Lets Talk About Breasts - Real Talk with ThirdLove*
You know what we don't talk about enough? Boobs. Specifically, the changes breasts go through during pregnancy, breastfeeding and post-nursing. It turns out that August is National Breastfeeding Month and I just had to write a post in honour of it.
During pregnancy, your boobs can actually know you're pregnant before you are - some breasts become larger and/or more sensitive within the first few weeks. Personally my breasts didn't start to change until I was well into the second trimester; cue itchy nipples and increased sensitivity. The slightest little knock against my boobs left me in agony, it was horrible! Although the itching was the worst part but nipple cream helped to soothe it. I personally used nspa nipple balm but I've seen Lansinoh been recommended a lot! They also started to grow around this time, and I finally had to buy maternity bras, as my normal bras were cutting into me something rotten! I only went up one cup and band size and they still fit me perfectly now!
Nursing, however, is a totally different story. Milk comes in 3 days after giving birth and boy, will you know about it. Your breasts will grow even more now they're full of milk and if your baby is going 2-4 hours between feeds (although this shouldn't happen until they're a few weeks old) they will get a bit too full and it really bloody hurts. To elevate the pain you can either hand express or use a breast pump while you wait for baby. Personally I really struggle with expressing, and so I generally just put up with it until I either leak, or Charlie wakes up hungry! I don't recommend doing this though; as it can cause mastitis. As for dealing with leaking; breast pads have become my new best friend. I generally only need these from early evening and throughout the night, as that's when my breasts become fuller and therefore more likely to leak. I have tried and tested 3 brands of breast pads so far; from Home Bargains, Boots and Lansinoh.
The Home Bargains pads are the thickest of the 3 (and make a pretty good substitute for a bra) but are actually the worst! Every time I pull my top down to feed Charlie they become unstuck from my top or bra and stick to my breast/nipple - not fun to peel off when they're already sore!
The Boots pads are the thinnest of the 3 and I was surprised to find that they only have one sticky bit; whereas the other two brands have two sticky pads. They didn't stay stuck for very long either, and roll down/off during feeds.
I love the Lansinoh pads, although I was a bit dubious when I realised they're thinner than the HB ones. But they are actually great and don't become unstuck while feeding. Just on that alone they are my favourite breast pads, and the only ones worth buying.
No longer nursing will bring yet more changes, although I obviously have yet to go through them. The bra company ThirdLove have kindly provided me with a brief guide to share, outlining the changes to expect.
Personally I'm hoping for bigger breasts at the end of it all; as a naturally smaller chested woman I'm loving my milk boobs at the moment!