We often hear women say that they have prepared their breasts for breastfeeding by doing this or that, but this is not necessary. Breastfeeding is a physiological process for which our body is prepared, and just as we do not prepare our heart to beat or our lungs to breathe, it is not necessary to prepare our breasts to breastfeed. We explain the reasons why you do not need any nipple cream during breastfeeding.
No need to apply any cream or massage the nipples, or "stretch" them to get used to suction ... nothing. The only necessary preparation is the one that our body already makes on its own: during pregnancy, little bumps appear around the areola, glands or Montgomery tubers, which secrete a substance emollient that protects the areola and nipple from possible infections, dryness, cracks ...
When washing the breast this film disappears, so it is also not indicated to maintain excessive hygiene in this area; a daily shower would be enough, although we can also apply a moisturizing product afterwards as on the rest of the body; the best, a vegetable oil (olive, almonds, coconut ...).
More or less the same happens during lactation. It is very frequent that we hear from mothers who are using a certain product because their healthcare professional of reference has advised them, or because "a friend used it and it did not have any cracks." The most famous are lanolin creams, an unctuous, moisturizing substance that can be applied without having to remove it before the feedings, and whose use is widespread both to prevent and to treat cracks.
Oh, the cracks! The most feared "enemy" during breastfeeding! And rightly so, as they cause excruciating pain. But the cracks do not appear because the breast is not "ready" for breastfeeding, they arise because the baby makes an inadequate latch or suction, almost always only on the nipple, without covering the areola. Y This bad grip causes a friction on the tip of the nipple that ends up wounding.
So we repeat the same message again: nipple creams are not necessary. This is the fundamental thing to keep in mind:
- As we have seen before, the chest already has its own "hydration system" (Montgomery's glands), but if despite that we notice the skin of the areola and the dry and / or tight nipple, it is better to apply an oil after the daily shower. Another trick is to apply after taking a little of our own milk, which also contains moisturizing substances, as long as there are no cracks or suspicion of infection. There is no product that prevents nipple cracks.
- If unfortunately these cracks have already appeared, lanolin does not help us either. Like any other wound, for the cracks to heal they need to be in the air and dry for as long as possible, avoiding friction. If we apply lanolin on the crack we do not allow the wound to breathe, it will also be wet for a longer time, it can macerate the entire area and delay healing. In this case, the main thing would be to correct the cause, because if not the problem (the crack) will continue to appear: seek help to assess the baby's grip and grip, since as we have seen an inadequate grip is usually the main cause of pain and cracks in lactation. And look for it soon, as breastfeeding with such pain can be impossible.
Answering the question with which we started this post, Nipple creams are not necessary during breastfeeding, and may even be counterproductive in some cases.
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