Preparing for Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is the
best choice for you and your baby. Over 99% of women can
There are three nipple types. Sometimes the nipple is not
the same on both breasts. Most nipples are erect
nipples that stick out. Some women have flat
nipples. Flat nipples may come out when a woman
is cold or sexually aroused. Flat nipples are often more
erect after the baby is born. Inverted nipples
look like small slits or folds. You can tell if a nipple
is inverted by doing a “pinch test.” Gently
pinch the base of the nipple with your thumb and finger.
If the nipple sinks in, it is inverted. Women with all types
of nipples can breastfeed. And breasts of all sizes make
plenty of milk.
Avoid pulling on your nipples or rubbing them with a towel
to “toughen them up” while you are pregnant.
If your nipples do not come out when your baby is born,
your doctor or midwife may give you “breast shells.”
These are plastic rings that push the nipple out. You do
not need to use breast shells while you are pregnant. A
healthy baby gently pulls out the nipple simply by nursing.
What is Colostrum?
Colostrum is the first milk made by your breasts. It is
there in the last half of pregnancy and first days after
birth. Colostrum is a thick yellow fluid full of food and
antibodies (to keep your baby from getting sick). You may
see it leaking out before your baby is born. This is normal.
Avoid pushing out colostrum by hand during pregnancy.
Learn about breastfeeding before your baby is born. Plan
now to give your baby the best start in life!
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