1. Take a breastfeeding or newborn care class
Taking a class while pregnant can help you to learn what to expect, how to get a good latch, how to know that your baby is enough and how to get a good as well as to troubleshoot what to do if things aren’t going well. Our 4 hour newborn care class covers all this and more, Click here for more info on that.
2. Find a lactation consultant
If things aren’t going well in the first days and weeks after birth, you’ll need the help of a lactation consultant.Most Seattle hospitals have lactation consultants you can meet with and I encourage you to ask for one while still in the hospital even if things are going well. After leaving the hospital, it can be most helpful to receive lactation support in your own home. I encourage you to find a lactation consultant while still pregnant and put their name and number in your phone and on the fridge. That way you already know who to call when you are sleep deprived and don’t want to make any decisions.
I recommend the following out of hospital lactation consultants:
Betsy Hoffmeister IBCLC
Catherine Fenner IBCLC
Joy Mctavish IBCLC
Jocelyn Pierce IBCLC
3. Attend a breastfeeding support group
Breastfeeding support groups can be a wonderful way to get general breastfeeding help while also building community with other breastfeeding parents.
Nurturing Expressions holds weekly support groups in West Seattle and Kitsap County
Melody Hansen runs a monthly support group in the Wallingford neighborhood on the first Wednesday of every month
La Leche League holds support groups throughout the Seattle area and beyond
Why do my breasts hurt in pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a time of great changes in the body, many of them uncomfortable and breasts are no exception. The hormones of pregnancy make your breasts grow in preparation for producing milk, and that in turn can lead to pain, tenderness, tingling and feelings of engorgement.
What can I do about my painful breasts?
Gentle breast massage is an excellent way to help alleviate some of the discomfort in your breasts. Your breasts don’t have muscles, but are instead made up of fascia, lymph, fat cells and milk ducts. The fascia is what you’re feeling stretch, and by massaging your breasts, we can help sooth tightness and inflammation as well as encourage lymphatic drainage, which is crucial in reducing swelling and discomfort caused by fluid retention.
In short, breast massage will help relieve your breast discomfort, help prevent stretch marks on your breasts and aid in milk production.
Can I massage my breasts myself at home?
You absolutely should! During our session, I teach you a short breast massage routine that you can do yourself at home. Massaging your breasts yourself for a few minutes a day, will absolutely set you up for success when it comes time for breastfeeding.
When should I begin breast massage?
You can start at any time but if you haven’t already, please come in for a breast massage during your third trimester.
When is it not safe to do breast massage?
Gentle breast massage is safe in almost all pregnancies. The only times when it is not safe is if you have an injury or active infection on or in the breast or if your doctor has advised you to be on bed rest / pelvic rest.
I’ve heard breast massage can induce labor? Is this true?
While nipple stimulation can be a natural form of induction, that is a very concentrated kind of stimulation over time, and is not what we are doing during our breast massages.
What about after I have my baby? Can I come for a breast massage postpartum?
Postpartum breast massage is excellent in helping relieve engorgement or plugged ducts or after mastitis. (For mastitis, you must be finished with your antibiotics before coming in). It can also be helpful for issues of low milk supply in conjunction with seeing a lactation consultant. (Click here for my recommendations for Seattle based lactation consultants). As the need for postpartum breast massage is often not something you can plan ahead for, I offer two last minute appointments each week for this.
Click here to book your breast massage at Seattle Pregnancy Massage