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nipples and pregnancy

Forum: Breastfeeding


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September 16th, 2008, 02:40 AM
soImarriedAnerd's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I know its pretty common for your nipples to get cracked and bleed and need to toughen up when you start breastfeeding. My question is---What, if anything, can I do while pregnant to maybe get them in shape before baby gets here?
I read two things----to pull and play with them to toughen them up, but then I also read to start putting lanolin cream on them earlier (wouldn't this soften them up and make the bf harder?)
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September 16th, 2008, 12:51 PM
bostoncreampie's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I have read that you shouldn't do anything at all, maybe that's an old wives tale? And I have no idea why you would. I didn't, and I don't see any reason why things may have been harder because I didn't. If your baby is latching on the right way, you shouldn't have cracked or bleeding nipples, so if that happens to you, contact a lactation consultant as soon as possible. Good luck!

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mama to 5 yr old DS1 , 3 year old DS2 , and nursling DD .
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September 16th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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Those that have tried it both ways say that it didn't help. They used to reccomend "toughening" them up, but that seems to be an outdated reccomendation. If you think about what you are going from, which is nothing more than a bra rubbing against them, to a baby sucking on them 10-12 times a day, there is bound to be a little soreness to accompany that. Usually, cracks don't happen unless your baby has a bad latch or position while nursing, or some type of physical problem (inverted nipples, tongue-tie). The best way to prevent that is to start working with a lactation consultant (or your midwife) after the baby is born so you can be sure everything is on track.
Andrea, mom to 3 beautiful girls - Abigail (8) Annabelle (6) and Alexis (3)

Expecting baby #4 in April - It's a BOY!

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September 16th, 2008, 12:56 PM
Tribeca's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I don't know about the lanolin during pregnancy (have not heard that helps), but I was told by my midwife NOT to play with/rub nipples in my 3rd trimester of pregnany because it can stimulate early labor. This would be the time you'd want to toughen them up anyway (why bother doing it earlier and then stop for 3 months. I would think you'd lose any benefit you had gotten anyway). With that being said I know several women who said they took their chances and toughned their nipples up in the 3rd trimester and they all said BF still hurt like hell. (2 of the 3 delivered early by the way

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September 16th, 2008, 01:08 PM
soImarriedAnerd's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Well then sounds like I will be skipping that idea! LOL. I thought it sounded odd thats why I wanted to run it by the JM BF experts!
Thanks ladies!
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September 17th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Coming in a little late Ange.. Just wanted to say, get books, LLL on speed dial, start attending LLL meetings now and build up your support networks (IE family, dh) to help you when the time comes.

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September 17th, 2008, 05:48 PM
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Yeah and stock up on some Soothies gel pads, go ahead and put them in the fridge so when you need them they are nice an cool...

Honestly both of my children had "beautiful latches" according to the lactation consultant and I had sore nipples that did crack and bleed a little bit for the first couple of days and then cleared up no problem. It seems bad in the beginning but honestly, looking back, it wasnt so bad.

I really like Earth Mama Angel Baby's nipple butter. It is all natural and isnt sticky like lanolin. Lanolin works fine though, I just prefer the nipple butter. (their diaper rash ointment is AWESOME too)

Congrats on your decision to breast feed and Good Luck! Everyone here is very helpful so come visit us anytime you have questions.

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September 18th, 2008, 09:57 AM
soImarriedAnerd's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Love Earth Angel mama stuff! I will make sure to get the nipple cream on my next purchase! And put down the gel pads for my to get list as well!!!
Thanks ladies!
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