The body makes many adjustments during pregnancy to accommodate the baby. The breasts especially endure dramatic changes, many of which bring immense pain and discomfort. While some things are out of your control, there are numerous ways you can care for your breasts during pregnancy to reduce the pain and discomfort.
Invest in the right bra
Women often wonder if it’s worth buying maternity bras, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. Unsurprisingly, one of the most common regrets of new moms is not investing in the right bra soon enough. Having the right maternity bra is a must not only for comfort, but for the protection they provide for your breasts.
Your breasts undergo many changes during pregnancy. They become fuller and heavier, placing strain on your ligaments. This leads to the stretching of your ligaments and (potentially) sagging breasts. In addition to that, hormonal changes can leave the breasts extremely tender and sore. With all that going on, maternity bras that provide the right support and protection are essential.
Clean colostrum from your breast with warm water
During pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, your nipples may leak colostrum, a yellow milk substance. It is important to change the bra and wash your nipples regularly to avoid cracks and infections.
When cleaning your breasts, avoid using soap. Soap tends to dry out the nipple area which can lead to cracks. Simply use a clean cloth dipped in warm water for the best results.
Put some moisturizer or olive oil on your fingertips and rub them on your breasts in a circular motion. Gently pull the nipples outwards and repeat for about five minutes. This can help you connect with your changing body during pregnancy and stimulate the hormones you need for birth.
Researchers suggest there are various benefits of a good breast massage during pregnancy, including:
Preventing stretch marks
Helps with cracked nipples and blocked ducts
Boosts milk production
Relieves pain and reduces uncomfortable sensations
Make sure not to put excessive pressure on your breasts or excessively massage your nipples. Use only your fingertips and stop massaging if you experience any pain.
Decide on the best cream, oil or milk for you and use it to keep your skin hydrated and supple. Make sure to choose something nourishing because a good moisturizer can minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Moisturizing your breasts every morning and evening can help you de-stress and help with cracked nipples and blocked ducts.
Argan oil and sweet almond oils are praised for their moisturizing virtues. Sweet almond oil is also a well known treatment for the perineal area.
Small but regular physical activity
Physical activity should be reduced during pregnancy, but not stopped completely. Activities such as taking long walks or doing prenatal yoga can be beneficial in many ways. Gentle stretching, such as doing arm stretches, can provide strength to the breast muscles, reduce breast pain, and tone the upper body.
It is vital to stay active and maintain a healthy diet while pregnant, as long as you don’t overdo it. Make sure to check with your doctor before taking up a new exercise routine.
Check your breasts and nipples regularly
Check your breasts and nipples daily for any changes. If you notice irregular changes, do not hesitate to contact your doctor.
How to care for your Breasts during Pregnancy and Beyond. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.nursingangel.com.au/pages/how-to-care-for-your-breasts-during-pregnancy-and-beyond
Griffin, A. (2021). How to take care of your breasts before, during and after pregnancy. Retrieved from https://www.leslouves.com/en/how-to-take-care-of-your-breasts-before-during-and-after-pregnancy/
Tips for Breast and Nipple Care During Pregnancy. (2021). Retrieved from https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/breast-and-nipple-care-during-pregnancy/
Malachi, R. (2021). 5 Effective Tips For Proper Breast Care During Pregnancy. Retrieved from https://www.momjunction.com/articles/effective-tips-proper-breast-care-pregnancy_0084585/
Using Almond Oil in Pregnancy: Health Benefits & Precautions. (2021). Retrieved from https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/using-almond-oil-during-pregnancy-is-it-safe/