preparing for breast feeding
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Shreyna - posted on 04/24/2009
I just had my first baby 9 weeks ago. When I first started breastfeeding I was in so much pain that I was crying all night and I didn't want to breast feed. My midwife came and did a breast consultation. She said that I was doing everything right, but just change a few thing and it would help alot. The baby needed to open his mouth more. She also said that if I squeeze my breast as if it was a sandwhich and the baby was going to put it in his mouth that way, it would help him nurse properly. (hold the breast going from corner of mouth to corner of mouth instead of going from roof of mouth to bottom of mouth). Both of these did wonders for me. It was a night and day difference. She also told me that one way to help the baby to get enough of the breast and nipple into his mouth is to put your finger in his mouth all the way back to the pallet of his mouth. Let him suck on that for a little bit. This will teach him where the nipple is suppose to be. If he keeps putting in the front of the mouth instead of the back, then take it out and start over.
As for prepping, there are alot of different ways to prep. One way that I heard of some other expectant mothers doing is take a wash cloth or towel right after your are done showering and scrub the nipples for a little bit. Start doing this probably atleast 4 wks before you are due. This will help toughen the nipple. You could also do nipple stimulations.
When I cracked and bled, I did several things. I used some of my own milk and rubbed it on my nipples. This acts as an anitibiotic. I also used vegetable (or olive) oil, and I extracted Vitamin E from Vitamin E tablets and rubbed it on me. The nice thing about using those 3 is that the are all natural and I didn't have to wash them off before breast feeding, where as with creams you have to. I also had shells so that my clothes didn't rub against me and irritate the cracks. The Vitamin E and the shells are probably what helped the most for me. But of course everyone is different. When you find something that works for you, stick to it.
I hope this helped. Good luck.
Cory - posted on 04/24/2009
You will find every answer you ever needed from a book called "So, That's What They're For". I read this my second time around and learned how to avoid all the pain. I was able to breastfeed for 13 months...not a DROP of formula! And for a working mom, that's pretty dang good! I give all the credit to the book. It really identified all the challenges that were causing pain so that I knew what to do to make it go away!
From what you described, it does sound like a latch problem. When my son was born, I had trouble getting his latch right, so we also went through several weeks of mildly painful feeding. I used a nipple shield - and while that reduced the pain, I think it made his latch problem worse. But by the time he was 5 or 6 weeks, I had ditched the nipple shield and we'd gotten the latching problem fixed. Does your hospital have a lactation consultant available? They may be able to give some guidance. Good luck!
Justine - posted on 04/24/2009
there isnt anything proven that will "toughen" your nipples before you give birth, but you can avoid getting sore nipples after you start nursing by having a good latch, avoid cracked and dry nipples by using lanolin (PurLan 100 by Medela is my favourite too). Remember that breastfeeding is not going to be 100% painless because until your milk regulates it will probably hurt a bit when your milk lets down, but you can usually tell if its that because the other one that you are not feeding out of will hurt too. If it hurts beyond that, probably the latch is wrong. But don't give up, ask for help where ever you can. Breastfeeding is the absolute best thing you can do for your child. Formula feeding is like if all you gave a toddler to eat was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Yes there are good things in it, but it is far from complete. Good luck, I hope this helps.
Vanessa - posted on 04/23/2009
with my first I didnt have cracking they were dry, but that's it. I think my actual nipple is so sore and tender and that's what makes it painful. They are already starting to get like that. They are so sensitive it almost hurts to even have the water from the shower to hit them.
Brenda - posted on 04/23/2009
It is very unusual for it to be painful. I'd suggest talking to a lactation consultant after the birth (and if you have one in your area a La Leche League one is the best...). That said, I went through lots of Lansinoh while BFing my first...lol. :)
Kirsty - posted on 04/23/2009
I only have one child & was very scared about the whole 'breastfeeding thing'. Prior to having my daughter I started to stimulate the nipples and sort of toughen them up and could even get a little bit of liquid out (advised by my lactation consultant). Once I started feeding I was told if its not comfortable take her off and latch on again. Once I got the latching right my milk came in and my boobs were so big I needed a nipple shield to ease the pressure as my daughter had trouble latching on. I also used Lanolin when the nipples became sore & also used the breastmilk on them & aired them out heaps. I never had cracked nipples though. It took a few a weeks before the initial discomfort when I started a feed eased. All in all, it was a pleasant experience & I am still nursing my daughter & will continue until I decide otherwise. Good luck I hope I could help a little.
Rachael - posted on 04/23/2009
I know everyone is different but Lanolin actually made the cracks in my nipples worse. I finally found a post on a site about rubbing a little milk on them and letting them air dry and I've not had any problems since. The Lanolin kept my nipples moist and was causing the cracks to not heal. I've always had problems with hard knots until I got a Medela Pump In Style Advanced. It was really expensive though so Grandma went halfsies with us. The only helpful advice I got from the hospital staff was to make sure her lips are not pulled into her mouth kinda like when you make a mmm sound. I cried and cried and said I could not do it for the first couple of weeks because of the pain but we eventually worked it out and she does great now. Just don't give up, that's what a friend told us and I'm glad I didn't.
Not knowing where the pain is from I am going to make this a little general. If latching was the issue find some other holding techniques, for some mom's the regular way to hold while feeding doesnt help much.
If your nipples get sore and cracked there are a lot of creams that help, most you put on a certain time before feeding or after.
If your becoming engorged I found that a nice warm cloth placed where its tender works great, you can do this while your feeding, in a bath or shower or just when your relaxing between feedings.
A huge part is just trying to make yourself relax while your feeding, if your house is chaotic while your trying to feed you and your baby can end up too stressed to feed properly. Have a drink ready for you and maybe a pillow for underneath your little one so your arm wont hurt. Also some nice quiet music doesnt hurt.
If you have to stay in the hospital for even a day do not let the nurses try to tell you how you HAVE to feed, its not what is best but what works for you and your little one!
Ive breastfed 3 children and plan to do the same for my next child, Ive found that if your rushed or pushed to do it a certain way it hurts way too much and you end up losing interest in doing it. Once you find what works do not change it for anyone.
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