So your breasts have just been on the proverbial rollercoaster, expanding and changing to accommodate their new role as nourishment providers for your newborn. Breastfeeding is a very natural process, but that doesn't mean you'll know all of the tips and tricks for successful feeding right away. Here are a few tips to help feed your baby as painlessly as possible.
- Nurse Often: You'll be glad that you did. This ensures your baby is getting all of the nutrients he needs and that your breasts will not become engorged.
- Ice Packs: If engorgement should occur, ice packs will be your friend. Coldness slows down milk production and helps to ease the pain of tight breasts.
- Warm Showers: Conversely, a warm shower will encourage milk production and help it flow more freely when it comes time to nurse.
- Good Latch: It can be quite painful and ineffective for the baby to only take your nipple into his mouth. Ensure that he is taking the areola into his mouth as well. This makes for a good latch, meaning the maximum amount of milk is expressed and will help to minimize the risk of cracked nipples.
- Use Lanolin: Nothing will be kinder to your breasts as you breastfeed than lanolin. This cream will soothe sore nipples, making it easier for you to continue to breastfeed and reducing your risk of a clogged duct or mastitis.
The breasts go through a lot as your pregnancy progresses, but rest assured, they are equipped for the process. Heed your body's signals and visit the doctor if you think something may be wrong. Otherwise, enjoy the changes your breasts make as your due date approaches. They are one more sign of your impending motherhood and of the joy that's about to enter your life.