Saturday, August 7, 2010

Preparation for Breastfeeding

A woman may start out with every good intention to breast feed because she knows it is good for her baby and good for her. It usually is very hard on sensitive nipples; there is a lot of pain and unfortunately it may last several weeks. This is one of the major reasons that causes women to stop nursing and wean early. It makes good sense to use a pain medication about twenty minutes before you expect to be feeding the baby. Motrin 800mgs is fine. That is the equivalent of four 200mg Advils.

What is even more beneficial is getting those nipples ready before the baby is even born. If you have flat ( inverted ) nipples, you should see a lactation consultant for advice. If you don't know a flat nipple from any other type of nipple, just give your nipples a little stimulation. Do they perk-up? If not, they are flat. The consultant is very well prepared to provide you with what you need to overcome this anatomical challenge. No reason not to breast feed.

So, you will hear lots of advise about how to toughen up nipples from your mom and her sister and even the lady at the grocery store. Don't scrub them with a rough, dry washcloth or sandpaper. Toothbrushes are a very bad idea too.

Wear a very good, supportive bra all through-out the pregnancy. Rule of thumb is one size larger than usual. You may be fitted by a professional at no cost to you.
Air dry your nipples. That means that you should walk around with the panels of your nursing bra down a few times a day, for a total of five minutes at thirty weeks on. No soap please, not on nipples or aureola ( the brown skin around the nipple ) . Soap is very harsh and can make the skin even more sensitive around the nipple by drying it out. And you should air dry nipples after bathing, don't rub with the towel.

Leaking colostrum is common but don't squeeze it out. Save all of it for the baby. If it spontaneously leaks, just rub the excess onto the aureola. If leaking is especially heavy, breast pads may be used to soak up excess. Not shields, pads. You can purchase them wherever maternity clothing and underwear is sold.

Now, you are prepared!!