Skin rashes, especially a heat rash is no fun- it burns, itches and makes you extremely uncomfortable. In the spring and summer months, it is not uncommon for men, women and even babies to suffer from irritating heat rash-also known as prickly heat or miliaria. In case of nursing mothers, a rash around the breasts, in the armpits, groin and folds of the tummy area can be very uncomfortable. The skin feels red and blotchy making you irritable, itchy and even feverish. Today we will study some home remedies for skin rash while breastfeeding and also remedies for the baby that gets heat rashes when nursing.
Hot humid weather is the culprit
Many babies and mommies suffer from heat rashes in hot and humid months. Rivulets of sweat run down the skin while the mother is breastfeeding. It is important to keep the room cool and run the air conditioner as far as possible. If this is not possible; at least use a fan to keep the air circulating. Wear light, loose cotton clothing and change nursing positions often. Between feedings, keep the breasts and nipples dry and expose them to sunlight and air. Wash them with mild soap and warm water. Avoid harsh soaps, alcohol or petroleum products for cracked, sore nipples.
Take frequent baths
Keep the baby and yourself cool by soaking in tub bath filled with tepid water. Add some cornstarch to the water as well as some baking soda. These natural ingredients soothe the skin and are safe for you and the baby that gets a heat rash while nursing. You can also grind a cup of oatmeal and add the fine powder to bath water. Soaking in oatmeal baths can soothe inflammation and redness and is safe natural remedy for heat rash for both mom and baby.
As stated before, nursing mothers should ideally air dry their breasts. To prevent sweating, apply prickly heat powder or cooling powder all over the body to absorb excess moisture. Dress the baby in light, cotton clothes. Do not swaddle or wrap the baby in warm blankets or sheets. In warmer weather, dress the infant only in diaper.
- Wash baby’s clothes separately from the family laundry.
- If you are using cloth diapers, make sure you change them frequently
- Avoid using strong detergents or fabric softeners for baby’s laundry.
- Use white vinegar in final rinse of baby clothes final wash cycle. This will soften the diapers and not leave any odors behind.
Apply calendula cream
Calendula salve or cream is a safe natural remedy for heat rash and warm breasts while breastfeeding. Apply the cream on the skin surrounding the nipples. In between nursing, you can apply the cream on the nipples as well. Wipe the cream away before nursing baby.
A great natural home remedy for heat rashes in babies is the mother’s milk. Apply the milk on the rash as it will soothe inflammation and calm the irritated skin.
Watch your diet
Mothers should watch what they eat as certain allergens can pass on to baby from the breast milk and aggravate the heat rash. Avoid allergens like soy, wheat, gluten, lentils, peanuts, and dairy as far as possible. Juices are usually beneficial for nursing mothers who suffer from skin rashes. A combination of spinach and carrot juice is ideal.
Blackstrap molasses and brewer’s yeast
Mothers may add a bit of brewer’s yeast and blackstrap molasses (BSM) to their diet once the baby is a few months old. (It is always best to consult your doctor before making dietary changes). Add a couple of tablespoons of blackstrap molasses to a glass of milk and drink it twice a day. BSM is rich in calcium and iron while brewer’s yeast will provide b-complex vitamins. These nutrients are necessary for healthy skin.
Rashes, especially heat rashes, often look worse than they actually are. However, for both, the infant and the mother, heat rashes can be irritating and uncomfortable. They may start in one place but could spread to other parts of the body. If this occurs, see your doctor immediately. A heat rash should ideally clear off in 3-4 days and, in most cases, you need not do anything special to treat it. Minor rashes like heat rash can be treated with home remedies. However, serious rashes with lingering symptoms should be examined by a professional.