Must Have Items to Help You On Your Breastfeeding Journey
Breastfeeding was – and still is – one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in motherhood. Maybe harder than labor.
Ok, not quite. Labor was pretty intense for me.
But since labor is one day and breastfeeding goes on for as long as you chose to – or are able to – do it, it’s definitely a challenging job. And because you’re making a constant decision to do it, it becomes kind of a mind over matter thing.
The first two weeks were the absolute hardest. Your nipples hurt like crazy, sometimes to the point of tears. I definitely don’t remember reading that in the What to Expect Book! Maybe it’s in there and pregnancy brain took over? Probably.
I highly recommend seeing the Lactation Consultant before you leave the hospital. She will check for tongue tie which can be an issue for latching, give you tips for different ways to hold the baby while nursing, and provide you with nipple guards and some cream that helps with cracking. She will also send you home with a formula pack just in case you need it. We still use the little formula coolers and ice packs!
Some mommies are not able to breastfeed. The child may have intolerances to certain things, the baby suffers from reflux, or they decide it’s not for them, and their children are happy, thriving little babies on formula! There is so much judgement surrounding how you feed your child. You’re judged if you give your baby formula, and then you’re judged if you breastfeed your child in public!
Why can’t we all just appreciate that every mother has the best interest of their baby in their hearts and we are all doing the best we can? If your baby is warm, fed, and loved, you are doing it right!
I’ll be honest, after spending over 2 years of motherhood breastfeeding, I kind of have a love hate relationship with it. On one hand, I love the extra snuggles and special time together, but sometimes by the end of the day, I often feel over touched and just want some personal space. And then, when I actually get some personal space, I miss my children terribly and look forward to those next wet baby kisses. Such is the life of motherhood, I suppose!
I nursed my oldest for 15 months. Now I am still nursing my 11 month old. She’s not a huge eater of solid foods yet. A lot of it gets tossed on the floor or fed to the dog, which she thinks is hilarious. She also wakes up at night to nurse still. This momma is tired! All that to say, I don’t see an end to my breastfeeding journey just yet! I know I will miss it immensely when it’s over!
In honor of National Breastfeeding Week, I thought I would share the things that I have used along the way that have helped make my journey a little bit easier.
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These are great in the newborn stage! You are able to put it around your body so you can rest the baby on it while nursing. Then, as the baby grows, you can position them to do tummy time or support them while they are learning to sit up on their own. They have tons of different cute covers as well!
This seems to be a favorite in the pumping world and the one I used. A pump is usually covered 100% by insurance, so give them a call before you purchase one yourself. A battery pack, power adapter, and carrying bag are extra things that are not included with the pump. These were definitely helpful if I needed to pump in the car, at the airport, or was away from an electrical outlet.
These are great! They are compatible with most pump brands and fit into your nursing bra or tank. I don’t recommend these for a tight fitting, under wire type nursing bra; they need some space. But instead of a breast pump bra were the bottles hang out and your shirt must be open, you can pump discreetly in public or at work. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many areas to pump or nurse in public as their should be!
I can’t tell you how embarrassing it is to have leaky boob marks on your shirt in public! It’s happened to me too many times! These pads are comfortable and disposable. There are washable, organic cotton options as well. Eventually, your body balances out and your utters stop leaking, but until that day, you will need these!
These were my favorite brand! I never had issues with the bags leaking, they stand up well while you dump the milk into them, and freeze flat for easy storage. I had to have an emergency appendectomy when my daughter was two months old and wasn’t able to breast feed for 24 hours. I was happy to have a small supply in the freezer! These are a necessity for the pumping momma and for when you finally get to have a date night again!
These are so comfortable and have a shelf bra inside. The top unclips for easy access for your little one. I still wear these to bed – since my child insists she must nurse to fall back asleep! They are also great to wear under a t-shirt for added coverage when nursing in public.
This ointment was vital at the beginning when your nipples are so sore from nursing! The first few days of breastfeeding went fairly smoothly for me, and then for about a week, I thought about giving up nursing all together. But each day, the pain eased up and finally eventually went away! This ointment definitely helped me! It helps prevent cracking and bleeding and is safe for baby as well, so no need to wash it off before nursing.
Pop these bad boys in the fridge and apply to your sore ta-ta’s between feedings! They were magical! They are reusable and one set will last you through that rough week of incredible soreness.
Hang in there, ladies! It does get easier, I promise!
Hopefully you will find this list helpful on your own breastfeeding journey! Are there any other things you would add? Comment below!
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