One of the easiest and most important things to do throughout breastfeeding is wear the right bra. Throughout your pregnancy, your breasts will begin to engorge with milk. As they get bigger, your pre-pregnancy bras get smaller. Cotton bras are a great alternative. However, you should avoid underwire bras as they may put too much pressure on your milk ducts, which leads to mastitis.
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In fact, it is even more important to practice good hygiene while breastfeeding. Always wash your hands before breastfeeding or touching your breast in general.
Avoid washing your nipples with soap, as it removes healthy natural oils and create dry and irritated skin2. Instead, simply clean your breasts regularly with warm water.
Surprisingly, the way that you feed your child has an impact on the health of your breasts. Feeding your baby correctly will help you avoid tons of different breast problems. Some of them include sore nipples, engorgement, plugged ducts and even mastisis. In order to avoid these problems, make sure that your baby latches on correctly. It may not be perfect at first, but over time you will get better. You can read more about breaking the latch here.
Along with feeding properly, you need to make sure that you keep a regular feeding schedule. It is recommended that you aim for about 8 — 12 feedings per day.
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This helps reduce engorgement in addition to building a healthy schedule for your newborn. Another way to help keep everything normal and balanced is to feed from both breasts equally. Sometimes you might notice that your baby has a preference so just offer him or her the other breast first during your next feeding. Breast pads are an added layer of security that will prevent your milk from leaking through your shirt.
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As a bonus, breast pads help to decrease soreness in your nipples, reduce thrush and lower your chances of developing mastitis. If you need a bit more moisturizer, try a special cream made especially for nipples. Since these creams are specially made for nipples, you will be sure that no harmful chemicals or additives are being absorbed into your skin. Talk to your doctor for more information.
While performing your exams, take note of any lumps that are still there after a few days. Finally, have open conversations with your doctor about any nipple soreness that persists. Breastfeeding is a wonderful time for you to bond with your newborn while providing unsurpassable health benefits. We hope that our list of breast care tips will help you get through any struggles you may have.
As always, if you have any pressing questions or concerns contact your doctor. Also, remember that thanks to the Affordable Care Act, expectant mothers are eligible to receive an electric breast pump covered by their insurance provider! If you have any other breast care suggestions or tips for new moms during breastfeeding, head over to our Facebook page and leave a comment today!
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