Breast and Nipple Care During Breastfeeding
This page is our breast care guide including tips about cleaning and preparing your breasts and nipples for breastfeeding. This page will also give information about how you can avoid cracked and painful nipples during breastfeeding.
Breast Care Information
- You can care for your breasts after breastfeeding by rinsing with clean water, to wash away any saliva, then you can apply some of your own breast milk or nipple cream and allow to air dry.
- Avoid wearing clothing that prevent your breasts from breathing. Cotton bras are the best while breastfeeding, because they air dry quickly, this prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Change your nursing pads often. Wet pads are the breeding place for germs that can cause yeast infections and mastitis.
- Breast care and hygiene: Do not use soaps, alcohol or lotions on your nipple area, as this could cause them to dry out and crack. Also, keep other products like perfume, deodorants or powders away from your nipple area.
- What about nipple care? It is unnecessary to wash your nipples before every feeding, unless you have used special ointments, that are not recommended for a baby's consumption.
- Wear loose fitted bras, and avoid wearing bras with under wiring, as this can cause blocked ducts and mastitis.
- How to prepare for breastfeeding during pregnancy
How Nipple Pain Can Be Avoided
- Latching on efficiently will prevent sore nipples. The baby should have the whole nipple, plus a large amount of the mother's areola far back in his/her mouth.
- Find a breastfeeding position that it comfy for you and your baby. Your baby’s body should be facing yours whilst breastfeeding, this makes it easier for your baby to breastfeed, therefore reducing nipple pain.
- Do not pull your baby off of the breast while he/she is breastfeeding, use your finger to break the suction in the corner of the mouth to stop breastfeeding.
- Learn about how to handle a baby biting while breastfeeding.
- Breastfeed your baby before he/she becomes cranky and demanding. If your baby is over hungry, he/she might suck a bit harder than usual, resulting in nipple pain.
Best Breast Care Health
- Breastfeeding preparation: do not use products that you need to wash off, before your baby may breastfeed.
- Preferably use natural breast care products, like olive oil or your own breast milk.
- Lanolin cream is great for treating sore nipples. Lanolin does not need to be washed off before feedings.
When you Need to Get Help
- If you cannot get rid of engorgement or a blocked duct.
- If you have a fever or any other flu symptoms.