Breast Care for Lactating Mothers
It is necessary to give supplements of vitamins or minerals to lactating mothers. In case the mother is healthy and the baby is not premature, there is no need to give vitamin supplements to the mother or to the baby at least three months after the delivery as breast milk supplies these in sufficient amounts to the baby.
If the mother has any vitamin or mineral deficiencies or she is malnourished she may be required to take them. The mother may have a deficiency of vitamin B-12 if she is vegetarian. For a supply of vitamin D, it is advisable for the mother to be in the sun for some time each day. In case the mother is deficient in vitamin B-1, the baby can suffer serious symptoms. This problem is very rare but proper medical attention is very necessary.
By improving the diet, vitamin deficiencies can be rectified. Mothers who are deficient in calcium should increase the intake of foods rich in calcium, like cabbage, lentils (duals), milk, cheese and other milk products.
Care should be taken for breast during lactation in the following ways:
- Keep your breasts and nipples clean and dry as this will prevent them from becoming sore and infected.
- Do not use soap to clean the nipples and areola since this may make them sore and cracked.
- Do not soap the nipples in water or let them remain moist as this will lead to cracking and infection of the nipples. Just wash the breasts and nipples with water during your daily bath.
- The breasts may be cleaned with water to remove the traces of milk that might be sticking to them after a feed.
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