Breastfeeding is the best practice for feeding the baby and mothers need to follow certain hygiene tips to avoid getting the baby sick. Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months post birth is strictly recommended. This exercise is not just beneficial for the baby but also helps the mother get back to her old and usual self. It aids bonding and builds immunity in the baby. However, it is essential for the lactating mother to maintain breast hygiene. Cracked nipples or any infection in the nipples can affect your baby too.
Tips to maintain good breast hygiene during breastfeeding :
Opt for a Cotton bra only – Avoid using material which does not allow the breast to breathe. Cotton feeding bra is the best as it dries quickly, lets the skin breathe and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Wear the right sized bra’s – Bra should be of the right size, neither too tight nor too loose and without any underwire. Nursing bra with front open clothes should be used for easy accessibility.
Keep your nipple clean – Wash nipple with clean water after a feed to remove traces of saliva and apply some breast milk on nipples as moisturizer. Take a daily shower.
Keep your nipple clean post breastfeeding– Washing nipple before every feed is usually unnecessary unless you have used any product not suitable for baby’s consumption. Cotton should not be used on nipples as it peels easily and can go in baby’s mouth.
Use the right medium for breast hygiene – Do not use any soap, alcohol or lotion on nipples. Do not use any perfume, deodorant or powder on nipples. Hand washing with soap and water before a feed and after changing the baby should be done.
Keep your clothes clean – Change your clothes daily or more frequently as milk stained clothes smell awful.
Use nursing pads – To keep the clothes free from milk stains, nursing pads should be used. Nursing pads should be changed frequently as wet pad can cause growth of germs and infection of breast
With some precautions and adequate motivation, breastfeeding can be a life changing experience for the mother and precious gift for the baby which builds bonds in families.