From fluctuating hormones to breastfeeding, there are many reasons for breasts to become sore or tender. If you're suffering from breast pain, here are 9 home remedies to bring you relief.
The solution for sore breasts is right in your freezer: frozen vegetables! Just grab a bag (or two, if both breasts hurt) of frozen corn, peas, broccoli, or whatever you’ve got on hand, and place the bags on your breasts for 10-15 minutes at a time. Make sure to cover the bags with a paper towel or clean cloth, so that the bag doesn’t touch the skin directly. Also, you might want to label these bags as ice packs, so that you don’t mistakenly eat food that’s been thawed and refrozen.
Rub-a-Dub in the Tub
Self-massage is great for sore breasts. The easiest way to do it is in the shower or during a bath, when you can soap them up. Then, starting around the nipple, massage outward in a circular motion. You’ll help improve circulation and drainage in the breasts, which will reduce your pain.
Castor oil is a time-tested remedy for sore breasts. Saturate a clean cloth in castor oil and place it on the sore breast. Cover it with another clean, dry cloth and then place a heating pad on top of that. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, more if you have time. Repeat for several days and you’ll soon be feeling much better!
More Edamame, Please
Eat more soy-based foods. In Asian cultures, women have fewer incidences of breast pain, and it’s thought that the soy-rich diet is the reason.
If you suffer from premenstrual breast pain, make sure that you incorporate magnesium-rich foods like bananas, beans, brown rice, oatmeal, and green leafy vegetables into your diet. If you up your magnesium intake particularly in the week or two before your period, you’ll have less soreness!
Watch the Salt
In the week or so leading up to your period, cut down on your salt intake as much as possible. Salty foods could be a source of breast pain because they cause bloating. As much as you might be tempted by premenstrual cravings, try to wait until your period starts to indulge in salty treats.
If your nipples are sore from breastfeeding, don’t wash them with soap; rinsing with water will do just fine. Soap will dry out the nipples, and interestingly enough, the nipples produce their own antiseptic oils, so you’re not slacking on cleanliness.
Another great tip for breastfeeding moms: after your baby finishes feeding, rub a little of your milk into the sore nipples. It contains natural antiseptic oils that will moisturize your skin. As a bonus, the scent it leaves behind will help your baby find your breast faster.
If neither of these suggestions seems to help, you can try some natural moisturizers like avocado oil or vitamin E. They’ll both bring quick relief.