For the most part, your breasts will take care of themselves. Just rinse them with warm water every day and let them air-dry. Avoid soaps and perfumed cleaners as they may crack your nipples. The best way to prevent problems with your breasts is to stick to regular feedings that keep your milk flowing.
If your nipples are sore, your baby may not be latching on correctly. When feeding, your baby should grasp onto the areola with a wide-open mouth. You should feel a tug on your nipple but no pinching or pain.
If breastfeeding hurts, try these suggestions:
- Try different nursing positions. Switching positions may help decrease nipple soreness.
- Break the suction when you finish feeding. Gently put your finger into the corner of your baby’s mouth when you want to remove her from your breast.
- Don’t allow your baby to chew on your nipple. Also, don’t allow your baby to sleep holding your nipple in her mouth.
- For cracked, scabbed, or bleeding nipples, contact a lactation consultant to help evaluate the reason for the problem.
- If your breasts become overly full, express some milk before breastfeeding. This will soften the breast so that the baby can latch on more easily.
- Keep your nipples clean and dry. Use warm water only, and do not use soap on your nipples.
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