After giving birth, you may encounter many problems with your breasts. You should take the right care and take the necessary care for your breasts that are tired with the effect of breastfeeding.
So how can you perform postpartum breast care? In this article, we have explained all of them item by item, now your breasts will be more comfortable!
1. Minimize the feeling of fullness!
You can experience the feeling of fullness right after birth, when milk secretion intensifies in your breasts. With this fullness, your nipples can stretch, making it difficult for your baby to grasp. This causes irritation of the nipples.
To avoid this, you can follow this method:
- Before you start breastfeeding, run some milk from your breast with your hand.
- While supporting this breast with one hand, massage gently towards the nipples with the other hand.
- Then place your thumb under the areola and your index finger over the areola. When you squeeze the nipple between your fingers, the milk will start to flow. As the milk comes out, you will see the nipple soften. During this time, the baby can begin to suckle comfortably.
- Warm showers and expressing milk can also reduce the feeling of fullness.
Let’s also tell you how to care for nipples after breastfeeding . At the end of each feeding, apply the breast milk to the nipple as well. You can also use lanolin-containing nipple cream for your nipples.
2. Find the most suitable breastfeeding position!
You may not know it, but many of your breastfeeding problems are caused by feeding your baby in the wrong position!
There are 4 preferred positions for breastfeeding:
- hug position,
- reverse hugging position,
- armpit position,
- Lying breastfeeding position.
3. Prevent nipple cracks!
Nipple cracks are mostly caused by breastfeeding in the wrong position and your baby’s inability to grasp your breast properly. Because of these two reasons, your nipples become irritated and sore. To avoid this painful and sometimes obstructive condition, you can follow these methods:
- Make sure your baby takes the areola into his mouth, not just the nipples, at each feed.
- Let your baby be level with you. If not, he will tug at the nipple to reach it. You can use a nursing pillow to achieve this .
- To prevent cracking, bring a little milk after each feed, spread it on the nipples and allow it to air dry. This is also called the “dry wound healing method”.
- If you could not prevent the formation of cracks, you can benefit from healing ointments.
4. Do not overdo the breast cleaning!
You don’t need to wash your breasts for minutes after each feeding, and you don’t need to use soap and chemical cleansers. Around the areola of the breast are innate fats that act as ointments. This already provides chest cleansing. All you have to do afterward is gently wipe your nipples with warm water and a soft cloth.
In the daily cleaning, you only need to gently wash your chest with water and maybe a little soap. But be careful not to get it wet and let it air dry.
5. Change nozzles to avoid irritation!
Breastfeeding on one breast increases breast irritation. Therefore, it will be helpful for you to breastfeed for 15 minutes on both breasts, especially at first. Thus, you prevent one breast from getting tired and injured.
6. Relieve clogged milk ducts!
Breastfeeding mothers are more likely to get clogged milk ducts. This problem usually occurs when the breasts are not fully emptied and it is not possible to breastfeed the baby. There are two suggestions we have to give you to prevent this. One will be that you breastfeed your baby frequently, and the other will be that you express and express the excess milk.
With the blockage of the milk ducts, hard and tender lumps begin to form in the breast. The milk returns before it can leave your nipples and causes you discomfort. There is also a risk of infection ( mastitis ) in its advanced stages .
To open these channels, you can try:
- You can massage with gentle, circular motions to open up the bumps. In fact, we recommend that you always do this massage on your breasts, it prevents a possible congestion situation.
- You can try making a warm or cold compress. Compressing both opens the milk channels and accelerates the flow of milk.
- You can breastfeed often. Frequent breastfeeding, whether or not there is a congestion in the chest, prevents accumulation in the ducts.
- Milking with the help of a pump always makes the job easier.
7. Prevent your baby from sleeping on your breast!
Your baby will most likely love sleeping at the breast. While this may be comforting for him, it can cause you distress. Because after a while, the baby will want to sleep in this position all the time and will chew the nipple frequently while sleeping. Can you imagine the pain you will experience?
To avoid this, Breastfeeding and Birth Coach Ayşe Öner recommends that when baby falls asleep, you insert your little finger in the corner of your mouth and let go of your breast. Don’t pull yourself away, let the baby let go of the breast himself!
8. Breastfeed whenever your baby wants it!
You don’t need to set a time between breastfeeding! Try to breastfeed whenever your baby wants. Thus, your breasts are emptied as needed, and the risk of duct obstruction, swelling, pain and infection is reduced. It also increases milk production.
9. Choose the right bra!
Bras with the wrong size and specifications affect milk production and cause damage to your breasts. Bras that are too tight constrict the ducts, while bras that are too loose do not adequately support your breasts. That’s why you should choose cotton and comfortable bras in the most suitable size for you.
10. Use a chest pad!
It is very natural for a woman who has just given birth to occasionally leak milk from her breast. Breast pads absorb this milk and keep the nipples moist. Thus, it eliminates bacterial problems caused by humidity and provides hygiene.
Finally , let’s tell you how to clean the nipple. You should always keep your nipples clean and dry. You should change the breast pad frequently and when wet. It is better to stay away from breast pads with a plastic back. For nipple cleaning, it will be sufficient to wipe your breast with a dry pad after breastfeeding, wash it once a day with clear water, and foam it in the bath 1-2 times a week.