Heat Therapy and Breastfeeding/Pumping Mama
Oh, the wives’ tales. I remember when I started my breastfeeding journey, I heard many tricks and remedies that promised success in nursing. Some worked, some did not, and some were just down-right painful to think about. I am talking about you, a supporter of “How to Toughen Your Nipples for Breastfeeding” advocate.
Now I do not mean any disrespect to all of you well-intentioned grandmothers, moms, mothers-in-law, sisters, friends, or general advice-givers. All I am saying is that there are solutions that have enough evidence-based backing that lactation experts all across the world suggest to mothers alike.
During my journey, just like many of you, I was told that warm-heat therapy was a remedy for many common breastfeeding hurdles. Need help with your letdown or milk flow? Get into a warm bath or hot steaming shower (Kicinski-McCoy, 2015). Mastitis? Warm cloth or heating pads. Engorgement, soreness, cold-winter night? Heat therapy.
Ok, so we know heat works. If you look at almost every hospital labor & delivery webpage that offers tips for breastfeeding mama’s, you will find that they encourage the use of heat to the breast. In 2016, Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, NY delivered over 14,000 babies (Statista, 2021). They suggest that adding heat to the breast is a treatment option to relieve and prevent engorgement and unwanted issues with the letdown reflex (Mount Sinai, 2019). Even Seattle’s Children’s Hospital recommends getting into a hot shower to resolve hurdles with clogged ducts (Seattle Children’s Hospital, 2021).
Let’s talk about your letdown. I know my doctor told me to get into a hot shower to encourage my letdown. Sure, the hot water felt great, but what did not feel great was the beautiful liquid gold streaming down the drain. Not to mention the guilt I felt from the crying hungry baby in the next room.
This is what I learned from my hot shower experience. Moist heat was great for encouraging my letdown. Feelings of neglect and frustration from losing my milk down the drain, not a great feeling at all.
You see, “heat encourages the blood vessels in your breast to open, making it easier for your milk to flow,” (Mom Loves Best, 2021).
This is where the Nustle comes in. Heat therapy time and time again has been shown and prescribed as a useful tool for encouraging your letdown and as a treatment to prevent or relieve breastfeeding complications.
When warmed in the microwave, the Nustle gives off a moist heat, much like that of getting in the hot shower. But the Nustle differs from other “like” products on the market due to the full coverage wrap design. It can be used prior to skin-to-skin feedings to encourage your letdown or as a hands-free pumping wrap (bra).
Your breastfeeding journey is to be cherished. Listen to the advice that is so often prescribed by lactation experts across the world. Heat therapy works and it can mean the difference in you meeting your breastfeeding goals. Let the Nustle help you cherish your journey.
Kicinski-McCoy, J. (2015, March 06). How To Boost Your Milk Supply. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from https://www.mothermag.com/how-to-increase-milk-supply/
Mount Sinai. (2019, August 07). Overcoming breastfeeding problems. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/nutrition/overcoming-breastfeeding-problems
Roth, M., BA, IBCLC (Ed.). (2021, March 21). Slow Let-Down Reflex When Breastfeeding. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from https://momlovesbest.com/slow-let-down-reflex-breastfeeding
Seattle Childrens. (2021, March 21). Breast-Feeding Questions. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from https://www.seattlechildrens.org/conditions/a-z/breast-feeding-questions/
Statista. (2021). Leading U.S. hospitals by number of annual births as of 2016*. Retrieved March 23, 2021, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/590463/leading-us-hospitals-annual-births/