Every pregnant woman looks forward to nursing their babies with with a curious wonder. This is the bond that connects the baby to the mother after carrying him/her inside hew womb for 9 months. I cannot exactly describe the feeling that comes over during nursing. You kind of feel elated or in seventh heaven, a total bliss of motherhood (once you pass the ni.pple cracks) as if you’re the sole creator of humankind. You see how much this little tiny creature needs you, makes you feel.
Envisioning nursing experience during pregnancy is nothing like the actual experience itself. Even though they say it is normal, you get worried if your milk doesn’t come right ahead. Then comes the ni.pple pain during your baby’s unexpectedly powerful sucking along with cracks. Added to the anxiety of whether you baby nursed enough or not. Thanks to your crazy hormones, going up and don just like the stock market, there will be experiences with lots of ups and downs.
There are different experiences in nursing; some who can’t nurse, some who can nurse but a little or short while, some who can nurse. In my opinion, not having real high expectations, being comfortable, expecting some tough situations, knowing that you can overcome them will make this journey much easier.
The more you condition your self by saying, “I will do this, I will do that”, the more disappointment you will feel. You need to be flexible and patient. It does not matter how many books you read, how much you read on blogs on parenting, how many recommendations you receive from others, all get wiped out once you hold your baby. You cannot learn nursing by reading about it like you cannot learn how to ride a bike by reading a book. You don’t even know how to hold your baby.
Your two most important assistants are:
a: Baby Nurses at the hospital
b: The lactation consultants at the hospital
I recommend that you take advantage of them while at the hospital. As soon as you go into labor, your spouse or someone from your family should get an appointment from the lactation consultant and make sure to see him or her at least once before you go home.
Start applying a lanolin cream (I recommend Lansinoh) to your ni.pples during the last phase of your pregnancy. I would recommend that you apply a moisturizer against stretch marks to your breasts during the last month and keep on using during the first month after the delivery because your breasts will engorge suddenly and it might cause stretch marks. Make sure to have these creams and a pair of nursing bras at the hospital. You will not need the nursing pad yet.
Breastfeeding 101 – Amazing Mother’s Milk
Breastfeeding 102 – First experience after birth
Breastfeeding 103 – Tips for correct breastfeeding techniques
Breastfeeding 104 – Comfortable and healthy nursing positions
Breastfeeding 105 – Increasing mother’s milk supply
Breastfeeding 106 – Troubleshooting for nursing problem
Breastfeeding 107 – Storing breast milk
Breastfeeding 108 – Why does refrigerated breast milk smells sour
Breastfeeding – Other questions