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39 Weeks Pregnant

39 Weeks Pregnant: Preparing to Breastfeed

Your Health

You have only a week or two to go until you meet your baby face to face, and you're probably wondering what he will look like. We can't tell you if he's got your partner's nose or your mother's hair, but we can say that he may be nearing a whopping 8 pounds.

Tip of the week:
Your breasts may be feeling a little sore about now, so try putting a small hot or cold pad in your bra to ease discomfort.

Additionally, he likely has dark blue-gray eyes, as most newborns do until their true eye color appears. His skin is turning from pink to white—even if you or your partner has dark skin— because he hasn't yet developed skin pigmentation.

When he's born, he'll be red or purple, wet and possibly have an elongated head from his trip down the birth canal. But after a few days, you'll start to see resemblances to you, your partner and a plethora of family members in his tiny little face.

In the meantime, you should prepare for taking care of that tiny little one, and a big part of that is feeding. Most experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, say that breastfeeding is best for you and your baby because it ensures proper nourishment for your child and can help you shed those pregnancy pounds (breastfeeding can burn up to 500 calories a day!). However, you may have good reason to choose the bottle, so be sure to discuss all of your options with your health care provider.

Women who plan to breastfeed should consider taking classes, which are offered at most hospitals. You may also want to join a support network like La Leche League. It's also a good idea to talk with friends or family members who have breastfed so you can ask any potentially embarrassing questions you may have.

As the final days of your pregnancy wind down, you're going to want to add some things to your shopping list that will make breastfeeding easier. The most obvious is a nursing bra, which will have cups that open for easy access. When buying a nursing bra, remember that your breasts may grow once the milk starts flowing. Additionally, nursing tops can allow for easier feeding time.

A nursing pillow can give both you and baby support. Trust us, during those long midnight hours when your baby is hungry, you'll need it. Finally, breast pads are helpful to soak up any leaks, and a pump can allow you to store your breast milk for later.

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