In preparing for breastfeeding during olden days, pregnant women would toughen their nipples such as rubbing with rough towel. However, research has shown that it is not necessary as breastfeeding is natural to mothers. Women’s body will make its own breastfeeding preparation during pregnancy. They would feel tingling nipples and bigger breasts in their very early pregnancy which are signs of preparation. It is good for mums to prepare yourself mentally and physically to have a successful breastfeeding experience as feeding your baby with human milk is a matter of getting used to. Visiting a lactation consultant during pregnancy is recommended as she will answer your questions and examine your breasts professionally. For mums on long term medication, please consult your obstetrician early for alternative if medication is not beneficial for nursing infants.
When to breastfeed?
The best time to start breastfeeding is soon after childbirth. Do not be tempted to delay breastfeeding even for Caesarean section. Human milk is still a good nourishment source for newborns even till today. If mums are mentally prepared, it will help to initiate breastfeeding early and avoid problems associated with delayed breastfeeding. Having a supportive partner is another key preparation for breastfeeding success.
What food to eat during pregnancy?
Protein rich foods such as fish and beans. Soybeans, black beans, lentils and soy products like tofu, have high protein value which is suitable for vegetarian.
Chinese confinement herbal soup or special soups that are known to promote lactation such as green papaya boiled with fishbone. Confinement herbal package with pre packed herbs are readily available for your convenience as well. Otherwise, there is confinement food delivery option where mums only need to follow the cater’s recommended menu if you do not hire confinement nanny or follow traditional recipes.
Preparation during last trimester.
In last trimester, mums should massage your breasts lightly in a circular motion from outer part to centre whenever you take a shower. Not necessary to massage areola and nipples as stimulating the nerve endings on the areolas has been known to trigger premature contractions. This helps to prevent engorgement after giving birth.
Investing in good nursing bras will allow mums to have an easier time during postpartum confinement. Mums should pamper yourself with attractive, comfortable nursing bras with good support but not under wired. Buy one to two cup-sizes larger as breasts will enlarge during pregnancy and breastfeeding.