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The right amount of hygiene

Maintaining the right level of cleanliness is decisive in keeping the baby healthy already during the first months – and in exposing it to enough bacteria so that it can develop a strong immune system.

During the first three months, the baby still enjoys passive immunity passed on through the mother that protects it against the less harmful pathogens and prevents colds and similar illnesses. Nevertheless, the following needs to be observed with respect to cleanliness:


  • Touch the baby only with clean hands.
  • Treat irritated skin, for example diaper rash, carefully with a salve.
  • Anyone with a cold should never pick up a baby.
  • Air the baby's room regularly, because bacteria and viruses tend to spread in warm and stuffy rooms.
  • Change all baby towels and blankets regularly.

Hygiene while breastfeeding

  • Wash your hands before you begin feeding the baby in order to prevent pathogens from getting passed on to the nipples and the baby's mouth.
  • It is not necessary to clean your breasts especially before you feed the baby; it's sufficient to rinse them once a day with water. Avoid all products that could dehydrate the breast, such as shower gels, soaps and disinfectants.
  • Only use creams that have a neutral pH value when treating inflamed nipples. Avoid using strong deodorants, perfumes or body lotions.
  • After you've finished breastfeeding, don't wipe off the remaining milk because fat particles help to prevent inflammation of the nipples and keep the skin elastic and smooth.
  • Be sure to contact your doctor right away if you notice any change in the colour of the skin of your breast or the mouth of the baby.
  • In the case of strong lactation, you can use nursing pads to soak up any excess milk. If the skin is irritated, you can apply a small amount of ultrapure wool grease to heal sore and dry nipples.

For further questions on personal hygiene and baby care, persons insured with SWICA can obtain expert advice from the doctors and medical staff of sante24 – free of charge, around the clock. Tel. +41 (0)44 404 86 86

SWICA supports the breastfeeding campaign 2015. More information under: (in German)