’t producing enough milk, drink one glass of alcohol free beer a day. There’s a yeast derivative in the beer that increases levels of prolactin, a hormone that influences milk production. Just make sure it’s alcohol free and drink the beer 30 minutes before a feed.
• Apply pressure to your chest to stimulate milk flow. According to doctors who specialize in acupressure, the best pressure points are directly above your breasts. Place your thumbs between the third and fourth ribs straight down from your collarbone and in line with your nipples. Press steadily for a minute or so. If this procedure helps, you can repeat as often as you like.
• Drink fennel tea each morning. Herbalists have long recommended fennel to first time mothers to help increase milk production. Some research indicates that fennel may have a mild oestrogen like effect, which could encourage the production of breastmilk. Or perhaps babies just like fennel’s mild liquorice like taste. Put a teaspoon of fennel seeds into a cup of boiling water, leave to infuse for two or three minutes, strain and drink the tea.
Eat some healthy encouragement:
• Eat garlicky foods. Apparently garlic affects the flavor of mother’s milk in a way that appeals to babies. One US study showed that babies took more milk and stayed at the breast longer if their mothers ate some garlic a few hours before breastfeeding. It’s also very good for you.
Keep milk ducts clear:
• For a blocked milk duct (which may present itself as a red, tender lump in your breast), soap the affected area while you’re in the bath or shower and then gently run a wide-toothed comb over it to stimulate milk flow and help clear the blockage. (In general, however, avoid using soap on your nipples, as it can dry them out.)
• Empty your breasts as completely as possible during each feed. Offer your baby the affected breast first.
• Try to gently massage the lumpy area towards your nipple during feeding.
• Increase bloodflow to the area by placing a warm flannel on your breast, then gently massaging the breast.
• Make sure your bra fits properly. Specialist maternity stores and lingerie departments in larger stores often have advisers who can help you to choose the right bra. Ideally, choose a cotton bra with broad straps. The opening for feeding must not be too small or the fabric can press into the breast and cause a blockage.
Call the doctor?
If you are worried that your baby isn’t getting enough milk or if your baby fails to feed at least once during the day, get in touch with your midwife, health visitor or GP straight away. You also need to see your doctor if you have a red, tender area on a breast, accompanied by flu-like symptoms and raised temperature. These are symptoms of a breast infection known as mastitis, which is caused by bacteria slipping into your breast through cracks in the nipple. It is treated with antibiotics. Drink plenty of water, go to bed if you can and continue to breastfeed your baby, even more frequently while the infection heals.