Some doctors, nurses, family, friends, and others, encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies because of the benefits to both of them. One of the benefits of breastfeeding is that the milk is readily available and at the right temperature. However, with this accessibility, we can forget, or overlook the fact that part of mothers taking care of themselves includes the important task of taking care of the breasts. Therefore, here are a few suggestions to help in taking care of them.
Wash hands before and after handling breast
With Covid-19 among us, handwashing has been greatly emphasized and publicized. Yes, as part of proper hygiene, children are usually told, “wash your hands before you eat,” and as a general rule, before and after handling any food. This rule also applies to adults. Therefore, one can think of the breasts as a cup or a bottle with food, so the same hygienic rules apply. This will help to prevent bacteria from transferring to the baby, and to wash away any milk that may have gotten onto the hands while feeding.
Breast milk on nipples and air dry it
Immediately after feeding the baby, it is a good idea to express a little milk into the palm and apply it to the nipples. The breasts had just undergone several minutes of work if you will, and they now need to rest and heal. In some cases, the nipples may be bruised during a feeding. Therefore, putting some milk on it will help to heal the visible and invisible bruises. Additionally, after applying the milk, allow it to air dry, giving the milk a chance to work on the bruises. Then give them a chance to rest before feeding the baby again.
Change wet nursing pads
Pads, that is, nursing pads are usually used to absorb milk that escapes from the breast and thereby prevent it from soiling the clothing. If they are used, change them regularly. Don’t keep wearing them when they are wet. This can help sores to develop on the breast.
Proper fitting bras
It’s always best to wear properly fitting brassieres/bras and this is even more pressing when nursing. Whenever possible, it is best to wear nursing bras during this time. They are large enough to accommodate the new breast size, large enough to hold nursing pads and they are made in such a way that it is easy to get access to the breast when the baby is hungry.
Express milk if breasts are too sore
If the breasts are too sore to breastfeed the baby, expressing the milk is the next best option. This will not only give the breasts a chance to heal, but the baby will still get the milk to drink.