Breast Care & Colostrum • Preparing your breasts in any special way during pregnancy for nursing is not really necessary, although it will do no harm to apply a nourishing lotion to keep the skin supple. • Do not be tempted to brush nipples with a nailbrush or toothbrush as this common old wives’ tale will just hurt breast tissue and possibly lead to infection. • The massaging of breasts in pregnancy to try and increase colostrum or milk supply is without any positive effects and might well hurt breast tissue, and is also best avoided. • Colostrum, which is the precursor to mother’s milk, is made in the mammary glands from as early as 8 weeks of pregnancy. • Colostrum is a sticky, yellow-white substance and is very nutrient-rich and sweet. • Sometimes a little colostrum trickles out in pregnancy but often not at all and this is not indication of whether or not one will produce sufficient milk once baby is born. • Colostrum helps break down or thin any mucus baby has swallowed or produced for easier sneezing out after birth. • Colostrum acts as a laxative on meconium, the thick green-black stool that coats baby’s bowels while in the womb. • Colostrum contains an amazing immunity package of antibodies that will last the baby for quite a few months after birth. • Colostrum is extremely nutrient rich, so that baby only needs a teaspoonful at a time to be the equivalent of 50ml of mother’s milk. • Colostrum contains excellent levels of Vitamin K, which protects baby against bleeding. Pigmentation: • Pigmentation marks mostly start in the second half of the pregnancy, resolve spontaneously in the months after birth, and are mostly gone by 3-6 months. • Freckles and other blotches usually either become bigger or darker in pregnancy. • Moles often increase in size in pregnancy, mostly without any problems. • Pigmentation and related changes are due to the hormones of pregnancy and seldom of any concern although one should also avoid prolonged exposure to the midday sun. • Darker skinned women and brunettes are more prone to pigmentation changes in pregnancy. • Chloasma is the medical name for the common butterfly-like pigmentation over the nose and cheeks and brownish discolouration around the mouth. • Increased areola size (brown area around the nipple) and a darker pigment of this area is common in pregnancy too. • The linea nigra is the stripe down the centre of the abdomen and through the navel which develops in the second half of pregnancy. Weight Gain/Showing • Many women are the picture of radiant beauty and health with a lovely feminine glow, lustrous hair and beautiful skin and nails now. Most niggles improve in this trimester. • In the first trimester one gains about 10% of total pregnancy weight, from 12-20 weeks about 25%, the most in the following 8 weeks until the end of the second trimester at 45% and this drops to about 20% in the last stretch. • The swelling of one’s abdomen in pregnancy becomes visible to oneself long before others notice it. • Just when one notices one’s belly starting to grow is very varied for women and depends on a number of factors. • Women with good muscle tone might show pregnancy a lot later as the abdominal muscles keep the womb deeper inside the abdominal cavity. • Short women might show sooner as the pregnancy per force grows ‘outwards’ sooner. • First pregnancies take longer to show than subsequent ones, when the abdominal muscles have already stretched considerably previously. • Pregnant women often notice a slight bulging around the waistline or above the pubic area from about 16 weeks. • Others might well only notice your ‘bump’ growing from 20 weeks. • Some women feel they carry more in their ‘bums’, but this is just putting on some extra fat, an evolutionary ‘supply’ for your body, should you need more energy after birth!
To see the actual publication please follow the link above