Pregnancy changes a woman's entire body, including her breasts. Many women expect their bodies to bounce back after giving birth, but this takes time. After giving birth, it's important for breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding moms to give their breasts some extra care. Read on to understand common breast changes and the best breast care tips to care for breasts after pregnancy.
Post-Pregnancy Breast Care Tips
Common Breast Changes Before and After Pregnancy
Breasts growing larger and feeling fuller or more tender are some of the first signs of pregnancy. During the first trimester, breast veins become more visible. Nipples often become larger, darker, and more sensitive. During the second trimester, milk ducts develop and breasts start making colostrum, which can leak from the nipples. Women often need new bras at this stage to accommodate their growing breasts. They may also notice stretch marks. Breast growth and nipple changes continue in the third trimester. Breasts may feel dry or itchy in the final stages of pregnancy.
Breasts remain large and full as they continue making milk after pregnancy. They may become engorged if they make too much milk or become overly full. Mastitis, an inflammation caused by infection, may also occur if milk ducts become blocked or infections enter the breasts through breaks in the skin. While some women's breasts return to their pre-pregnancy size once they stop lactating, others remain larger or become less elastic. The nipples may also permanently change their size, shape, or color.
Breastfeeding or Pumping Regularly Reduces Tenderness
Mothers who want to breastfeed or bottle-feed their babies expressed milk should feed or pump regularly to relieve full, tender breasts. Many moms keep a breast pump at work or in their cars for relief when they're out and about. Emptying each breast thoroughly before switching to the next prevents milk duct blockages that can lead to mastitis. If the baby doesn't finish the breasts, moms can express the remaining milk to relieve fullness and prevent blockages.
Compresses Improve Flow and Reduce Pain and Swelling
Hot and cold compresses can help moms get the most from their breasts while they're lactating. Applying a warm, wet compress to the breasts 10 minutes before a feed can aid milk flow. Between feeds, moms can switch to a cool compress to relieve swelling and breast pain. Small bags of crushed ice or frozen vegetables wrapped in dish towels make great cool compresses. Moms should notice their breasts feel better if they apply the cool compress for 15 minutes each hour between feeds.
CaboCreme Can Treat a Range of Breast Issues
CaboCreme's breast care creams can ease many postpartum breast issues, including engorgement, mastitis, and overproduction of milk. CaboCreme makes its standard and extra-strength creams from 100% all-natural active ingredients derived from cabbage leaf extract, so they're safe for moms and their babies. Dr. Jill Farmar, a board-certified OB-GYN, developed these fast-working formulations.
Finding time for self-care can be challenging after giving birth, but it's important for moms to make themselves and their breasts a priority. Some simple breast care strategies can minimize discomfort and help moms feel their best in the period after pregnancy.