Breastfeeding seemed to go OK at first. After all, the baby was nursing a lot and slept well. It didn’t seem right to the new mom that her 1-week-old baby slept 6-8 hour stretches, but everyone said “don’t worry.” A pediatric visit at 2 weeks confirmed this mom’s worst fears. Her baby had lost weight! She was told to supplement with formula and contact a lactation consultant. Continue reading
Myth: It’s normal to have sore, cracked nipples the first few weeks of breastfeeding.
One of the most common reasons women give for not initiating breastfeeding is “I’m afraid that it will hurt.” Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt! Ever! Think of all the mammals who nurse their babies. Are they grimacing? Are they trying to avoid breastfeeding because of pain? Absolutely not. They look peaceful and relaxed. We are mammals too! Breastfeeding is a normal process that is meant to be enjoyable for mother and baby.
So, what are normal sensations when breastfeeding? Continue reading
It’s no surprise that there are dozens of “cures” out there for sore nipples. In my lactation practice, nipple pain is the most common reason that mothers seek help. The only real way to “cure” sore nipples, however, is to fix the underlying cause. It’s usually a faulty latch that causes the problem in the first place. Once the latch is corrected, nipples feel better. Usually the results are immediate.
Please avoid these commonly recommended but ineffective strategies for healing sore nipples: Continue reading
Breastfeeding is not suppossed to hurt. Ever! Think of all the mammals who nurse their babies. Are they grimacing? Are they trying to avoid breastfeeding because of the pain? Absolutely not. They look peaceful and relaxed. We are mammals too! Breastfeeding is a normal process that is meant to be enjoyable for mother and baby.
So, what are normal sensations when breastfeeding?
There should be no nipple tenderness at all in the first 24 hours. After that your nipples may feel slightly tender during the first few seconds of breastfeeding, but feel fine as the baby continues to nurse. What’s the difference between tenderness and pain? The tenderness is fleeting and mild. It doesn’t make you cry out or gasp. You look forward to breastfeeding. Your nipples look healthy. Continue reading
“I’m pregnant with my second child and planning to breastfeed. I had an extremely challenging experience with my daughter and ended up exclusively pumping for about 5 months. My confidence level is pretty low, so I’m planning for lactation support soon after my baby is born. I was wondering if you offer prenatal consultations.”
The best preparation for breastfeeding is simply making a firm decision. Research shows that women who commit to breastfeeding while pregnant are more likely to breastfeed than those who say they will “give it a try.”
You don’t need to do anything special to your breasts while you’re pregnant. Your body is preparing for your baby without a thought from you. Milk ducts are enlarging, colostrum is being created and your nipple area is becoming darker and more prominent.
Pregnancy is a good time to stop using soap on or near your nipples. It is believed that secretions from glands within the areola (montgomery glands) are constantly cleansing and conditioning the skin of that area. If you use soap on your nipples, you are losing the protection of this natural conditioner. Continue reading