Keep in mind, I'm certainly no expert here as I'm only pregnant with my first one BUT....I did just graduate Breastfeeding 101! lol Lanolin is good for sore/dry/cracked nipples and preventing them. Lansinoh sells a cream/paste that you can use that is safe for you and baby. They also told us in the class to make sure that the baby gets the whole areola in their mouth too instead of just the nipple. She said some people assume just to let them use the nipple alone and that causes BIG TIME pain for Mommy! That's all I've got...but I hope it helps! :)
I was given the horrible advice to brush them with a soft toothbrush. BLEAH. But the lactation class I went to pooh-poohed that. The best advice I can give you is to go to a breast-feeding class ... our HMO has a one-time 2-hour class. For the sore nipples, you can indeed use lanolin, and it does help. Get medical grade lanolin, and it is made for this purpose (I think I have seen it at Babys R Us) in the breastfeeding section. Also, there are some wipes you can use after feeding that are also made especially for breast feeding, which might have some either antifungal or antibacterial protections in case there is a little yeast or thrush or whatever from the baby's mouth. My nipples got very sore with my son and I finally figured it out as being not just from them being gummed hard by him, but also because of a slightly yeast effect. I started wiping them with a white vinegar solution (just 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in 1 pint of water) and they improved a lot. You can also get a good effect like this by making a solution (much stronger than you would drink) of Lipton tea or any good plain tea like that, and dabbing it on. Apparently the tannins in the tea are really helpful.
As for the engorged breasts and the disappearing nips, try pumping first, to get there to be less milk in the breast and for the nipple to pop out. You can always freeze the milk, which will be useful for others to be able to give a bottle on occasion from it, and that will give the baby something to latch onto. Also that will give the baby your richest milk, as you will have pumped "foremilk" and what will be left in the breast will have a lot of "hind milk" in it, where the best goodies are. I suggest checking the Medela products at the baby store, their pumps are good and they also sell plastic bags that don't leach those toxins and that fit right onto the pump, so you can pump right into the bag for freezing. I've even seen little racks to hold the bags in the freezer.
ps -- If your hospital gives you any baby-safe pain killers as you leave, treasure them and dole them out really sparingly, as they can sometimes be a real lifesaver in early breastfeeding. LOL
I breast fed my son until he was 6 months old, and my breasts would get engorged often. Also in the beginning while your breasts are filling up for the first time, they usually get very swollen and tight, which is painful, and makes it hard for your baby to latch on. But that usually goes away after a few days. My best suggestion is when they become painfully full in the beginning, taking hot but not to hot showers, helps to relieve them (And it will aslo help for your breasts to let some of the milk out) Also you could get a breast pump, so they don't get too engorged. Good luck!!!!!!
I have 1 more comment, I also had blisters on my nipples for the first couple weeks, and I did what I could to sooth them. My point being, after the first couple weeks it becomes a whole lot easier if you can stick it out.
I remember with my first how sore I was, I cried everytime. Basically I just stuck it out and after a few weeks, there wasn't any problems.
With my second, I prepared more by not using any lotioin on my breasts, not wearing a bra at night to help them get tough and by letting them rub on my shirts. This seemed to work because I didn't have any problems.
With this one, my third, I haven't been putting lotion again on my breasts and still not wearing a bra at night. I have 4 weeks left, so I'm sure I'll start leaking, currently I am not leaking, unless there is pressure applied to them.
Get a consult ahead of time with a lactation consultant. She will look at your nips and give you some recommendations. If they are on the flat side already, there are things they can recommend for you to do prior to the birth.
AHA!!! and i thought that i was the only one who says NIPS>..lol..
everytime i am at the grocery store and i see cheese nips i crack up.
I have to say this.. and i hope that no one gets mad at me and posts a thousand threads of meanness here...lol.. but .. i am going to say it..
other than reading whatever you can about HOW to breastfeed.. and certainly please do this.. also.. ask other people.. its better to ask those who have gone through it.. rather than rely upon reading material.. although reading will also help..but .. anyway...
zane is my 7th baby.. i have breastfed 7 children... while i knew the logistics of breastfeeding.. i had forgotten about the first few weeks... i would have to say that using lansiloh breast/nipple products saved me.. i would put it on weeks before my baby came so that it would condition the nipple area...
well anyway... at first when zane came home..it wasnt uncomfortable... but about a week after.. wham! the pain it hurt to feed the baby!! and.. i would sometimes have a bit of blood from the stretching of the nipple..
I can remember saying to myself... wow.. i went through pregnancy.. labor and delivery.. and now this!!! what the heck!!!
it didnt last long... the pain went away...
i just want you to know.. that you may/may not have pain... there is going to be some soreness.... you cant expect your nipples/breasts to go through that.... and nothing happen..
I am sure that there are those who have had no pain.. or anything ..but.. just as it is silly to say.. hey... labor and deliverywill be 100% pain free.. recovery is a breeze.. etc ect.. its silly to say that you shuldnt expect to have 0% soreness and or pain when beginning to breastfeed.
the nips toughen up.. breastfeeding is a joy... and it bonds us with our babies... i would not change it for ANYTHING.. Zane now looks up at me when he is feeding.. and.. i got the most beautiful smile from him .. i cried.. and i have to tell you again.. it is a wonderful thing to do.. not only for your baby. ... but for yourself...
most things that are painful... are worth it... its a labor of love.
I am sure.. that when they are teenagers... things will more painful..lol...
I am printing this and WILL use it for reference. I can just imagine the bonding and special moments it creates and what a better feeling than knowing you are nourishing your baby! I get goosebumps just thinking about it! I am really looking forward to (hopefully) a rewarding experience with this and patting myself on the back because I was successful. The only thing I'm worried about is returning to work full time. That will be a challenge. After 12 weeks I will be back to work so I will have to also introduce him to a bottle and pump a lot.
I plan on doing all of the above! I actually have heard of the cabbage leaves trick and did try that last time but I didn't do it long enough or have enough patience. I chalk it up to being younger. I had all of my daughters in my 20's and I was so ready to just be normal and me again. This time it's more important for me to do the natural thing and what's right. Besides, I don't want to be buying formula!
Take a lactation class.
Call La Leche League.
Bond with women who have successfully breast fed.
Understand that the first few weeks will be rough, it takes abotu 6 weeks for your milk supply to be established and if you stick it out until then you will be a success.
It's all about the latch, if you and the bubs learn to do that properly it will be a breeze.
I personally prefer olive oil to lanolin products as they often add scent to them (why do I want my nips smelling like powder?)
Finally, this is an old midwives trick. When you are engorged, put cabbage leaves on your breast. There is an enzyme in the leaves that will help with the engorgment. And the coolness of the leaves will help a lot as well. Wierd I know, my lactation nurse told me that with my last one and it helped a lot in the first couple of weeks.