This page is our breast care guide with tips on cleaning and preparing your breasts and nipples for breastfeeding. This page will also give information about how you can avoid cracked and painful nipples during breastfeeding.
- You can care for your breast after breastfeeding, by rinsing with clean water, to wash away any saliva, then you can apply some of your own breast milk or nipple cream and allow to air dry.
- Avoid wearing clothing that prevents your breasts from breathing. Cotton bras are the best while breastfeeding, because they air dry quickly, this keeps the germs from growing.
- Change your nursing pads often. Wet pads are the breading place for germs that can cause yeast infections and mastitis.
- Breast care and hygiene: Do not use soaps, alcohol or lotions on your nipple area, as this could cause them to dry out and crack. Also, keep other products like perfume, deodorants or powders away from your nipple area.
- For nipple care in breastfeeding, it is not necessary to wash your nipples before every feeding, unless you have used special ointments, that are not recommended for baby's consumption.
- Wear loose fitted bras, and avoid wearing bras with under wiring, as this can cause blocked ducts and mastitis.
Breast care tips
- Latching on efficiently, will prevent sore nipples. Baby should have the whole nipple, plus a large amount of your areola far back in his/her mouth.
- Find a breastfeeding position that it comfy for you and your baby. Baby’s body should be facing yours while breastfeeding, this makes it easier for your baby to breastfeed, therefore reducing nipple pain.
- Do not pull your baby off of the breast while he/she is breastfeeding, use your finger to break the suction in the corner of the mouth to stop breastfeeding.
- Read more about how to handle a baby biting while breastfeeding.
- Breastfeed your baby before he becomes cranky and demanding. If your baby is over hungry, he/she might suck a bit harder than usual, resulting in nipple pain.
Ointment and breastfeeding cream
- Preferably use natural breast care products, like olive oil or your own breast milk.
- Breastfeeding preparation: do not use products that you need to wash off, before your baby may breastfeed.
- Lanolin cream is great for treating sore nipples. Lanolin does not need to be washed off before feedings.
- If you have a fever or any other flu symptoms.
- If you cannot get rid of engorgement or a blocked duct.
If you have any tips on breast care for lactating mothers that you would like to share or any breastfeeding questions…
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Site by BFeeding Mamma, Tracy Behr. Currently studying through Child birth International (CBC, CBD). Also an accomplished author and Mommy of two.