The best advice about breastfeeding I have been given was actually by my Mum. The idea was first passed down from my grandmother who had four children, to my mother, and then to me: Prepare your nipples beforehand. It's a simple idea that might sound a little odd but I can tell you it helped me a lot, especially with the whole co-feeding twins thing.
Lots of friends I have spoken to told me the same story over and over, that breastfeeding hurts so much that they were about to give it all up. I used to say, 'did you prepare your nipples?' I honestly thought this was common practice but clearly I seem to have been the only one.
The thing about this is that you have start well in advance. Once you are pregnant it's actually better to leave your nipples alone, as too much stimulation can lead to contractions - so it really has to be done when you are trying for a baby. I know that is a way way way in advance but trust me the benefits are pretty huge.
One of the common problems with breastfeeding, and the stuff nobody really knows until they have been through it - is that it hurts, especially in the beginning - until your nipples are used to it all. I have heard horror stories from friends who had pink milk - sounds rosy but it's basically blood from your chipped nipples that end up in the milk while pumping as latching on a new born is basically not doable anymore because of the sore nipple.
People have different types of skin, some are more sensitive or experience pain differently, but this tip is something everyone can do regardless of that.
So how does it work? You toughen up your nipples so when it comes to the latching on tasks and the baby and you have got the hang of it, your nipples will be prepared and suffer far less. Which in turn will make the process a lot easier and a lot more enjoyable.
Ways to do it.
Use a towel after the shower to dry yourself a little bit more hard. Not wearing bras, which leads to a bit more friction and the chafing also helps. Simply do not treat them as kindly as you would have normally done.
Or you could ask your partner to be a bit more on the rough side with them, everything is allowed from sucking hard (obviously) to a little bit of biting - I am sure you will get creative.
Has anyone been given this tip, or done it? Most of you have been probably told to not do anything by your midwife and she is right because by the time you normally get to see a midwife you are already pregnant. Although I have to admit I still continued while pregnant, best to see what you are comfortable with.
I have to say it really worked for me. I did not have sore nipples despite the fact that I had two mouths to feed. Thanks Ma and Grandma!