Being kind to your boobs while breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a beautifully natural experience that brings endless benefits to both mother and baby. But, let’s be honest, breastfeeding can be hard.

It may look like a peaceful, tranquil experience from the outside, but underneath the surface, it’s often a physically taxing process, particularly in the beginning.

From sore nipples, aching breasts, to awkward feeding positions and a baby who just won’t latch, it’s no wonder that breastfeeding can be utterly exhausting.

Caring for your boobs is an important part of ensuring that your breastfeeding relationship is successful as it helps to prevent pain, discomfort, and infection.

Let’s look at how to go about being kind to those precious body parts of yours that provide comfort, bonding, and the perfect mix of nutrients, vitamins, and antibodies to help keep your baby healthy, nurtured, and growing.

Being kind to your boobs while breastfeeding

Here are some essential tips to give your boobs the love they deserve throughout your breastfeeding journey:

Keep them dry and allow to breathe

Milk leakage is normal and so are postpartum night sweats, but it’s important to keep your breasts as dry as possible to prevent skin irritation, infections, and to maintain the integrity of the nipple skin.

To prevent bacteria growth, use breathable nursing pads to quickly absorb milk and sweat, and change them frequently whenever they get damp.

Nourish dry skin

Drinking plenty of water can help keep your milk supply up and prevent dehydration, which can lead to dry, cracked nipples. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, or more if you’re exercising or in a hot climate. Use a nourishing and natural nipple balm or cream such as lanolin. Moisturising is important because it helps to prevent and heal sore or cracked nipples. It keeps the skin soft and hydrated, reducing friction and irritation. Additionally, it protects the nipples from further damage and the risk of infection.

Soothe and cool your nipples

Try to shower daily, even just quickly, but only use water to wash your breasts. Soaps and shower gels can strip the natural oils and lead to dryness and irritation. Towel pat dry and give your nipples the chance to air dry when possible. It’s not necessary to clean your nipples between breastfeeds. Applying something cool to your boobs can provide instant, soothing, sweet relief to discomfort and pain, whilst reducing inflammation to the area. You could try the old cabbage leaf remedy, or you might prefer to use cool compresses, or something designed specifically for this purpose such as hydrogel breast discs. They can even be kept in the fridge for extra cooling relief.

Wear supportive bras

Wearing a well-fitted nursing bra or soft cup bra, day and night, provides support and comfort. Avoid tight-fitting bras or underwires as they can cause blocked milk ducts and increase your chance of infection.

Check latch and positioning

A poor latch can cause soreness and even damage to the nipples, so even if you think your baby is latching okay, it’s a great idea to consult a lactation consultant to be sure. It’s also important to use the correct breastfeeding position, so experiment with them and find the ones that are most comfortable for you and your baby.

Keep feeding

While it might be tempting to give your nipples a ‘break’ and space out feeds more, your baby needs to feed on demand to grow, be healthy, and to build and maintain your milk supply. Not to mention that it also helps to promote bonding between you and your baby, is important for your baby’s neurological and emotional development, and helps to regulate their sleep cycles.

Regularly inspect your breasts for signs of infection

If any of these signs are present, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible:

  • Check for any signs of redness or rash on the breasts or around the nipples.
  • Look for any signs of swelling or tenderness in the breasts or around the nipples.
  • Check for any drainage from the breasts or nipples.
  • Inspect the nipples for any cracking, bleeding, or other signs of irritation.
  • Feel for any lumps or hard areas in the breasts.
  • Make sure that the area around the nipples is free from any blocked ducts or infection.
  • Check for any signs of infection such as fever, chills, pain, or a foul odour.

Remember, being kind to your breasts while breastfeeding is important for both you and your baby. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better able to provide the nourishment and comfort your baby needs.

X click to search