Breast and Nipple Preparation
Do's and Don'ts
By: Christine Ann Antonio, RN, BSN, BS in Ed., MPH
Do inspect your breasts and nipples to see what they look like.
Do become familiar with these wonders of nature. Are your nipples flat or inverted when gently squeezed? DON'T panic.
There is some evidence that they may become protracted (outies) by the end of the pregnancy. If not, you can call your local resource (see Preparation for Breast-feeding) for assistance before the birth of your baby.
DON'T use soaps, creams, friction or anything on your breasts or nipples unless you have a very unusual situation and have gotten professional advice to do so by someone well trained in breast-feeding problems. It is just not necessary. The oil glands around the nipples and early leaking colostrum (milk later) are all you need for both pregnancy and nursing. It is nature at it's best.
Remember, the most important organ in breast-feeding is the mother's brain. When it receives signals from the nipple and breast, milk production and ejection will occur.
Mothering is more learned than instinctive and her best teacher is her own baby.1
Personally, I'm grateful that my first little five pound baby knew what to do, because I knew next to nothing. She came early and that's my excuse. I was sick a lot the first three months, but she thrived because I nursed on demand and used bottles for emergencies only.
1Rubin, R: Attainment of the maternal role. Nurs Res 16:237 - 41 and 342 - 46, 1967
Breast Feeding Preparation
Breast Feeding-Common Problems
Signs of Needed Intervention
Home Remedies - Engorgement Relief
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Breast and Nipple Preparation Breast Feeding Do's and Don'ts