It’s important to take care of your breasts if you choose to breastfeed so that you’re able to optimally feed your baby. There are steps you can take to help promote your breast health and comfort during breastfeeding, including:
Wear a supportive bra
During breastfeeding, your breasts will be larger than their pre-pregnancy size. Due to this size increase, it’s beneficial to wear a supportive bra to help hold up your muscles and ligaments. This will help prevent any pain or discomfort from the weight of your heavier breasts. It’s recommended that you wear a supportive bra both during the day and at night.
Avoid tight fighting clothing
Clothing that is tight can compress your breasts and may contribute to clogged milk ducts. Clogged milk ducts can cause discomfort and can increase your risk of infection. In addition to tight fighting clothing, you should consider avoiding bras with underwire as the underwire may also compress your breasts to cause clogged ducts.
If Your Nipples Hurt, Try Different Latching Techniques
It’s normal for your nipples to be sore as they adjust to breastfeeding, but your nipple shouldn’t be sore after a few days. If your nipples hurt, this could be an indication that your baby is not latching onto your breasts properly. You can try different latching techniques such as position changes to help improve your baby’s latch.
Don’t Use Soap When Washing Your Nipples
Your nipples make their own natural lubricant. Using soaps on them can remove this lubricant, which can cause cracking and nipple pain.
Treat Your Clogged Milk Duct
- Feed your baby often. This will help your breasts drain. You may have greater success if you position your baby with their nose towards the blockage, as this will help the duct drain better.
- Massage the lump towards your nipple. This will break up the clog and help the milk flow.
- Take a warm shower or use a warm compress before feeding. This can trigger your let-down reflex and help clear the blockage.
- Drain any milk left in your clogged breast after feeding. You can use a pump or hand expression to do so.
- “Breastfeeding Care Instructions”. Penn Medicine, Penn Medicine.
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