Some women question what they should do to get ready for nursing when they are pregnant. Your body actually knows what to do. Naturally, lactation (milk production) comes after pregnancy. Your breasts will be ready to produce milk after your baby is born thanks to the hormones released during pregnancy. Accurate knowledge and someone to offer support and encouragement are the best preparation and what most women require to breastfeed successfully.
The preparation of your nipples during pregnancy was once given a lot of emphasis. But it is now understood that the best defense against nipple pain is proper baby placement and latch-on during the early days. So, what can you anticipate before delivery?
•Most likely, your breasts will enlarge.
•Your breasts could feel delicate.
• Your nipples might start to feel touchy.
• Colostrum, the first milk, may start to ooze from your breasts.
• Avoid using antiseptics, alcohol, or soap on your breasts. When taking a bath, use simple water.
How to Select a Nursing Bra
At least in the first few weeks, you’ll undoubtedly find comfort in a supportive nursing bra. There are several makes and fashions, however a few universal factors are as follows:
•Unbinding assistance. Underwires shouldn’t dig in, there shouldn’t be any pressure areas, and soft-sided bras should offer sufficient support.
•Easy breast access. With experience, you ought to be able to remove the hook and reattach the flap with one hand.
•Possibility of growth. Your breasts may increase by a full cup size when your milk comes in.
•The finest fabrics to wear when nursing are those that breathe.
• Consider purchasing no more than 1 or 2 bras during your last few weeks of pregnancy and delaying the purchase of further bras until a few weeks after giving birth. (A gift card for a new bra is an excellent baby shower present.) Many expectant mothers want to know that after about three months, their breast size will settle into a little larger size.
Concerns About Nipple Size or Shape
The baby must pull your nipple deep into his mouth in order to effectively suckle. Numerous nipple shapes are beneficial for breastfeeding babies. Only a portion of the breast known as the nipple-areola complex is known as the nipple. Actually, the nipple shape is less significant than the tissue’s suppleness and extensibility. A mother may need to work with her child to obtain a healthy latch if she has nipples that don’t protrude. However, issues are uncommon if the baby’s mouth can hold the areola securely.
Place your thumb and forefinger on the areola above and below the nipple and gently press together to get a sense of how the baby will grab the breast. Lightly pull outward. This is the most typical formation if your nipple protrudes a little more. A flat nipple is one that appears to have little to no inward or outward movement from the base. Nipples that are inverted and appear to be sunken into the breast emerge erect and are simple to grab when stimulated. Some nipples have the ability to invert while at rest and to retract farther when the base is gripped. When the areola is pressed, a true inverted nipple retreats back into the breast.
There is disagreement on the screening of expectant women for flat or inverted nipples and the routine recommendation of treatments to bring the nipple out. According to some experts, a baby that is well-latched can drag an inverted nipple back into his mouth far enough to nurse successfully. Despite varying experiences and viewpoints, many women have found treatments for flat or inverted nipples to be beneficial, and many nursing authorities still advocate using them. Approaches may vary based on the level of inversion and density of areola tissue behind the nipple base because every mother is different.
Additionally, some mothers discover that they don’t even need to make any physical preparations prior to giving birth. Mothers with flat or inverted nipples have employed a variety of methods to erect the nipple during pregnancy or in the early postpartum period. Stretching out the nipple and releasing any tension at the base is one way to encourage an outgoing nipple that is flat or inverted. To do this, place a thumb on each side of the nipple, at the base rather than the areola’s edge. In addition to pulling the thumbs apart, apply strong pressure to the breast flesh. By circling the base of the nipple with your thumbs, perform this stretch five times. Work your way up to five times each day by doing this exercise twice daily.
The best approach to avoid problems is to be prepared to work toward achieving a healthy latch. Some mothers are pleasantly pleased by how easy their baby latches with simply attention to normal good positioning at the breast. When pregnant, visit a nurse or lactation specialist if you have any worries about your nipples or breasts.
The Early Days and Beyond
No extra clothing is required because learning to nurse is made considerably simpler by early skin-to-skin contact! There are numerous options available when it comes time to dress. For covert nursing, skirts, jeans, or shorts with a loose top or sweater work best. The infant covers any exposed skin when your top, blouse, or sweater is lifted from your waist for nursing. You can undo the buttons on a front-buttoning blouse starting at the bottom. There are breastfeeding-specific outfits available; some moms prefer to wear them on a daily basis, while others save them for special occasions.
It is time well spent to chat with other mothers who have mastered breastfeeding. Even before her child is born, having the right information can help a mother avoid many of the typical difficulties.
Related: How to Buy a Nursing Bra Guide