1) Wash your Breasts: Wash breasts with warm water. Avoid soap and other products as much as possible as they may dry out your nipples.
2) Air Dry your Breasts: Expose your nipples to air to toughen them. Also change your nursing pads when they are wet to avoid bacteria.
3) Ensure Proper Latch: Latching should not cause pain during breastfeeding or afterwards. If you are concerned that your baby is not latching properly, seek help from a lactation consultant immediately. Latching issues can be resolved and should not cause you to stop breastfeeding.
4) Drain Your Breasts: If you are producing more milk than your baby takes at any one time, pump to drain your breasts. This prevents clogged milk ducts and encourages milk supply.
5) Wear Supportive Nursing Bras: Supporting your breasts with a properly fitting nursing bra is essential to your breast health. Breasts should sit upright on your chest and not be restricted or unsupported by underwire, elastic or straps that are too tight or too loose. Use Leading Lady’s Find Your Fit bra calculator to achieve your ideal fit.
7) Maintain a Healthy Diet: Much like pregnancy, your baby is getting a dose of everything you consume. Continue to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, avoid or limit alcohol consumption and speak to your doctor and pediatrician about any medications you are taking. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and water-based fruits and veggies.
8) Schedule Regular Checkups: You can and should have regular breast exams during breastfeeding. While breastfeeding does lower your risk of breast cancer, you should continue precautionary detection measures.