When a mom of five shells out advice, you lend an ear and listen because raising five kids is no ordinary feat. That's why when actress and, yes, mom of five Ina Raymundo shared with SmartParenting.com.ph her nursing advice, we were all ears.
Ina breastfed all her kids, and she learned she had to prepare her nipples for breastfeeding, especially for the first latch right after giving birth.
The hack to lessen breastfeeding pain? Apply lanolin cream or ointment months on your nipples before you give birth. Ina explains it moisturizes and keep the nipples supple, avoiding dryness that leads to skin cracks.
“Kailangan, bago ka manganak at seven months, maglagay ka na ng lanolin [ointment] sa nipples mo para ma-moisturize nang husto ’yong nipples mo para very supple siya.
"Kasi once nagkasugat ’yon, ang sakit talaga. And it’s more painful than childbirth. I’m not kidding. Kasi you feed your babies at least 20 times a day. So every time magla-latch siya in the beginning, sobrang excruciating pain," she shared in our interview.
Ina isn't the only one who swears by nipple creams to ease breastfeeding pain. Former beauty queen Shamcey Supsup, proud breastfeeding mom to daughter Nyke, also considers it as one of her new-mom essentials. Many moms also consider it one of mom's postpartum essentials.
Armi Anastacio Baticados, a breastfeeding peer counselor from L.A.T.C.H. Los Baños, offers an alternative: virgin coconut oil or expressed breast milk. "These are both food grade and okay for a baby to swallow." (She explains about lanolin, "Breast tissues are tender during the first few days of birth because of hormones. Lanolin just moisturizes the skin and is used to treat skin cracks."
Still, the best way to prepare for nursing is to learn everything you can about breastfeeding to prevent sore or cracked nipples. "The best way to prevent painful latch — and prevent cracked skin — is to make sure the baby latches on properly," Baticados stresses.
Whether you choose lanolin-based, natural and organic, virgin coconut oil, or expressed breast milk, it is up to you. Just apply a minimal amount and wipe away the excess before letting your baby latch. You may want also want to seek suggestions from your baby's doctor or mom friends.
Remember that using nipple creams does not automatically mean you won't experience any breastfeeding pain. You still need to learn the basics (proper latching, positioning, etc.) to ensure that you and your baby will have the best possible nursing experience.