Prenatal Lactation Care for New Moms
Hi, I’m Dee Miller. I’ve been a Registered Nurse for over twenty-five years and have worked in maternal-child health since 2008. I have been an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) for five years. Assisting families in achieving their breastfeeding goals is my passion! My objective is to help no matter what a successful breastfeeding journey looks like for you and your family.
When you Sign up for a Lactation Consultation with Lotus Lactation – I’ll support your goals with evidence-based practices and applications so that you may have an enjoyable and stress-free journey with breastfeeding.
I understand that sometimes breastfeeding may be difficult for some mothers to do. If you are one of those mothers who is having trouble breastfeeding, take heart because I have solutions to all of your problems!
In this post, I’ll be focusing mostly on Prenatal Lactation and what to expect.
Even though your body begins to make milk starting around 16-22 weeks of your pregnancy, you may not see or leak any milk until after the delivery of your baby. The delivery of your placenta is what actually starts the hormone production that leads to making copious amounts of milk. Just because you aren’t leaking before the birth of your baby does not mean you will have any trouble making enough milk to feed your baby. Trust your body, it knows what to do!
Whether you think about it or not, your pregnant body is preparing itself for breastfeeding. That’s one reason some women’s breasts get so much bigger during pregnancy. Your milk ducts and milk-producing cells are developing, and more blood goes to your breasts than before. But, Breast size and shape have very little to do with how much milk you will make. Milk production depends on the length and frequency of which you feed your baby. Ideally, you want to breastfeed your baby within two hours of birth to help establish a robust milk supply.
You may be asking yourself if you need to do anything to prepare or toughen your nipples for breastfeeding. The short answer is, No. Pregnancy can bring hormonal changes to your breasts that will usually prepare you for breastfeeding. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the nipples, which will only hurt and make it difficult for you to breastfeed. If possible, try to teach your baby the right way to latch on from the beginning so that you won’t suffer from soreness later. During your Prenatal and other Lactation Consultation(s) I’ll teach you the best ways to do this.
Find the right products to help with Breastfeeding.
- Nursing Bras – Nursing Bras and Nursing tops are a must for all nursing mothers to make breastfeeding convenient and easy. They are usually worn underneath the shirt and unnoticeable by others. They come in different styles, materials, and colors. The material used can be cotton or any other that will not harm the baby’s skin.
- Nursing pads are a type of absorbent pad worn to protect the skin from leaking breast milk. They catch leaking breast milk and also help prevent sore nipples, an important consideration for breastfeeding mothers. There are many different options from disposable to wash and reusable.
- Nipple Cream – helps to relieve sore nipples during the first few weeks. There are many different options for nipple cream: lanolin, manuka honey, coconut oil, and other organic nipple balms are just some of the over-the-counter options you will find. A more expensive but very extremely effective alternative to creams and balms are silver nipple covers that are placed over the nipples between feeds. Silver is a natural antimicrobial metal that also has anti-inflammatory agents.
- Nursing Pillow – A nursing pillow is a narrow pillow that helps you to breastfeed your newborn. It provides support to your newborn’s head and neck, which will help them feed more comfortably.
- Breast pumps are convenient if you want to go back to work. You can pump your milk, and then others can give it to your baby in a bottle. Most insurance companies will cover the cost of your electric or battery-powered breast pump. Electric double pumps are the most efficient type of breast pump, but are also the most expensive if you have to pay for it yourself. Hand pumps are not as efficient but are a very affordable alternative. Milk catchers and hands-free pumps that can be worn underneath your clothing are another option for collecting your milk. There are many different styles and types of these products. If you find all these gadgets and products confusing, you should seek assistance from your lactation consultant in making a decision that will work best for your specific needs and lifestyle.
- Breast Milk Storage Bags can be used in a pump or breast milk collector for storage of your excess milk. They are easy to use and can be frozen until you need them.
- Nipple Shield – A nipple shield is a piece of thin rubber shaped like a breast with an opening in the center. It can be used if your baby is having difficulty latching on to the nipple. The nipple shield pulls out the nipple and makes it easier for your baby to latch onto it. However, nipple shields should only be used as a temporary tool. They should be a short-term solution to your baby’s latching difficulty. If you find you are needing a shield long-term that is a good indication you should be seeking assistance from a lactation consultant. Using a nipple shield long-term could negatively affect your milk supply.
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