How to prepare for Breastfeeding — The Bump
Breastfeeding

How to prepare for Breastfeeding

I'm just about 29 weeks prego with my third and probably last baby. I have attempted to nurse my other two children with no success. I think I gave up too soon. I lasted about 2 weeks with both with little supply and sore cracked nipples. I think my right nipple is a little flat on the bottom. I want it to work this time. What can I do or should I do in preparation?

Re: How to prepare for Breastfeeding

  • I had a book and that was it. I wish I'd had some things on hand though: a sleep bra or two, nursing tank or two, breast pads (in case you leak), lanolin cream for when your nipples start to hurt. If you have a flat or inverted nipple maybe look into a breast shield, a lot of small babies have a hard time, but if you start them with the shield within a month or two they are big & strong enough to nurse without it. Good luck this time- it is difficult & painful for the first few weeks, but once you get through that it's much easier. I couldn't tell you how many times I wanted to quit in the first 6w, but dd will be 6 mos on Tuesday and we're still doing well. 
    *Married 10.10.08*
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  • Read, read, read!  Sites like kellymom.com or the La Leche League site are really helpful with information about everything.  I wish I had done a LOT more research - especially about how to start BFing, and how newborns learn to nurse.

    Good luck!  It's a struggle but I'm sticking with it because the feeling I get when I hear LO happily sigh after eating is so worth it! :)

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  • Find a support person or group. Whether it's the LLL, a good friend, a family member, etc, find somebody who has gone through it and can be your cheerleader and venting place. 

    Read kellymom, lurk here, or read the Leaky [email protected]@b page on facebook.

    Ask your OB/MW, but you should be able to wear breast shells starting at 36 or so weeks to bring your flat nipples out.  

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  • Take a class if you can, or go to a support group before you deliver. Try to watch someone breastfeed so you see how they do it (or watch some videos online). Get a sense of the "common" difficulties. If you can, try to get your DH to learn stuff too, and figure out what your support system is going to be early on in case it is not so easy. 
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  • I'm a FT expecting mom, but a nurse/specialist told me to begin using the lanolin cream while I was pregnant.  I don't know if it really helps with avoiding cracked nipples, but I've been putting it on since my 2nd Tri.  Good luck!
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  • Best advice I ever got: Don't quit on a bad day.  Also, support from your husband, mother, sister, best friend goes a LONG way.  
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  • I would start going to La Leche League meeting while pregnant.   I went last time while I was pregnant and it was very helpful.   I would also get the contact information for a good lactation consultant so I had someone to go to if I started having problem.  I know our LLL in my city have a list of lactation consultants the recommend.   The ones at my hospital were great but they aren't allowed to give advice that goes against a doctor's.   So if a doctor says to supplement they can't tell you not to or that it's not a good idea, which is why I'd want an independent lactation consultant if they are any in your area.  Finally I would educate myself as much as possible, take the breast feeding class at your hospital, read books on breastfeeding, visit kellymom.com so I knew what to expect and what is normal.  Also start telling people how important BF is for you and get them to support you when it gets rough.   Best wishes for successful breastfeeding this time around.
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