A Modern Day Fairy Tale: My Breastfeeding Essentials {Breastfeeding Awareness Month}

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Breastfeeding Essentials {Breastfeeding Awareness Month}

*Code mentioned in this post is an affiliate code.

When it comes to breastfeeding, it seems there are a ton of products on the market intended to make breastfeeding easier. For a new mom who truly has no idea what to expect, this can all be quite overwhelming! So today, in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, I wanted to share with you my personal must haves for a successful breastfeeding experience. 

  • Lansinoh Lanolin. This is most definitely the #1 must have for those early days of nursing. I don't want to scare anyone away, but I have to be honest when I say that initially nursing can be quite uncomfortable while your body gets used to it. The good news is that this stage (at least for me) is fairly short lived, but still I know in those early days with my son, Lanolin was my best friend and I cannot imagine getting through them without it! It did wonders to ease the pain! Lansinoh is not the only option available of course and you might find another creme/treatment that works better for you, but it is what I found worked for me personally- and in my research for alternatives seemed to be agreed upon by most moms as well. A tip that I did find (that I wish I had known with my son, but am happy to have found for my daughter) is to warm the lanolin between your fingers before applying. The one downfall I had found with my son is that it is extremely thick and can be quite hard to rub in, but this is supposed to help with that greatly. Regardless on if you choose to go with this particular brand or another type of creme, you will definitely want to have something on hand!
  • Nursing Pads. Again, in those early days while your supply is evening itself out, leaks will be common and you will want something to contain them so they don't leak through your tops! There are many options available for nursing pads and really it all comes down to personal preference. With my son, I solely used disposable and found of the many varieties I had tried, the Lansinoh brand nursing pads were also my favorite. They seemed more absorbent, more comfortable and just all around seemed to work better for me. You might find something else works better for you, I'd recommend trying a few small boxes of a few varieties before buying a ton of one kind. This time around, while I do still have some disposable on hand, I will primarily be using washable nursing pads. While you may not need them throughout your entire nursing experience (I honestly don't recall how long I truly needed them- but I do believe it was past the first year...but definitely not the entire 3.5 years we nursed...of course, everyone will be different as well), the cost of disposable can seriously add up so I like the idea of being able to save some money by using washable nursing pads! Not to mention they're much more comfortable and softer on that already super sensitive skin! I have a few different types purchased, but I am most excited about my Bamboobies, so incredibly soft and much thinner than disposables (so no worries of showing through your tops). But again, it all comes down to what your personal preference is!
  • Nursing Bra. To be honest, I actually debated on if this would really be a must have or not. The truth is, for the second half of our nursing experience, I found a regular bra that could easily be pulled down worked just fine. Still, in the earlier days when you are still getting the hang of things they most certainly are much easier...plus they seem to have more give and take in the size department which is important in those early days as well. I suggest buying just one or two before baby arrives, then more after baby comes and your supply has evened out a bit more! I also suggest a sleep/sports type bra for those first few days! With my son, I had a La Leche League bra worked well for me. This time around I am loving my Cake Lingerie bra for every day wear and an Anita Maternity/Nursing Bustier that is incredibly comfortable for sleep and around the house, etc.
  • Nursing Pillow. Now, I know there are some out there who really didn't find a nursing pillow to be a necessity for nursing so perhaps you'd prefer to nurse without one as well, but for us personally, we LOVED it. During the newborn/baby days it made nursing much easier and more comfortable for us both. After we no longer needed it for nursing, we also found it to be extremely useful for lounging and when Shaun was just learning to sit, it added some protection from falls. Not only is this one of my nursing must haves, it's a general baby must have as well! Again, there are several options. We have a classic Boppy which I love and worked really well for us as well. The mombo nursing pillow is supposed to be really great as well- it has a soft side for lounging and the firmer side for nursing...as well as a vibrating feature to soothe baby! We have not yet used it personally, but it definitely seems like a great option. And if you're on a budget, you can purchase a nursing pillow from nursingpillow.com and use the code 46DFB1 to get it free...you just pay shipping. I personally have not purchased this one myself, but have heard that although not as firm as a Boppy, it's still a good option...especially for the price!
  • Nursing Cover. Personally, I have no problems with moms who nurse in public without a cover, but for me that just wasn't something I was comfortable with, so a cover was a must for me. Blankets will work as well, but covers are certainly easier in my experience! Again, there are so many great options available...I cannot even begin to mention them all! If I had to choose my two favorites, I'd have to choose my Dria Cover and the Bebe Au Lait Hooter Hider. To me, these provide more coverage than some of the other options available out there and being super modest, I definitely prefer that. I also really like my Udder Covers, and again are a very inexpensive option for moms on a budget. (You can use the same code- 46DFB1- on uddercovers.com to get this for free, just pay shipping as well). They don't cover quite as large an area as the other two mentioned, but still offer plenty of coverage and again, at a great value!
  • Baby Carrier. Okay, okay...you CAN successfully breastfeed without a carrier...but I HIGHLY suggest you have one anyway. When it comes to nursing on the go, they make things so much easier! There are many styles and many brands to choose from...I'm still in the process of figuring out all the options myself! Personally with my son, I preferred our wrap carrier, but this time around I intend to try out some more varieties (stay tuned!) so my preference may change. Anyway, when my son was a baby we were always on the go and not only was wearing my little guy easier than lugging around a stroller, it also allowed me to nurse him while we were out and about without having to stop and find a place to sit while he did his thing. We could throw a cover over and just continue shopping! Even around the house during those periods where it seems baby wants to nurse all. the. time. I could use it to nurse while still getting working done around the house. I know having a very active 6 year old now to keep up with as well as a baby who will need nursed often, our carriers are going to be even more useful!!
Of course these are just a few of the many great nursing products available, and you may find that you don't need all of these yourself...or you many find there are products you need even more. (For example, I didn't list a breast pump because my son refused a bottle when I pumped for him...being a stay at home mom, there really isn't a need for me to have one personally. If you work outside the home, or want to have the option of giving baby a bottle, you're probably going to want one! I also didn't find nursing tanks or nursing clothes to be 100% necessary...handy, sure...but a cami and v-neck tops, etc worked well for us too!) Again, I am only sharing what has been the most useful for us personally!

Are you currently nursing? Nursed in the past? What were your breastfeeding must haves and what could you have gone without? Any great products I should look into? As always, I love hearing your feedback, so please feel free to share in the comments below!

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, however the the Udder Cover and Nursing Pillow code mentioned above is an affiliate code. All thoughts are 100% my own.

1 comment:

  1. I'm definitely going to have to save this for when my babies arrive! Hopefully it shouldn't be too long! :-)

    ReplyDelete

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