Blame it on the hormones! Sore boobs can be a misery but one way or another most women experience tender tissue and aching nipples from puberty to menopause. Mastalgia (that’s what the doctors call it) can hit during periods (or before), pregnancy and breast-feeding. And, yes, it’s all about progesterone and oestrogen, that potent pair of hormones that keep we women in our feminine place.
These hormones fluctuate, controlling the cycle of fertility and menstruation. Along the way, our breasts do quite a bit of swelling and subsiding. Uber-tenderness is often the first sign of pregnancy and for the initial months can cause plenty of discomfort. What’s happening of course is that your upper body is preparing to become a milking machine while the lower bit is working on perfecting the baby consumer.
In early pregnancy your nipples can be tingly and achy, sticking out as never before, while the areola (the dark circle around the nipple) gets darker and sometimes spotted (they are called Montgomery tubercles and supply useful lubrication), and the veins in the fleshy part of the breast show up in blue rivers. Meanwhile the skin is having to stretch at quite a rate. Frankly, some easing is required! Use some good nourishing, nurturing oils like the Little Herbs Tummy rub oil, to help the skin’s expansion. And get yourself a soft support bra, cotton preferably, to wear at night if your breasts feel seriously heavy and painful.
When the baby has arrived, breasts can be a bit of a problem again. Now they’re full on feeders. Small but tough gums are latching on at very regular intervals and sucking away, sometimes very aggressively. Nipples can get very sore indeed, cracked even. It is wise, very wise, to use an organic preparation like the Little Herbs organic breast balm to help heal and soften the battered buttons. That way your breasts recover, and the thought of that baby mouth’s return isn’t quite so alarming.
But baby or no baby, breasts need nurturing all through life. Some women feel a bit awkward about touching their breasts, or giving them a routine massage. But it is sensible to investigate your breast tissue on a regular basis, every month or two, to familiarise yourself with the underlying contours. If that changes, or you find lumps that weren’t there before, you should see your doctor: it may not be anything to worry about but check anyway.
Whether you massage your breasts for general healthiness or examine them for bumps, it’s easier if you use a breast balm or oil so that your fingers slide over the skin and the sub-cutaneous shape is more apparent. It is good for the breasts and breast skin to get a regular massage: it can help prevent toxin accumulation, alleviate tension and painfulness, and encourage blood flow. Kneading and stroking your breasts is very therapeutic – and – let’s not be shy – it’s enjoyable whether your partner is involved or simply you.
Never forget, whether you’re young or old, that your breasts are precious. They are your bosom buddies! They are worth getting to know and cherish. Keep them happy and healthy, nourished and perky – and you will feel all the better for doing so.
To read more about Liv O’Hanlon click here.
Liv is the Founder of the most wonderful organic skin care range Little Herbs that has been developed with kind and gentle ingredients especially for pregnant women, new mums and their little ones. View the range in the natural health star health shop.
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