Breastfeeding preparation — The Bump
June 2015 Moms

Breastfeeding preparation

Hello all, hoping to breasfeed and give myself enough information to hopefully be able to succeed in feeding the baby.

My nan told me to start roughing up my nipples with a dry towel and also start applying lanolin twice daily to minimise cracking. Thought it can't hurt so I've started that.

What tips and tricks do you know of to prepare for breastfeeding?

Re: Breastfeeding preparation

  • Meet with a lactation consultant. There is nothing you can really do to prepare.
    [Deleted User]jjbdvmNoeliaV
  • Nothing will really get them ready for baby. But I can suggest nursing ASAP after birth, it will be very helpful with latching. It seems the longer you wait the harder it is for them. I nursed my son before letting any family in to see him and it did wonders we never had any issues!
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    [Deleted User][Deleted User]mixnmatch372
  • BabyList said:

    Meet with a lactation consultant. There is nothing you can really do to prepare.

    I think finding and meeting with a lactation consultant you really like is about all you can do.

    It'll be a tough few weeks once you deliver, but the pay off is so awesome.
    DS1 born 3.15.2011
    DS1 edd 6.21.2015
  • There is nothing you can do to prepare except do some research. Even then all the research in the world can't prepare you until you actually start breastfeeding. My recommendation would be to find available resources now (such as an LC) so if you do need help they are readily available.
  • In addition to what PPs have said, maybe see if the hospital your delivering at offers a breastfeeding class you can take before delivery. Would be great for your SO to attend as well so they know a little bit about what to expect as well. This also might be an opportunity to connect with LCs from your area. This is my second baby, and breastfeeding the first time around was an awful experience, so I'm planning on taking a class this time!
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    [Deleted User]ghostof5letters
  • I would respectfully disagree with your nan. You are going to want to keep your nipples as supple and soft as possible. You will be slathering on the lanolin as soon as you start bfing. If your nips are hard and rough they will be more prone to cracks and clogs. Not to mention, pain!
  • Find a local lll and go to a few meetings. Breastfeeding is natural but a learned art. Getting a support network ahead of time and a good reference book like The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is the best preparation.

    If possible, skin to skin for the first hour and try and breastfeed before anyone else holds the baby.

    I had a c section but we still did skin to skin in the recovery room and she latched no problem within 5 minutes.

    Good luck! It can be difficult but it is worth it in!
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  • You can also look up your local chapter of LA Leche league. I found them to be extremely helpful and if you do have any problems you will likely find someone there who has dealt with it before so can give advice from experience, plus they're free.
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  • There isn't much preparation you can do before baby comes.

    The hospital we delivered in had a policy where immediately after birth the baby is held by the mom and breastfed and immediate skin to skin contact happens. You can ask what hospital policies the birthing ward has?

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  • Contact the hospital or your OB. A lot of times they offer free breastfeeding classes. Totally worth it.

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  • It is way to early to do any sort of nipple "roughing up."  You really shouldn't so any kind of nipple stimulation until you are at about term pregnancy.  Anyway, you don't really need to do this at all.  I agree with PP to consult KellyMom website.  Also, read the book "The Nursing Mother's Companion."  That has tons of info.  Most importantly, get your infant skin to skin immediately after delivery if possible.  They can latch on within minutes of delivery and that sets you up for a great BF experience.  

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  • Honestly, the single best thing that you can do prior to birth is find a good LC... One that will be supportive of you whether you BF, pump or end up formula feeding, and one whose personality meshes with yours. You can't predict the problems you will have. Maybe you will be lucky and have few problems. But having a person that you can rely on is worth it's weight in gold. I read books before DD was born. Not one of them prepared me for the problems that I would have BFing her.

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  • My doula is also a lactation consultant. She told me not to research it too much ahead of time. Better to go with the flow and have an expert in hand when needed.
  • Ditto the pp's. Don't rough yourself up. Check out kellymom. 
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  • La Leche League puts out a great book... I don't know that I would meet them in person though. They're pretty intense.

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    I purchased that book prior to my 1st and read it entirely before having her. I had some issues with nursing (mainly my milk taking forever to come in) but this book made me feel more confident and recognize issues before they became problems. I think educating yourself on breastfeeding is the best prep you can do...and using resources after birth (like lac. cons.) will help you be successful.
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  • As PP have mentioned. STOP roughing up your nipples. This WILL NOT help prepare them for BFing. Please, just stop that all together.

    Echoing others, find a LC and check out
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  • Do you have a friend who was successful at BF? I got some really BAD advice from my LC as well as the follow up nurse that came for the home fvisit for DS1, so sometimes "unprofessional" advice my be of benefit too, but yeah, no need to rough up now...GL!

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  • Another vote against doing anything to your nipples! And fwiw, it isn't *necessarily* as painful as many say. It was uncomfortable for me early on but I wouldnt describe it as painful, and real legit pain is a sign that something isn't right (usually a poor latch). 

    I recommend: buy and read "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" particularly the stuff about the early days so you are prepared and know what to do and what to look for. With my first I revisited a lot of sections as questions came up, and it was nice to know they were in there without trying to read it with a newborn. Consider going to a LLL or Breastfeeding USA meeting before you have your baby too. I used to go to meetings very regularly, not so much anymore just because my life is crazy. It is useful to ask questions etc, and to see moms nursing their babies - see how they hold them, how they position their clothes, etc etc etc. It helps make you feel more comfortable NIP imo and normalizes it. And it helps you see how little you do see with NIP haha. 

    Ive never had need of an LC so I don't know how much it is really necessary to talk to one first, but good to know where you can find a good one if you need. I always preferred the advice from btdt moms anyhow… from what Ive heard around here, some LCs aren't as qualified to recognize tongue ties etc. 

    11/18/16 missed m/c 9w1
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  • Hahaha! @Silv3rlining‌ !!!!!
    I would contact your OB, sometimes hospitals have free lactation consulting, they may be happy to chat with your prior about what to expect. Also, an fun book called "Spilled Milk" Product Search-_-Q000000633-_-2691908511569PLA-_-Book_5To14-_-Q000000633-_-2691908511569

    And checking out your local Le Leche League can be very helpful! They can be pretty hardcore, some were nursing 5 year olds at the meeting I went to (which in my opinion was just too much) but they were mostly wonderful women and it was great support when I was a FTM and breastfeeding a seemingly insatiable baby!
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    [Deleted User]
  • I am reading Ina Mays guide to breastfeeding and the Womanly Art to breastfeeding.

    If I want, my hospital offers a free class.
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  • My aunt recommended I get a lactation consultant well before birth so I am comfortable with what I'll have to do and have the information I need. I plan to read up like I did on pregnancy but considering how much I knew in advance and how much it still threw me for a loop I expect I'll still be plenty surprised.
    Me: 25 DH: 26
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  • Don't harm the nipples
  • Also, the hospital breastfeeding class was worthwhile, but I really found a lot of great info and help from a DVD my mom got for me. It's called Simply Breastfeeding (Criso method). Worked great for us!
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