Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do to give your baby the love and nourishment she needs, but it can be tricky to get the hang of it at the start. While you’re still pregnant, it’s important to learn as much as you can about breastfeeding and how you can get the support you need when you start nursing.
Here’s some common questions and tips on how new mums can start preparing for breastfeeding while you still have that baby bump!
1. Do I need to toughen my nipples before I start breastfeeding?
You don’t need to toughen your nipples or use creams on your skin before breastfeeding. Your body is already preparing itself through hormonal changes that occur in your breasts. Rubbing or applying pressure to your nipples will only make it hurt, which might cause discomfort when you start breastfeeding.
Your nipples will naturally release lubricative oils that carry a body scent, which your baby will love. So, the more you breastfeed, the more you increase your bond with your little one.
2. Should I learn to hand express breast milk?
Hand expression is a handy skill that can make breastfeeding easier. It can be a little tough to get the hang of it in the beginning, and so practice is important.
After birth, your colostrum comes out in small, thick amounts, and this may not be easily collected by a breast pump. When you start producing mature milk, hand expression will help you get more milk to your baby as your supply regulates. This will get a few drops of milk out, which helps your let-down reflex, making it easier for your baby to attach.
3. Are there any products I need to buy?
It isn’t a must to buy products, but they can make breastfeeding more comfortable for you. Here’s some products that you can consider buying:
Nurse bras – They help support your breasts, especially when they grow bigger during pregnancy and lactation. Start shopping for them only during pregnancy, so you can get the best estimation of your postpartum size.
Nurse pillows – These pillows are specially designed to provide support to you and your baby during breastfeeding. It keeps your shoulders and neck comfortable and helps in positioning your baby.
Breast pads – Your breasts may start leaking during breastfeeding, which is completely normal. Breast pads, whether disposable or reusable, can help keep your clothes dry.
A breast pump – A breast pump can help you pump out and store your milk so that your baby can feed even when you’re not around. It can also help to relieve engorgement and the feeling of breast heaviness.
4. How can I get help?
You don’t have to do this alone. Talk to your friends and family or get in touch with the community to find the right support system for you.
Lactation Consultants are a great source of support and guidance when you start your motherhood journey, from pregnancy to the first few moments of your babys’ life and weaning your little one. With Doctor Anywhere, you can get breastfeeding and weaning advice for common concerns and questions within minutes from qualified lactation consultants. So, don’t hesitate to connect with us.