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Breast Care During Lactation

By on October 24, 2008

Breast feeding is the best way of providing nourishment for a baby. The milk is easy to digest and has all the nutritients for the growth of the infant. It is full of anti bodies to protect the baby against any infection. Moreover, Breast feeding helps the mother and child to bond with one another. If a woman has no breast abnormalities, no special preparation is needed for breast feeding. The problems which can be faced during breast feeding are:

Cracked nipples:
Frequent use of soap and water can give rise to this problem. This can be remedied by applying milk left in the breast after the feed as it has fat content.

Breast engorgement:
This can occur due to congestion of the blood vessels in the breast. To relieve breast engorgement express milk manually and don’t stop feeding.

Breast abscess:
Breast feels lumpy and tender and the skin gets red. It may be cleared by feeding and massaging the breast above the affected duct.

Diet:
Lactating women should eat a well balanced diet. Eat generous amounts of foods and vegetables, whole grains, calcium rich dairy products and protein rich foods. Drink lots of fluids. Your diet has a direct effect on the quantity of the milk your body will produce. Breast feeding does not affect the size or shape of your breast. You will come back to your original shape when you stop feeding the baby but still invest in a properly fitted nursing bra. It will not let your breasts sag. Exercise can also help in toning the underline chest muscles.

Benefits:
a) Breast feeding helps mothers loose the extra weight gained during the pregnancy. It also lessens the risk of developing breast cancer in later life.
b) Breast feeding acts as a contraception as it prevents ovulation but you cannot rely on it completely.