3 Self Care Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers

July 12, 2022

breast careFor those who are able to do so, the choice to breastfeed is an excellent one for both mom and baby, providing important nutritional benefits, emotional bonding, and more. However, while we often hear the praises of the many benefits of breastfeeding, we less frequently hear about the self-care that should accompany it. After all, caring for a baby can take both a physical and mental toll, and feeding your baby is a major part of that. With that in mind, here are three tips to help moms take care of themselves while also caring for their babies.

Nutrition is Key for Successful Breastfeeding

You may have found dietary restriction in pregnancy to be overwhelming only to be told that you should be equally concerned with your diet while breastfeeding. While it is true that you should be mindful of what you eat, the key is to ensure that you are getting all the appropriate nutrients to pass along to your baby. To ensure that you and your child are both getting what you need for successful breastfeeding, your nutritional areas of focus should include:

  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • Drinking plenty of water and remaining hydrated
  • Continuing to take a daily prenatal vitamin
  • Consuming about an additional 500 calories each day

Breast Care for Breastfeeding Moms

Breastfeeding is perfectly safe for your body. However, you may experience some discomforts such as painful, cracked nipples or clogged milk ducts. To help keep your breasts comfortable and healthy, there are a few steps you should take.

  • Keep breasts dry and clean, as moisture can lead to skin irritation and create an environment for bacteria or yeast to thrive.
  • Change your nursing bra each day and replace breast pads often.
  • If you experience nipple soreness, try a lanolin ointment. You may also coat your nipples with expressed breast milk which has antibacterial properties.
  • If you experience painful breast issues or signs of mastitis such as warmth, redness, and fever, contact your doctor immediately.

Emotional Support and Breastfeeding Success

Hormonal and major life changes that accompany pregnancy and birth lead to postpartum depression (PPD) in about 1 out of every 8 new mothers. Fortunately, moms who breastfeed have been shown to be less likely to suffer from PPD. Still, this isn’t a guarantee that such emotional and mental health complications will be avoided. Even if you are feeling great, it is still important to consider your emotional wellbeing and take steps to protect it. Surround yourself with supportive and trusted people and consider joining groups for other new and breastfeeding moms. Take note of your moods and any changes that may need to be addressed with your doctor. It is far better to address your concerns sooner rather than later.

If you are a new or expectant mother, Lane has all of the medical professionals you need to keep you and your child safe and healthy. From obstetricians to labor and delivery to pediatricians, our team has you covered every step of the way.

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