Breastfeeding your baby is extremely important upto six months. Breast milk contains several essential nutrients that are beneficial for the growth and development of infants. Breastfeeding is skin-to-skin process and thus it is crucial that your baby is not nursed in unhygienic situations. Moreover, breast hygiene is good for the breastfeeding mother herself and their are certain things that women should keep in mind to maintain it.
World Breastfeeding Week is marked from August 1 to 7, to encourage breastfeeding practice among mothers and educating everyone about the benefits of breast milk for infants. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Ila Jalot, Consultant Gynecologist, Manipal Hospital, Gurugram, to know about the important tips to maintain breast hygiene for breastfeeding women.
Breast Hygeine Tips
Keeping yourself and your surroundings clean should be a priority to maintain breast hygiene. Although, breastfeeding requires less work as compared to bottle-feeding when we talk about hygiene as there is no need to wash and sterilize bottles, etc. Still, good personal hygiene is very important for every feeding method. According to Dr. Jalot, here are 5 important breast hygiene tips that every breastfeeding woman should follow:
1. Wash and sanitize frequently
Frequent handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent infections and breast related issues. Make sure to wash your hands before and after breastfeeding your baby. This is important for both you and your baby's good health. Do not apply sanitizer on your nipples.
2. Avoid scented products
Avoiding scented sprays and other products is also a part of maintaining breast hygiene. You might use creams to moisturize sore and sensitive nipples, but make sure that it is not scented. Scented products can cause more damage to your skin and harm to the baby.
3. Take a bath everyday
Personal hygiene plays a vital role when it comes it breast hygiene tips for breastfeeding women. Taking a bath everyday will keep your nipples clean, hence healthy and safe for your baby. It is not necessary to apply soap on your nipples before and after breastfeeding each time. Taking a regular bath daily is enough to maintain breast hygiene.
4. Change nursing clothes daily
Nursing pads, bras and clothes should be changed everyday to breastfeed your baby in hygienic conditions. If you notice that you have leaked through your clothes or feeling sweaty, it is best to change them immediately. In addition, prefer wearing cotton clothes or pads as there is lesser chance of bacterial growth in this fabric.
5. Treat sore nipples
After breastfeeding your baby, if you want to treat and prevent sore nipples, apply a safe doctor prescribed nipple cream. Using some of your breast milk on your nipples and areola can also help in keeping them air dry. If you have sore nipples, it is best to consult a doctor or a lactation consultant about using pure lanolin or breast pads to soothe and relax your breasts. Avoid using any sprays or lotions on your nipples without talking to your doctor.