Breastfeeding is not always a pleasure, causing cracks, pains and dry skin during that time. To calmly live this delicate period and take care of her chest, Dr. Laure Abensur, a general practitioner and ex-midwife, was asked four questions.
Should we prepare breasts for breastfeeding?
The preparation for breastfeeding is already done naturally in the future mother! Thus, during pregnancy, the breasts increase in volume, the milk ducts and the vascular network develop, the nipples harden. And after the birth, the levels of progesterone and estrogen (the hormones that inhibited secretion lactate) decrease, allowing the mammary glands to produce milk immediately.
Moreover, if we inflict unpleasant treatments, breastfeeding is likely to go wrong. So, we’d better let the nature do. We also recommend the future mothers to choose the comfortable bra in order to make it east for breastfeeding.
Is the breastfeeding bra indispensable?
It has been said that during pregnancy, breasts increase in volume. For some women, it can even cause breast pain : the skin is more tense, the load to bear is greater. Also, it is really important to invest in a suitable bra, with wide straps (to limit back pain and irritation on the shoulders) and possibly reinforcements (it all depends on the comfort of each).
But after giving birth, the breast will get bigger. A breastfeeding bra (practical, because it gets loose) may be necessary to properly maintain the breasts, which are subject to constant tension. Each woman is really depending on the discomfort feeling. Some will even wear their bra during the night – in which case we would rather recommend a bra without frames.
We remind that a good maintenance is essential to preserve elastic tissues and to keep a firm breast after the pregnancy and the breastfeeding.
What do you think about cracks, anti-stretch mark creams?
The expert said she is extremely reserved about these products, which mainly follow a marketing logic. First, anti-stretch mark creams for breasts are totally prohibited during breastfeeding: they contain chemicals that can be harmful to the baby’s health.
She also advises against the cracks cream: besides being useless in prevention, it makes the breast very fat and it can drag the mouth of the baby, which can lead to a bad nursing position. In addition, the child may also be bothered by the smell of the product.
What other tips do you recommend to protect her breasts during breastfeeding?
Beware of nursing pads, these small “pockets” of fabric that are placed inside the bra to prevent milk leaking. When left in place for too long, the breast bathes in a moist environment that is prone to infection. And when the pad dries, it may “stick” to the nipple, which is unpleasant during withdrawal. The future mother should prefer the collection cups-milk silicone.