If you have decided to breastfeed your child, then during the final month of pregnancy you can start to massage your nipple so that it gets used to the stimulation it will soon be receiving.
If you like, you can apply a moisturising cream to the nipple and areola, as these areas are particularly sensitive during this period.
Because your breast will increase significantly in size and weight, you may feel some pain in your shoulders and neck. By choosing the right maternity bra you will help to relieve this feeling, as your breasts will be properly supported, and not hurt or constricted.
After the birth, you will have to increase your efforts to look after your breasts.
Before and after each feed, wash your nipple in warm, boiled water or mineral water (misting sprays are very practical for this).
To prevent cracking, your nipples must always stay dry between each feed.
Initially, you can make sure you dry them carefully after washing them. If your breasts tend to leak milk between feeds, you can use breast pads (which absorb the excess milk), making sure you replace them whenever necessary. If you find that you are losing a great deal of milk, use milk cups or ventilated breast hells in order to keep the nipple well aired.
If your breasts become engorged (due to an excess of milk in the breast causing uncomfortable pressure), there are two possible solutions:
-a warm shower, which will reduce the pressure and get rid of the excess milk
- use a soothing pad that you warm up first and then apply like a poultice, which will considerably reduce the pain.