- Use only water to wash your nipples and areolas. No soap of any kind as they can remove the natural oils in the area and lead to dry and cracked nipples.
Invest in the right bra
- Since your breasts continue to increase in size starting from the first trimester, you may have to change your bra size a few times. Always remember to wear the right sized bra to avoid suffocation and discomfort. Avoid tight bras and bras with underwire. Instead, opt for softly padded cotton bras. Underwired bras tend to hamper milk production by blocking the milk ducts. You can also look for bras that offer you the right back support, which is essential for your growing breasts.
Don’t try to toughen your nipples
- Do not rub your nipples with loofahs or towels to make them more resistant. Besides not being helpful at all, the continuous friction can cause small cuts that increase the risk for infections. There’s more: the stimulation of the nipples releases oxytocin, a hormone that can trigger premature births for at-risk pregnancies.
Take a breastfeeding class
- Talk to your trusted doctor and ask your friends who have been down this road about breastfeeding classes. The more informed you are, the more confident you’ll feel. And if you have any concerns about the shape of your nipples or your capability to breastfeed, seek advice from a lactation consultant during pregnancy.
Stay positive, have confidence in you and your doctor and everything will go smoothly!