Clothing to wear during pregnancy
The figure and shape of the breasts greatly depend on the clothes you wear during pregnancy and lactation, so make a careful choice of clothes. The bra should be made of cotton and not of synthetic material. It should be well-filling to be able to support the extra weight of the breasts during pregnancy and lactation. At the same time, the bra should not be so tight as to squash or compress the breasts. Pressure on the breasts can produce a collapse of milk production glands besides causing pain and irritation. Th bra should open at the front, either with a clip laces, so that it is easy to fasten and undo. After childbirth, it is necessary to know what to wear. Do not try to expose the breasts to feed your child by pulling the bra up or down. Some women do· not prefer to wear a bra during the period of pregnancy or lactation. It is alright during pregnancy, if the breasts are small and a support is not required. However, during the lactation period, when the breasts are usually heavy, one must use a bra. During the night the bra may be removed. Some absorbent material may be required at night to prevent the sheets from getting soiled due to any leakage of breast milk.
During the day time, several brassieres are required during the lactation period as they are likely to be soiled often by leakage of milk. To avoid this problem, it is wise to keep a cotton cloth or a piece of clean diaper to soak the leakage on the inner side of brassiere. Do not insert tissue or cotton wool, these can stick to the nipples and create problems when removing them. During the summer season avoid nylon or silk brassieres, these may cause rashes and allergic reactions on the delicate skin of the breasts.
WEARING A BRASSIERE IS NECESSARY DURING PREGNANCY
Breasts become very heavy during pregnancy because of the hormones secreted in preparation of feeding the baby. Do not get worried about this change. Support the breasts with the appropriate size of bras capable of allowing the enlargement of breasts as during the period of pregnancy, breasts tend to grow faster. It would be useful to handle the breasts during pregnancy, so that there is no difficulty when handling them at the time of breast-feeding. Take care to prevent your breasts from being compressed during sleep so they do not hurt. Remember, the breasts should be kept clean.
CARING FOR THE NIPPLES
One in every twenty women usually suffers from a disorder of the nipple. Remember that a poor nipple shape which would interfere with feeding is uncommon. There is no need to worry if nipples stick out. In case the nipples appear flat or inverted, then it is advised to press the areola between the thumb and the finger to encourage the nipple to stand out. If the nipple sticks out, the baby will not have any difficulty in suckling.
During the pregnancy period the shape of the nipple may be abnormal, but it improves as the pregnancy advances. This is because of the effect of hormones during pregnancy. Do not apply any ointment or a cream to the nipples. Do not apply soap to the nipples. Clean the nipples by splashing water on them. Do not try to remove any secretions, since these are protective and prevent infection.
OILY DISCHARGE FROM THE NIPPLES
Sometimes, there is an oily discharge from the nipples during pregnancy and after childbirth for a few days and young women get worried on seeing the oozing liquid. Around the areola of the breasts there are small glands (called Montgomery’s Tubercles) which secrete small amounts of a greasy material which kills the germs on the skin in this area. The greasy material is also useful in keeping the nipples supple. Do not wash nipples with soap to clean the greasy material; otherwise there will be a possibility that the nipples might become sore when the baby suckles them. All that needs to be done is to splash the nipples with plain water to keep them clean.
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