Why lactation hygiene is a gold deal for the breastfeeding baby

Eye specialists always say the hand is one of your biggest agents of infections to the eyes. So they say avoid rubbing your eyes with ‘dirty’ hands. Lactation specialists probably say the same to breastfeeding mothers; avoid touching the nipples of your breast with unwashed hands.

Eye specialists always say the hand is one of your biggest agents of infections to the eyes. So they say avoid rubbing your eyes with ‘dirty’ hands. Lactation specialists probably say the same to breastfeeding mothers; avoid touching the nipples of your breast with unwashed hands.

The nipples are a baby’s only feeding ‘plate’ so like you ensure the hygiene of the your hands or cutlery at the dining table, it is advisable that a breastfeeding mother is abreast with hygiene.

Colette Kananga, a registered mid-wife at King Faisal Hospital, Rwanda, says when breastfeeding mothers do not wash their breasts and nipples properly, they expose their babies to various diseases and infections. 

“A dirty breast harbours germs and when an infant suckles from it, it leaves them susceptible to various infections,” she says. 

Some of the common infections that can result from a child suckling dirty breasts include diarrhea.

Dr David Nsiime, a general practitioner, says a breastfeeding mother should wash their breasts with water and soap daily, get them dried up accurately. Wash your hands before feeding your baby.

Wash and dry your breast after and protect them with a clean surgical gauze or cotton till the next feeding. At times, in the first weeks of lactation, the breasts might become hard and red. Some rhagades, a tiny and painful cracks may appear. Do not interrupt breastfeeding, see a doctor as soon as possible. If you have doubts about your health, how to feed your baby and his hygiene, call consultorio and a doctor or a nurse will pay you a free visit at home.

“If one does not put on any kind of spongy material to absorb the milk coming from the breasts, it will spill on the bra, eventually soaking it. A soggy bra has some adverse effect on the nipples,” Kananga says.

And while at hygiene, a breastfeeding mother has to always remember that whatever you take goes to the milk, for that reason never you take any medicine without the doctor’s prescription. Your doctor will prescribe you medicine fit for you and harmless  to your baby.

Care for the breast 

Kananga says that observing proper breast hygiene is the best way to prevent breastfeeding-related infections. Before any mother goes ahead to breastfeed their baby, she says they should ensure they first wash their hands with clean water and soap. The baby should also be kept clean at all times, including during breastfeeding.

Most importantly baby should have the whole nipple plus a large amount of your areola far back in his mouth.

Finding a breastfeeding position that it comfy for you and baby. Baby’s whole body should be facing moms while breastfeeding, this makes it easier for baby to breastfeed, therefore reducing nipple pain.

Do not pull baby off of the breast while he is breastfeeding, use your finger to break the suction in the corner of his mouth if you need to stop breastfeeding.

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