We all know that breastfeeding is a beautiful, bonding experience, but it can also be a messy one. As a new mom, life can seem like one big, chaotic, disheveled and sometimes downright dirty adventure. While this is par for the course, there are times when we must be extra careful to keep Baby healthy. Breastfeeding hygiene is one of these instances.
Luckily, this is an easy task. Just follow the tips below to keep you on the right track.
- Keep your nipples clean
It’s important to wash your breasts during your daily shower. Avoid harsh, scented soaps or lotions, -- especially anything containing alcohol. These types of products can leave your nipples dry and cracked.
It’s also a good idea to clean your nipples after every feeding and after exercise. You don’t need to jump back in the shower each time, but a little warm water rinse followed by a patting dry with a clean towel should do the trick. This will assist in removing any traces of saliva or sweat that could assist in the growth of bacteria.
- Change your nursing pads often
Nursing pads are a huge help in soaking up excess milk and leaks, keeping you looking fresh and clean while in public. Make sure that you frequently change out your pads -- if you don’t this will make for a warm and wet breeding ground for both yeast and bacteria.
- Wear proper clothing
Wearing the right sized nursing bra and nursing top will allow for increased air flow, allowing your mammy glands to breathe. Avoid items, especially bras, that are too tight and restricting as they can create an environment conducive to the growth of bacteria.
Nursing bras and nursing tops are a great investment for new moms. They have hidden openings allowing for easy access for both pumping and breastfeeding.
- Change your bra every day
Your washing machine is running constantly with a new little one in the house. While it’s already going, go ahead and throw in your previous day’s bra. Now that you are breastfeeding, your nursing bra will get dirtier quicker than your previous bras. It is recommended that you change out your nursing bra every day.
- Create good hygiene habits
In general, we should all be practicing good hygiene. Get in the habit of washing your hands frequently, most importantly before a feeding to keep bacteria at bay. It’s a great idea to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer around as a backup.
- Clean your breast pump
If you choose to pump, it is of primary importance to keep clean all your breast pump pieces that may encounter your breast milk. These items should be washed in warm water with dish soap and rinsed after each use to keep bacteria and germs away. Please check your pump manufacturer’s user guide to make sure you are following their directions.
Bottom line, NEVER feed with a dirty breast. Practicing good breast hygiene is important for both you and Baby.