Pregnancy is the time when another life entirely depends on you and your body experiences many changes. Your breasts will also experience physical changes during and after the pregnancy.
Your breasts undergo many changes as early as one or two weeks after conception. For many women, having breast pain is the first sign they’ve gotten pregnant. During pregnancy, you should take care of your breast to protect yourself and your baby from infections. If you feel pain and discomfort, it is best to consult your doctor.
Motherhood comes with a lot of responsibilities. One of the responsibilities of a mother is to ensure that her baby is well fed. As a newborn child, the baby heavily depends on the mother’s breast milk. While you are breastfeeding, you must take care of your breasts. Let’s discuss some tips for proper breast care during and after pregnancy:
1. Use a comfortable bra
A nursing/maternity bra is made of soft cotton and it’s made keeping in mind the needs for a mother. Since your breasts continue to increase in size, you should not wear an underwire bra. You must wear a comfortable bra and change your bra regularly to avoid discomfort. Whether you are wearing maternity or a regular bra, make sure that it fits you right.
2. Breast Massage
Your nipples may get dry and hurt during pregnancy. Massaging your breasts will help with stretch marks and dry nipples too. Gently massage the nipples before shower; you can do this by using coconut oil or olive oil. Don’t put pressure on them; use just the tip of your finger to massage your breasts. Massaging the breasts will also help in blood flow/circulation during pregnancy.
3. Be hygienic
Hygiene is a must for every new mom and her baby. You have to be extra careful about the hygiene of your breasts when you are lactating. Clean them regularly with lukewarm water, not just in the bath, but at regular intervals. Please do not use any soap on the nipple during a shower; it tends to dry out the nipples and may lead to discomfort. You can also use breast pads to absorb the excess milk and keep dry.
4. Proper moisturisation
If your nipples feel too dry after a shower, you can apply some moisturising cream on the nipples. It will help if you moisturised your nipples when you are breastfeeding. As soon as you feed the baby, massage your nipples and areola with your breast milk. It moisturises the nipple and protects against illness and infection.
5. Breast examination and consultation
Feeling soreness in the breasts is normal when you are breastfeeding. Since you will be lactating, you might feel some lumps which should go away with massage, feeding or pumping. If the lumps do not dissolve within a week or you notice any irregular changes, be sure to consult a doctor.
6. Stay active
Follow an active routine and have a healthy diet. Exercising while breastfeeding does not affect milk supply or baby’s growth. Once you’ve recovered from the birth and you feel ready, talk to your doctor. You should consult with your health care provider before starting any new exercise routine. You can start with low-impact exercises like arm stretches and walking, which may help reduce soreness and provide strength to the breast and back muscles.
7. Feed correctly
You don’t need to eat exceptional food during breastfeeding, but it needs to be nutritionally balanced. Feed the baby properly and when the baby is full, put the finger on the baby’s lips and break the suction between the baby’s mouth and your breasts. You can also use breastfeeding pillows that ensure correct positioning and attachment of the baby to the chest.
Pregnancy may become a difficult time for many expecting moms. Every pregnancy and breastfeeding experience is different, but every mom faces some common issues. Your breasts might swell and become sensitive during pregnancy as they start to lactate and prepare you for the breastfeeding phase. With just a few precautions and the above health care tips, you can take care of your baby and your breasts.
This blog is written under the guidance of expert Dr. BhavishaGhugare. We hope this will provide you with some for proper breast care during and after pregnancy. She is an experienced breast surgeon with expertise in a rapid one-stop assessment for various breast conditions with a strong commitment towards the patients.