How to prepare breasts for feeding your baby – tips for expectant mothers
Changes in the female breast begin to occur at the stage of pregnancy. The breast becomes heavy, becomes sensitive, changes in the size and color of the nipples – nature prepares the woman for the future feeding of the baby.
Is there a point in preparing the breasts for breastfeeding and how to do it?
See also: How to restore breast elasticity after childbirth with exercise?
The content of the article:
Why breast preparation during pregnancy?
Some expectant mothers mistakenly think that preparing the breasts for the birth of a baby is the prevention of nipple cracks.
In fact, the best prevention to prevent cracking is to follow the rules of breastfeeding, that is, correct attachment of the baby to the breast and correct release of the nipple from the mouth of the child.
So why, then, and how exactly should you prepare your breasts for breastfeeding?
- First, examine your nipples. With their retracted or flat form, the grip of the chest with a crumb is complicated. How to determine this? It is very simple: a normal nipple, under the influence of cold, stretches forward and takes on a convex shape, retracted – is drawn into the areola, flat – does not change shape at all. The irregular shape will interfere with the retention of the breast in the baby’s mouth. And although this is not a particularly serious problem, there will be no unnecessary preparation of the future “dairy factory” for feeding.
- Take care of buying the right “outfit” in advance. Your “nursing” bra should be exclusively natural, have detachable cups and, preferably, wide shoulder straps.
- Don’t Forget Stretch Mark Prevention and take the time to maintain the elasticity of your breasts (cream, supportive bra, shower, etc.).
What not to do:
- Temper the nipples. The expectant mother absolutely does not need procedures for “resorption” of the nipples, rubbing them with a towel and other popular advice. Remember: nature itself has already prepared the female breast for feeding, and you can only slightly correct those moments that can really become a problem (nipple sensitivity, flat nipples, etc.). And it is worth remembering that any manipulations with the nipples at a later date can tone the uterus, as well as provoke childbirth.
- Soften nipples with cream. The breast produces natural lubrication on its own! And nipple softening cream is just a way to profit from the gullibility of ignorant mothers. A special ointment is needed only if cracks appear on the nipples during the feeding process (and that is prescribed by a doctor).
Preparing breasts for feeding with flat nipples
There is no reason to panic. Even if you do not take care of the problem of flat nipples in advance, then after a month of feeding, the baby himself will pull the nipples to the desired state…
The main thing – exclude bottles and pacifiers… Feeling more comfortable for sucking objects, the baby will simply refuse the breast.
So how do you prepare your breasts?
- Special exercises. Stretching the areola, squeezing the nipples between the fingers – do not overdo it in order to avoid trouble (uterine tone). For each action – a maximum of a minute.
- The doctor’s consultation, a lactation specialist. We are learning how to properly apply the child to the chest.
- Place all purchased nipples and bottles in the back drawer.
- Don’t listen to advice, like – “with such nipples it is better to feed from a bottle than torment yourself and the child.”
- Understand that the baby will suckle on any nipple, if you do not interfere with him!
- Use a breast pump and hand pump after breastfeeding has begun. They will also help in stretching the nipples, if there are no contraindications for pumping.
Also, for stretching the nipples, special pads that gently press on the areola (they are put into a bra), and correctors that act on the principle of a pump. But, before engaging in such procedures, consult a specialist.
Increased nipple sensitivity
Often, discomfort when feeding a baby also arises from high nipple sensitivity…
How can you get rid of the trouble?
- Use coarse bras (linen, terry, etc.) or put pads made of coarse material into the bra cups.
- Do not rub nipples or use lotions containing alcohol! These manipulations violate the protective layer of the areola and injure the nipples. You should also not dry out the skin of the nipples with soap – enough water and, if urgently needed, a special cream.
- Air baths for your breasts more often (do not tighten your breasts with a bra immediately after shower, but wait a little) and massage your breasts with ice cubes from, for example, an infusion of oak bark.
- Massage your breastspulling the nipples slightly.
Remember that with proper grip on the nipple, the discomfort will most likely go away on its own after a couple of days. If the pain persists and even intensifies – consult a doctor and find out what is the reason…
How to maintain breast shape during pregnancy?
When it comes to the future feeding of a baby, one of the most exciting questions for a mother-to-be is how not to lose breast shape?
In this case, the recommendations are traditional and quite simple:
- The bra should support your breasts perfectlywithout restricting movement.
- Do not buy a bra “for growth”… It is clear that the breast will increase in volume, but it is better to acquire it as the breast increases, taking into account that it does not squeeze, rub, crush, dangle anywhere.
- It is advisable to choose wide straps of a bra with good regulation.
- No synthetics! Only natural fabrics.
- We support the chest muscles with appropriate exercises: push up from the floor, walls, cross the arms outstretched in front of us, squeeze an object with our palms at chest level (palms – as in prayer, look at each other).
- If possible, we exclude jumping, running.
- After filling the breast with milk, do not sleep on our stomach.
- We are not trying to lose those extra centimeters urgently right after giving birth.
- We feed the baby correctly and in a comfortable position.
- Massage your breasts regularly with natural oil (for example, jojoba).
These are all the basic guidelines. But do not be too diligent in preparing your breasts – do not rub it with hard washcloths, do not douse it with ice water and do not stimulate the nipples unnecessarily, so as not to cause labor ahead of time…
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