Well, the good news is that your body has already begun to prepare for nourishing your baby, months before your baby is even born. Very cool you say! How does that happen. Well by the fourth month of pregnancy the breast has already made big changes in its preparation to breastfeed. Production of colostrum is established… all while you were just being your pregnant self. Amazing isn’t it?
Colostrum: a unique substance that appears as a semi-transparent, thick and sticky liquid ranging in color from pale to deep yellow. It contains: water, minerals, fat droplets, white blood cells and other cells. Has been known to leak from the breast during pregnancy. Totally Normal!
All the ingredients in colostrum combine and the result is specially designed nutrients to meet the needs of the newborn. Colostrum is also chock full of a natural lubricant, which amazingly enough acts to destroy bacteria.
Amazing colostrums facts:
Complete food for your baby. Nothing additional needed.
Clean hands are always important, but no need to wash breast before feeding because of the antibacterial properties in colostrums.
Crazy stuff, isn’t it? And we have only begun as this is your baby’s first food and there is lots more changes happening inside your body, all while you are enjoying the first few days of breastfeeding. You don’t have to do anything else, but breastfeed your baby and enjoy your time cuddling. Your participation in the changing events is really quite limited. Relax, feed your baby, stay well hydrated, well nourished and rested. Wallah. Dats it!
Sooo, what else do you need to prepare for the early days of breastfeeding, now that you know the food
There are many jokes about just needing a baby and a breast and you got it made in the shade. While this is true, there are some of other fun products that will make breastfeeding enjoyable and fun. Some products are for comfort and some are for fun. You don’t have to break the bank though, pick and choose what you feel you can afford and would be most helpful to you.
Having at least 3 good nursing bra to start off with. The last 6 weeks of pregnancy is a good time to get fitted.
A good breastfeeding pillow. Look for one that has a firm pillow to help support the weight of the baby. Some pillows tend to slide down your lap while breastfeeding, so look for one that has a piece of material or strap to hold it in place.
It will be helpful to have just a few nursing shirts in the beginning. I don’t recommend buying more than a few before the baby is born. You will soon begin putting it to use and finding what kind fits you best and is the most practical for your lifestyle. You might realize that you are not a fan of separate bras and shirts but love some of the nursing tanks that make breastfeeding real easy when you are on the outside.
Choose a place in your home ( other than your babies room) that you sense you will be spending most of the time in and make that “baby central.” Have a diaper changing station set up, along with all the other things you will be using frequently. A chair to breastfeed in, a place to put diaper clothes, blankets, your breastfeeding pillow, table to hold some water and light snack. Baby central will be extremely important if you have a 2 story or if you have a cesarean section. You need things close and handy.
Put your support system In place. Keep the numbers of your breastfeeding friends handy, along with your local breastfeeding mothers group info. Make some calls to local IBCLCs and make that connection before you have your baby. It is more stressful to begin the search for breastfeeding help once the baby is born. Some of my most fun calls are from moms who are just looking to make that connection ahead of time, just in case.
Todays breastfeeding humor: I have used a babywrap ( Sleepy Wrap) for 5 years as a demo In my office. It is a beautiful dark green one. I chose this color because I knew that it would really take a beating with many spit ups and pees and poops. The funny thing is, that in 5 years, it has only endured a few spit ups, one pee and never and poops. Until today! This event was totally off my radar and so it happened when I least expected it. On the wrap, on the baby and on the moms clothing…. A majorbeautiful yellow mustardy breastfed babies poop. Now I can honestly say the wrap has finally been fully christened. Poor mom was so appalled, but I just thought it was the cutest thing. I hope she comes and sees me again!!!
Just as a side note: I was very surprised to see how many pictures of blowouts are posted on the internet. What’s that about????