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How should I care for my breasts after giving birth?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Care for the breasts after childbirth is directly related to whether or not the mother will breastfeed. Breastfeeding care involves stimulating milk production. Nursing every two hours and allow the breasts to airdry. Making sure the infant properly "attaches" to the breast will prevent many complications related to breastfeeding.

For the woman that chooses not to breastfeed care will take the opposite approach. Wearing a snug bra continuously and avoiding any nipple stimulation. Applying cool compresses might relieve discomfort and turning away from the water while taking a shower will prevent stimulation.    

Medications used in the past to dry the milk glands are no longer used due to complications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.