The female breast is an “object” that always requires special, and during pregnancy and lactation – even increased attention. How to properly care for the mammary glands when you are still expecting a baby and after being born?
When is any additional breast care needed? How to avoid unwanted problems and diseases? Do you need special care when you are no longer breastfeeding? Find answers to many vital questions in this article, which aims to help you get the most holistic view of the importance of breast care.
1. General breast care
Throughout pregnancy, the mammary glands of the expectant mother are preparing for their postpartum function – feeding. From the first days, you can feel the changes that occur with the breast. Initially – swelling, tension, and darkening of the nipples; then – a sharp or gradual increase in the breast itself. Now you are the very embodiment of femininity and the triumph of the perfection of nature. Think about it and feel genuine happiness! knowing how important it is to feed your baby with your milk for as long as possible and take care of your health and comfort, pay attention to your breasts. So, it’s time for you to:
A) Choose a comfortable bra that supports but does not constrain the chest.
• It should be spacious enough to match the size of the breast (usually one breast is larger than the other) and slightly raised.
• Shoulder straps should be wide enough not to cut into the skin. The same applies to the lower part of the bra under the bust.
• Properly selected bra guarantees that the breasts will not sag later and retain their shape.
b) Take a shower once a day.
• When washing the breast, it should be appropriately lathered, washed, and dried with a hand towel.
C ) After washing and rubbing, you can rub the nipples with your palms.
D) Towards the end of pregnancy: nipples can be strengthened with a soft brush.
• After rubbing the nipples with your palms, massage the breasts with a brush, very gently and without discomfort. Try to do everything for fun!
THIS is useful to everyone and always!
• Give your breasts the joy of taking an air bath: open your chest for 5-10 minutes several times a day at room temperature. Don’t forget this advice while breastfeeding your baby.
2. Extra care
IF CLUSTER IS EXTRACTED
(probably from the end of the 3rd month, but not in all women. For example, I saw the first drops of colostrum immediately after the birth of the baby):
• Pinch the nipple between two fingers.
• Gently squeeze the areola (the area around the nipple).
• Try to squeeze out the colostrum. If suddenly the colostrum remaining on the nipple and a thin crust irritate the skin (this is extremely rare, on the contrary, now most doctors, obstetricians, and gynecologists consider and openly say that colostrum protects the nipple from infections and cracks; this entirely applies to the lactation period), wash the breast and remove the crust. Now rub the nipple with a soft towel.
• If the colostrum is leaking quite badly and bothering you, just use special pads.
HOW TO AVOID STRETCHES?
I think this is an age-old question. For many women, he is in the first place. It is difficult to object to this because beauty and aesthetics have forever subjugated us. But still, let me say: “Women, dear, dear, don’t bother with these mother-of-pearl stripes! Don’t make life difficult for yourself. I did not believe that traces of stretch marks disappear after childbirth but in vain! During my pregnancy, my breasts didn’t enlarge at all. But when the milk came, it was divided into three sizes in a couple of days. Yes, there are stretch marks. I was annoyed at first. And now my baby doll is a year and a half old, and they are almost invisible. Only the skin in these places is thinner. Sheer rubbish. In this regard, no worries!
Still, try not to see stretch marks on yourself at all:
1. Follow the tips above for comfortable underwear and breast care.
2. Use a special cream for stretch marks.
3. Eat right to maintain skin elasticity. This is especially important closer to childbirth (more fresh vegetables, fruits, juices.)
4. Perform simple exercises:
A) Raise your elbows to shoulder height, press your palms against each other and squeeze them with all your might. Hold tight and loosen.
b) Raise your arms above your head. Pull them out with tension and slowly lower them to the sides – 5 times.
C ) Stretch your arms to the sides and make rotational movements – 10 times forward, ten times back.
These are the highlights of the “pregnant” care of your breasts! Before highlighting the features of care during the feeding period, I allow myself one more remark:
“For God’s sake, always, if possible, consult about all procedures with the doctor who is observing you.
After all, every pregnancy is so individual that sometimes even the most “innocent” actions can be forbidden by a doctor because he is responsible for
1. It is recommended to wash the breasts before each feeding, especially carefully the nipples and areolas, with warm boiled water or chamomile extract, then wipe with a soft towel
.After feeding – lubricate the nipple with colostrum.
3. Let’s get out of trouble.
TO AVOID MILK STEPS
(especially important in the first time after childbirth!)
Often, a nursing mother develops milk stagnation. This is fraught with inflammation and pain in the chest. To avoid this, you need to:
1. Gently massage your breasts with your hands after each feeding. Check for lumps and painful areas. The most “insidious” axillary regions.
2. Express the rest of the milk with a breast pump.
3. Finish the process with manual pumping.
IT IS IMPORTANT!
• It is impossible to express all the milk to the drop. It always arrives. The main thing is that you feel relief, do not feel discomfort. The chest should be soft.
• If you are in a hospital room with your baby, but the baby to your chest more often. So the risk of stagnation will almost nullify, and the process of breastfeeding will improve faster.
IF THERE IS STAGGER…
1. Try to spread your chest with your hands. If it doesn’t work out, ask for help from a relative or a doctor friend living above you, for example (it happened to me – lucky! A midwife lives above).
2. Make a warm compress. A compress of cabbage leaves helped me OK.
3. If the pain does not go away for more than a day, the temperature rises to 39C, consult a doctor immediately. Avoid the risk of mastitis.
CRACKS – NO!
In some women, in the first days of breastfeeding, the surface of the nipples is so tender that minor abrasions and cracks quickly form on it during feeding. Often, unhardened and irregularly shaped nipples crack when a child sucks too long or too rigid. It May occur from hypothermia, so dress warmer in winter.
1. “Hardening” of the nipples during pregnancy – all the same washing and rubbing.
2. Compliance with hygiene rules before and after feeding.
3. After each feeding, it is beneficial to hold the breast naked for 15-20 minutes and allow the nipples to dry. An air bath (Yes, yes, all of them, darling!) It is an excellent form of prevention.
• After an air bath, lubricate the nipples with ointment or oils explicitly designed for healing nipple cracks or treat the skin of the nipple and areola with a 2% solution of boric acid.
• Make sure that the milk in the breast does not stagnate, and at the same time, avoid frequent attachment to the sore breast.
• Various vegetable oils (olive, peach, rosehip, sea buckthorn) and animal oils (natural butter, melted goose fat) can be applied topically to the nipple area.
• Pharmaceutical products: liquid solution of vitamin A, Calendula ointment, naphthalene ointment.
A doctor always carries out treatment of cracks!!!
4. When you have finished breastfeeding.
In conclusion, I propose to follow the words of the doctor – mammologist Aleksey Yurievich Shurygin (Moscow Mammological Dispensary):
“Any special care is unnecessary. A shower with soap is the main procedure. The only thing (but not least), be careful during intimate relationships. The nipple is porous and very susceptible to infections. Your partner must be sure to monitor oral hygiene so that saliva does not cause, sorry for the frank details, inflammation.
But a minor lactation can continue for a year and a half after childbirth, or even longer—just a few drops of milk. Therefore, be highly attentive to yourself. A slight suspicion of compaction soreness – immediately contacts the doctor. Just don’t pull with anything and never. For you, this may seem like a trifle, but for a specialist, it is a unique chance to prevent more severe disease in time. And also: think about good things more often, and smile. After all, a sense of satisfaction with life, joy, and happiness is the eternal guarantee of women’s health!