Need a little help nursing your baby? We've got simple, tried-and-true advice from women who've been there.
Nip discomfort in the bud
Never 'work through' pain It wasn't until I nursed my second daughter that I realized it doesn't have to be uncomfortable. Any time it was, I'd have my lactation consultant come out to the house. She'd tweak this (usually me) and that (sometimes my daughter's head), and the pain would vanish.
-- Jenna Coito
Push it real good If your nipples hurt during letdown, gently push on your breast just outside the areola--you'll find that the pain is immediately diminished.
-- Lynn Picker, San Diego; mother of Jason, 6; Julia, 4; and Adeline, 1
Diapers do double duty Got engorged breasts? Heat damp disposable diapers (unused, of course) in the microwave, then place one on each breast. Huge relief!
--Kathy Shea, Pelham, N.Y.; mother of Tommy, 9; and Riley, 7
Ready to wean? Visit the produce department Raw cabbage leaves are a lifesaver! I put them right in my bra--they're the perfect size, they don't smell, and they stop the pain of engorgement. My doctor suggested this--and even she doesn't know why it works! (Many moms swear by the therapeutic effects of cabbage leaves even if you're not weaning.)
-- Marijane Funess, Pelham,N.Y.; mother of Gregory, 19; and Nick and Veronica, 9
Pump up the volume If you have problems pumping an adequate amount of milk, let your baby nurse from one breast while pumping the other. The baby's suckling helps trigger letdown and allows the available milk to be pumped from the other side. (This often works best after the first feeding of the day, when your milk volume is highest.)
-- Lynn Picker
Prime the pump When my milk first came in, my breasts became so engorged there was no way my babies could latch on. I tried pumping a little bit of milk before I started breastfeeding, and it made all the difference.
-- Carol Melnick, Pelham, N.Y.;mother of Justin and Alexa, 7