prepping for breastfeeding, suggestions?

Danicia - posted on 08/28/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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so when I had my daughter I wanted to breastfeed. within 5 days, she had one of my nipples severely bleeding and the other one in terrible pain. I resorted to pumping and hand expressing until I healed. a few months later I lost my supply even though I was pumping every 2 hours.
we are expecting again and I am DETERMINED to be able to boob feed this baby, no messing with pumps or bottles unless I need someone else to watch the baby.
my questions for y'all:
how can you prep your nipples BEFORE delivery to where they hopefully do not bleed. (this go around I am going to consult with a lactation expert to make sure my latch is correct b/c I have a feeling that was part of the problem)
how many calories/meals should you be consuming while breastfeeding to keep up your supply?
is there any nutritional supplements that are recommended to keep a strong supply in conjunction with demand feeding?
any other constructive suggestions would be helpful! thank you in advanced!

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Lori - posted on 08/30/2013

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Danica

Good for you for looking for more information NOW... before your new little one comes. I think you're on the right track deciding to consult with a LC to make sure your latch is correct. An improper latch and be VERY painful and can cause bleeding. There's a very good chance (almost 100%) that an improper latch is what caused your problems the first time. As for the supply issues... pumping just doesn't work as well as a baby breastfeeding directly(assuming good latch).

My suggestion: Meet with the LC at least once before your baby is born. Many LC's run monthly meetings or know where you can go to a meeting like a La Leche League. You'll get a chance to meet and talk with other breastfeeding moms. Support like that can be so helpful. Talk with your LC or your Dr. or Hospital and see if the LC can come to see you within 1 day of your baby being born. Some hospitals have an LC that makes rounds daily to all the new moms who want to breastfeed... but not all hospitals do.

I wouldn't do anything to your nipples to prep them. Anything you do may just cause damage to them and make things worse.

When you are pregnant, you need about 300 extra calories. When you are nursing you need about 500 extra calories. There are foods like almonds and oatmeal that support the production of milk without you needing to take any medication. I completely agree with Celeste. Don't go taking any supplements until you and an LC have determined for sure that you do have a low supply. While most supplements are relatively safe, there are always the possibility of side effect. And... as Celeste pointed out... if you don't actually have a supply issue, you may then be dealing with an oversupply which you don't want either.

When your baby is born: DON'T offer a pacifier, don't offer a bottle... Wait until you and baby have established a good latch and a good supply (about 6 weeks) before introducing a bottle or pacifier. Make sure the nurses know you don't want your baby to have a pacifier.

When baby is born: Nurse as soon as possible. With my 2nd one I was able to nurse once the cord was cut and her nose wiped/sucked clean. They hadn't cleaned her up or weighed her or anything. I nursed FIRST. The first hour after baby is born is ideal to get your first nursing session in... and the sooner the better.

And: Best of Luck to You! You can do it!

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Celeste - posted on 08/28/2013

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IMO, I think education is very important. It's important to know how to tell if baby is getting enough and how milk production works. I think the biggest concern of most moms is supply and I can't tell you how many times that moms look at the wrong things to judge supply. And then you have doctors who are woefully under educated about breastfeeding and unknowingly sabatoge moms by suggesting formula for a variety of reasons (baby is too big, baby is too small, baby is fussy, etc etc) , which can kill supply.

There is really nothing you can do to prepare nipples. I would make sure that latch is correct because incorrect latch can cause pain.

I wouldn't suggest any galactalogues if there is no problem with supply. If there's no supply issue, taking galacatlogues can cause more issues like oversupply. The best thing for supply is to nurse on demand.

Some resources that are great is kellymom.com, and the book called "So That's What They're For" by Janet Tamaro.

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