preparing for breastfeeding

  • so, I am currently pregnant and really want to breastfeed.  My nipples are very sensative though and I am afraid I will have a hard time.  Any suggestions on what to do to make my nipples desensitized or stronger so that doesn't hold me back?

  • I would recommend you to go to a La Leche League metings (you'll find your local chapter on their website They will help you with tips for whatever issue you might have, these womens are great! however don't worry for something that might never happen, who knows, maybe you won't have any issue breastfeeding..... good luck!!!

  • I have a 6 month old girl (currently latched-on as I type this).  I recommend a nipple shield if you have problems getting started.  (check out I had to use one because my daughter was a month early and not strong enough to nurse well.  I hated it at first because it wasn't the natural experience I had envisioned, but I didn't have any pain or discomfort that my friends had experienced.  The lactation consultant at my hospital provided me with the correct size.  Most of all I wanted to tell you not to worry about breatfeeding.  If you stress yourself out about it even before your little one is here you may find it to be challenging and give up.  Think postive thoughts and things will go well!!

  • i am planning to feed my first baby, and im kinda scared... a few of my friends have kids. one siad it really hurt and it never stopped hurtin... but the other one said it hurt for about 2 days and now she feels nothing (pain wise)? how can i be sure it wont hurt?

  • It will hurt at first. They don't tell you that, but if you can suffer thru, it won't hurt forever.


  • Every doctor I've ever talked to has said you should NOT pump prior to the birth, or right afterwards.  First of all, you don't have any milk until a few days after the birth and you'll only be harming your developing milk ducts by pumping early.  At first you have colostrum, it's not a lot but just enough for a new born baby who doesn't really have an appatite.  Pumping this would also be detrimental to establishing a good milk supply.  Instead, wait until your milk comes in and if you have engorgement problems then go ahead and pump BUT not a lot, just enough to soften the breast for the baby to get a proper latch.  I've had two girls now and niether of them was good at latching on, so I used nipple shields until they got the hang of it.  They help to protect your nipples until a good latch is established.  Even then, it will still hurt a bit, but its NOTHING compared to natural birth, so just suck it up and remember how much you're helping your little one :-)

  • I'm expecting twins and not sure how nursing both at the same time will work out. I have a flat nipple which required a shield for my eldest to latch on to that side at all. I don't know how I'll be able to hold the shield on until the vacuum forms when I'm having to support another baby's head. Any ideas on this would be very helpful.

  • You really don't need to do anything to get ready to breastfeed.  Go to a La Leche meeting if you can and get a prescription for All Purpose Nipple Ointment or APNO from your OB. Nursing isn't really painful.  It's more like it starts out being very uncomfortable or strange but gets better as you go.

    You also can't tell how your breasts will be for nursing.  I have two very inverted small nipples that were very sensitive and had no problems.  Your breasts will adapt.  And La Leche can help you with problems as they arise. 

    DO NOT practice pumping.  Your breasts are not ready for it and stimulating your nipples is actually a way to bring on labor so this would be a big no-no.

    DO NOT use a nipple shield unless it is a last resort.  It will interfere with baby's ability to latch and could also damage your supple.  With a shield on, the latch isn't as good and your breast may not be stimulated enough.  I learned this the hard way after a nice (but ill informed) nurse at the hospital noticed that my baby wouldn't latch on right away.  I am also surprised by how many people using a shield don't actually know how to use it properly - you don't hold it in place, it sticks on all by itself and pulls the nipple into it BEFORE you latch the baby on.  You put it on by inverting it over your nipple so when it turns right side out again it sucks you nipple in.  Use a TINY bit of lanolin if you need some extra sticking power.

    DO drink lots of fluids and get lots to eat after giving birth to help your supply.


  • So here is the really deal. Don't let anyone tell you it doesn't hurt at first. It does. But if you push threw it, it become very natural.

    The worse thing I did was go to a Le Lache group. They made me feel bad for not being joyful and happy all the time about nursing. I went for support because at 6 months I was done. I was really looking for someone to say I understand and will be supportive. They were quite the opposite. When I told them of my reason for being there, they looked at me like I was the worse mom in the world.

    The key to nursing is to know that everyone womens body is different. I used a shield guard at first and had no issues. In fact, it helped my son learn to latch.  The real key for me was finding a nurse that had been there and done that. She was with our health department. She came to our house and stayed until I was able to get my son to latch. It took a couple of visits, but she was so patient. She also weighed him every time so that  we new he was gaining.

    I agree not to practice. I read that stimulating your nipples can induce contractions. The most important thing to rememeber is, it may be hard. As someone who had a tough time, I was soooo glad I stuck it out. I nursed till he was 9 months and had another 3 months worth in the freezer.  I DID NOT LIKE breastfeeding, but I do not regret a single minute of it and was kind of sad when I no longer did it.

    Good luck and remember that only you knows what is best for you.

  • If you're planning on pumping also, my suggestion is that you don't get discouraged if what you're pumping seems like very little. I had a hard time pumping and was upset at first. Definitely trust your body to nourish your baby, unless your pediatrician says otherwise. Good Luck!
  • Breastfeeding does hurt.  It will ease with time and proper latching.  Good luck.

  • I meant PACI in my last reply not PIC!  Wink  So, I went against what I learned in class by pumping the 1st week, letting my husband give our baby a bottle a few times a week starting with the 1st week & I gave our baby a paci on his 4th day of life to help soothe him at night & NO nipple confusion EVER!  Yes  I still have a great milk supply & he will still take my breast or bottle 12 weeks later....I've had very lucky, positive experience in that regard....still no formula use yet!

  • rech20 -

    Think positive.  Educate yourself, and surround yourself with people who are supportive of the breastfeeding process.  If you understand how to establish a proper latch and you understand all of the benefits of breastfeeding, you will develop a very positive attitude about it.  Be confident!  Definitely work with a lactation consultant and find out if there are any breastfeeding classes at the hospital you are delivering at, or ask your OBGYN or midwife to recommend ways to get support with the breast feeding process.  DON'T LISTEN TO ALL OF THE NEGATIVE STORIES PEOPLE TELL YOU!  Be a strong woman and know that moms have been breast feeding forever and it is a beautiful and natural thing.  Not only that, but did you know that the average cost of a year supply of formula is around $1400!!!??  Don't plan on using a nipple shield unless you really need one and don't pump until you really have to.  Don't substitute with formula unless you really have to if you truly want to go gung ho into the breast feeding thing!  Best of luck to you!