So you’ve decided to offer your baby a great, healthy start by breastfeeding. You are thrilled that you won’t have to fumble in the darkness making late night bottles. And cheers to less dishes to wash! But don’t forget, you still need to take care of your breasts.
- Wear supportive bras. Avoid underwire if possible (definitely a no-no for sleeping). If not sized properly and worn correctly, the pressure from the wires may contribute to plugged ducts.
- Change nursing pads as needed. Some may need to change theirs more frequently than others. The key is staying dry.
- RINSE – don’t wash – your nipples. Soap can dry them out and be unappealing to baby. Better yet, use your milk! The antibacterial properties of breast milk make it an excellent candidate. After you are done nursing, hand express a little extra to cover your nipples. Let them air dry for a few minutes. Otherwise, plain water will do. If you get soap on them in the shower, try to rinse them clean right away.
- Don’t rub them. If air drying isn’t fast enough for your needs, pat them dry. It’s an old wives tale that rubbing them with a wash cloth will “toughen them up.” It will only cause you great discomfort!
- Have lanolin salve or cooling gel pads available to help those sore days. They are also helpful for treating cracked nipples by healing with moisture. (This tip is most helpful for the beginning weeks!) I used Medela’s lanolin and hydrogel pads and found them soothing while working on a shallow latch with Rissa.
What tips do you have? Did any of these work for you?