How do I get my nipples ready?
If their nipples are normal, mothers do not need to do anything to prepare their nipples for breastfeeding, except for doing a pinch test to ensure the part of the breast behind the nipple (nipple root) is normal. Rubbing the nipples with a towel or using a cream is not recommended. There are some mothers who are at a higher risk of nipple pain and damage and latching problems. They should be aware of which tools might be useful to prevent and manage these problems and how to establish their milk supply.
With the exception of ensuring that the tissue just behind the nipple (nipple root) is normal by using the pinch test in the second and third trimester, there is nothing you need to do to prepare your nipples.
In the past, mothers were told to rub their nipples with a towel but this is no longer recommended. Nipple creams and ointments should not be used before the baby’s birth. They have not been shown to be of any benefit and may cause problems for mother or baby.
Some mothers are at an increased risk of nipple pain and latching problems. This includes mothers:
- Who have nipples:
- Who had nipple pain or damage with a previous baby.
Mothers should be aware of which tools can prevent and manage these problems and how to establish their milk supply.