Many first-time moms expect breastfeeding to be easy. After all, this is the most natural way for women to feed their babies. More often than not, breastfeeding is a breeze for the first two or three days after giving birth. The supply of colostrum is moderate and breast and nipple swelling are mild enough for the baby to easily latch on. More importantly nursing in the hospital and home environment is readily encouraged and thus, there are few concerns over discretion and exposure.
Unfortunately, however, all of this can change once the actual supply of milk comes in. Women are graced with an abundance of milk over a twenty-four hour period that can cause the breasts to double in size and become tight, swollen and painful. Swollen nipples may be too large to accommodate the tiny mouth of an infant and thus, latching on is done with incredible difficulty.
The Good News
All of these problems are designed to self-correct. Women simply have to make sure that they stay calm and that they are wearing the appropriate clothing articles. Many fashionable options in maternity bras and tops often have easy access openings so that nursing can be accomplished easily and discretely, anywhere. This is important once new moms have left the hospital environment and have a number of guests and visitors.
Staying relaxed is also important for allowing the natural letdown process to occur. Although the engorged breasts do not seem capable of emitting a healthy flow of milk, once moms and their youngsters start to relax, this will happen easily. Good clothing with ease of access and plenty of room for accommodating the additional breast size is important for avoiding blocked ducts and the resulting secondary infections. Bras should be supportive and comfortable, but not too tight.
Other Garments That Prove Helpful During This Time
Breastfeeding is not just good for babies. It is also good for their mothers. Studies have shown that nursing significantly decreases a woman’s likelihood for developing breast cancer. It also helps to facilitate the shrinking of the uterus, back down to its normal size. This shrinking is caused by uterine contractions that occur when infants suckle. Many women have opted to wear maternity belts during this process, such as those that are offered as part of the Brestmates pregnancy clothing line. These help to minimize pain and cramping and to expedite the contracting of the uterus. Best of all, they serve the dual purpose of transforming a woman’s pre-pregnancy clothes into functional maternity gear by concealing pants closures when bellies grow too big for these to be zipped or snapped securely.