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Preparing Nipples For Breastfeeding

Baby Bump: Did You Rub Your Nipples Raw?

A burgeoning belly often invites unsolicited advice from strangers and friends. When I was pregnant the first time around, I was shocked at how many people asked me if I was going to prep my nipples for breastfeeding. Come again? I'm sorry, I think you just asked me if I was going to prepare my breasts for nursing.

Let me first address this issue: It is nobody's business but my own if I will choose to prep or not prep my nipples. Second, are you kidding me? I heard some women use a wet washcloth to nearly rub their areolas raw in preparation for the suckling. No thank you. If pain is the name of the game, I am sure I will have enough of it when the time comes — as in, when the baby arrives!

I was surprised that those who inquired didn't show up with a cheese grater, pumice stones, or a jar full of piranhas and a card that read, "Good luck breastfeeding! Here are some devices to help you get ready!"


Greggie Greggie 9 years
No, although people asked. There's no way to prepare for breastfeeding, even pumping won't exactly mimic your child's sucking pattern and latch strength. Just know it'll hurt and leave it at that.
sofi sofi 9 years
ouch- I remember that you aren't supposed to prep because it may help induce labor.
macgirl macgirl 9 years
I had so many people ask me about nursing, nipples and everything- yes even men! What's wrong with people?? I think the first time around I started to try and rough them up with a wash cloth but it didn't help with the pain. Glad I figured that one out.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
anniekim anniekim 9 years
A ridiculous old wives tale--it's the opposite of the advice ant doc or lactation consultant would give. It would be funny, but I feel very sorry for women that believe this and perpetuate the myth. ouch!
meumitsuki meumitsuki 9 years
No prep required...if you are having problems to start, just lather on lansinoh cream. Perfectly safe for baby and heals and protects.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I've never heard of this! :rotfl: at: I was surprised that those who inquired didn't show up with a cheese grater, pumice stones, or a jar full of piranhas and a card that read, "Good luck breastfeeding! Here are some devices to help you get ready!"
fjaril fjaril 9 years
What a bunch of Hooey. My Dr almost laughed when I asked if that was something people really did.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 9 years
This would be an awful thing to do they are already sensitive. They have great products out there and great people to help you make the best of your breastfeeding experience.
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
I never heard such a thing! How strange.
keiren63 keiren63 9 years
My mother suggested it to me when I was pregnant twenty years ago. But no one suggested it for the next three kids (last one born 2001). When I was nursing my oldest, there was this philosophy that nursing would hurt at first and you just had to live with it (and find all the nipple ointments for the cracked and bloody nipples you'd get). By my second, eight years later, the nurses told me, "If it hurts, you're doing it wrong" and taught me differently than I'd been taught first time out. I never had a problem with the next three.
SweetnLow SweetnLow 9 years
That's an old wives' tale. You don't need to prep them- (and I didn't.)
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
That is strange that anyone would ask that question. And I certainly hope there weren't any men asking it.
Mommy-of-Three Mommy-of-Three 9 years
I never did any prep to my body for breastfeeding. If your nipples are already raw and hurt it is going to make it worse when the baby nurses. The pain should not last for long. If it does last longer than a few weeks it could be a sign of a problem like thrush or a poor latch.
DesignRchic DesignRchic 9 years
I didn't prep mine at all. It doesn't make much sense to me and I don't think it matters whether you "prepare them" or not. It still hurts! Why not leave them alone and let them enjoy some peace and quiet till you have to breastfeed.
MamaBee MamaBee 9 years
This reminds me of one of the funnier baby shower stories I've heard: the mom-to-be was opening all of her gifts, and received a basket with random items that we all end up needing, but don't necessarily know we need before the baby arrives. One of the items was a "nipple brush." The mom-to-be got all wide-eyed, looked around the room and said "Oh, this is going to hurt." She was visibly relieved (and embarrassed) when she found out that it wasn't for *her* nipples, but the good old rubber ones! Thank goodness her friends were nice and cleared up the confusion before she did any damage ...
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