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I've been looking at the May DDC and a few women seem to be having trouble with sore nipples. I know that's normal and has a lot to do with latching, but would it be a good idea for me to start putting a tiny bit of lanolin on my nipples now? Will it help keep them from getting sore or cracked when the time actually comes?
Also, I have virtually no signs of milk coming in. I know some women don't have their milk come in for a week after birth. So, even if my milk doesn't come in by the time we leave the hospital, should I try to pump to stimulate that?
I know I'm beating this topic to death, but I really want it to go as smoothly as possible. Thanks ladies!
Milk with the exception of colostrum does not come in until the baby is born and stimulates your body to begin the process. You probably have colostrum but its a very thick substance so it may not leak. I wouldn't pump now there is no reason too. I never put anything on my nipples before or after.
There is little to no point in "prepping" your nipples, you may actually do more harm than good. Though, applying lanolin is pretty benign, lol. I haven't looked at the breastfeeding stories in May yet but I would wager a guess that the majority of the sore nipple issues come from latching difficulties, something that lanolin cannot prevent but can help soothe. When you first have your baby make sure your SO/family/nurses know to immediately hand you the lanolin and you can apply it directly to your nipples before latching. Or (and I am probably going to do this) if I have enough warning before it is time to push I will just apply it then. You do not need to wipe it off before the baby latches on
Don't worry about not lactating now. With my son I was pouring out colostrum when I was 7 months pregnant. With this one I've only started seeing signs of colostrum but I have to squeeze to see it. Lactating before breastfeeding isn't a sign of future success, it just means you have a lot of hormones going crazy.
Keep in mind that your baby will lose weight for the first week or two after birth and then go up and up and up and UP very quickly. If your baby is losing too much weight the doctor may suggest you supplement. You can do that two ways: with formula or by pumping. You would pump after every breastfeeding session and then feed the baby that. This will help your milk production and kick it into gear faster. If your milk has not come in by the time you leave the hospital I wouldn't worry, that's still very soon and what the baby needs is very little at each feeding. If your milk has not come in by the time you have your first baby well visit I would let the pediatrician know and then schedule a lactation consultant visit.
OH, and with the lanolin, when you start using it make sure you have a pad in your bra or nursing tank! It will transfer onto your shirt and leave grease stains.
Awesome advice already! The best advice I can give is to put baby to the breast often. The second night is usually the worst. It seems like baby cries constantly and wants to eat nonstop. Baby is signaling your body to produce milk. These cluster feelings will happen at each growth spurt to increase milk supply to keep up with the baby's growth. If you have latch issues, use the lanolin liberally but you can also get soothing gel pads. Stick them in the fridge and put on your nipples after a feeding. Feels a lot better. Also have an LC check latch a few times before leaving the hospital. If latch is good, you can expect the nipple soreness to lessen over the next few weeks. It gets much easier after 6 weeks. If you still have pain after that long or it's painful the entire nursing session, you should see the LC again