Breast care after pregnancy is something we all look forward to. For most women, the first postpartum period is the period to regain their bust line. There are various ways through which you can handle this phase in your life. It is not easy for the first few weeks after giving birth, as you have to be extra cautious with your body.
Wear a supportive bra
To make sure you get the right support, choose a bra that fits well and provides support in all the right places. You need to look for a bra that offers good coverage, especially under your arms and around your back. It should have wide straps that distribute the weight of your breasts evenly so they don’t dig into your shoulders. There should be no skin bulging over the sides of cups either.
If you are breastfeeding, choose a supportive nursing bra that allows easy access for feeding your baby. A sports bra will also help prevent sagging and keep you comfortable during exercise. Sports bras come in lots of different sizes, styles, and designs. Wearing one can also reduce any chafing or soreness you feel from exercising after pregnancy.
If you do not wear a supportive bra, then it will be difficult for you to stand up straight or even sit comfortably. This is because, with heavy breasts and no support system to help distribute their weight, you will be forced to slump forward or hunch over to compensate for this weight on your chest.
Protect your breast from bacteria
Breast care is not just about you and your baby. You need to protect your breast from bacteria, too. Bacteria can cause serious problems in your breasts, such as mastitis, thrush, and yeast infections. These can be dangerous to you and your baby.
Here’s how to protect your breast from bacteria
- If you are breastfeeding, do not leave the baby unfinished or drain the milk from one breast before switching to the other. Allowing the milk to stay in the breast helps keep bacteria away from your nipples.
- Protect your breast from bacteria by keeping it clean. Wipe any sweat with a clean towel before feeding your baby. This will help keep the breasts dry.
- Wash your hands before touching the breast or nipple, especially if you have touched a dirty diaper or something else that could cause an infection. You should wash your breast for at least 15 seconds with soap and water, then rinse well.
- Check with your doctor about using antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection of the breast, such as mastitis or abscesses (an area of swollen tissue that is usually filled with pus). If you have an infection in one breast, you may want to stop breastfeeding altogether until the infection is treated.
Maintain your weight
Maintaining your weight after the birth of a child is not as hard as you think it can be. This is because you need lesser calories to maintain your weight than you needed before pregnancy.
Your doctor will tell you how many calories you need after the delivery of your baby. This is based on how much weight you gained during pregnancy and how heavy or light you were before pregnancy. If you have given birth to more than one baby, then the number of calories will be higher. If you are breastfeeding, then you may need up to five hundred extra calories daily.
Moisturize your breasts
It is important to moisturize your breasts after pregnancy. Your breasts are going to be sore and very sensitive post-pregnancy since your body has been through a lot, including childbirth.
Dry, itchy skin and flakiness can happen if you do not moisturize your breasts properly. Staying hydrated is key to having healthy skin and will also help prevent stretch marks from forming on your breasts. Moisturizing will also help with any soreness or itching you may feel around your nipples.
Apply a cold compress
The first thing you need to do after pregnancy is to apply a cold compress. It doesn’t matter if you breastfeed or not; it will help your body heal faster and ease any soreness you may have. You can apply the cold compress right away after giving birth. You don’t want to wait until your milk comes in either, as that could cause some problems.
The best way to apply a cold compress is to place it on your breast after pregnancy. The heat will help soothe the area and make you feel better, but it can also cause some swelling which can make breastfeeding uncomfortable later on if you choose to breastfeed.
You should make sure that the cold compress is applied all over the breast, especially if you had stitches or surgical incisions during childbirth as well. If you only apply a cold compress on one part of the breast, it could cause more damage than good.
Massage your breasts regularly
Breast massage is a must to prevent clogged ducts and mastitis. If you are prone to these, it’s best to start massaging before your child is born. If not, start as soon as possible after pregnancy or whenever you begin breastfeeding.
Make sure there is no lump in your breast that you have detected during the self-breast examination. If there is a lump, do not proceed with breast massage until it is examined by a doctor and cleared for massage.
Massage should be done daily for a maximum of 5 minutes. Regular breast massage can help prevent the formation of lumps which may lead to breast cancer. According to https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/what-are-fibrocystic-breast-changes, it can also help prevent conditions such as cysts, fibrocystic breasts, and mastitis.
Drink plenty of liquids to increase lactation and replenish your body
When you lose a lot of fluid during labor, whether through sweating or from medical intervention, you can become dehydrated. If you don’t drink enough water, milk production will be affected.
Drink at least eight glasses of water each day after delivery, but don’t overdo it. If you’re breastfeeding and drinking too much water, it can dilute the milk and make your baby feel full before he gets enough nutrition. If you’re not breastfeeding, drinking too much water can cause hyponatremia, which is an imbalance in the sodium level in the blood due to overhydration. https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-hyponatremia states that it is rare but can be dangerous if left untreated.
As you can see, there are quite a few steps involved when it comes to taking care of your breasts after pregnancy. It’s also important to remember that not all of these steps are necessary for everyone-these are just the most common procedures and recommendations that doctors follow.