My list of breastfeeding essentials may have changed a bit the second time around. Blame it on experience, blame it on tiredness, or being comfortable with meeting babies needs and less about what others think. I breastfed my first born for almost 2 years in varying degrees. As he became older I reduced feedings to just when I was home or morning and night. With my second I plan to see how things go, see if she self weans, and I will take it day by day. One thing I’ve learned is to put less pressure on myself, although when I return to work next week and have to pump I know the stress of producing enough will be present. Some other things I’ve learned from my first born’s experience breastfeeding are some helpful tips and products to make it a little easier.
Nursing & Breastfeeding Cover
One of the benefits of breastfeeding is being able to nurse on the go. To feel more comfortable, pack a cover up when in public or out and about visiting friends. I keep an Udder Cover in my baby bag. It is lightweight and you can choose from a variety of patterns. Nursing and breastfeeding covers can also be put to use at home when you have visitors over. With my first born I purchased two, one for home and one for the baby bag.
A definite essential to have while breastfeeding are nursing pads. Expect that there will be leakage especially if you are away from baby for long periods of time or back to work and have to rely on a schedule to pump. I currently use two types of nursing pads: reusable and disposable. The reusable nursing pads are great on saving money. You simply throw them in the wash to clean. A popular brand to try is bamboobies. My favorite disposable nursing pads are made by Lansinoh. While they are not as environmentally friendly and in the end cost more to keep buying, I do like that it is harder to feel the dampness compared to reusable pads. They peel and stick to your bra.
Using a nursing pillow has its benefits including getting a good latch and some relief for Mom while physically holding the baby. It has helped my back and arms to make breastfeeding more comfortable. In my research I have read that nursing pillows are a benefit after a C-section due to tenderness. Nursing pillows are used for bottle feeding and baby’s development as well. I’ve always loved the boppy. I have one for downstairs and keep one upstairs for nighttime feedings.
A Good Breast Pump…Or 2
Having a good pump will help in the end with supply. With my first born I used Medela. This time I wanted to try a new brand, and Spectra came highly recommended. So far I have no complaints about the product except you can only use certain bottles with the flange provided. You will also want to make sure the flange is correctly sized. You can purchase new ones if the ones provided by Spectra do not fit. I recommend having two breast pumps if feasible and for working moms. I plan to keep one at home and one at work or in the car. Lugging a breast pump back and forth to work each day can be daunting. I borrowed a smaller, travel size Spectra from a friend that can be charged and battery operated aka great for the car if you’re not offie based. If you borrow from a friend be sure that you are only borrowing the machine itself. It is recommended that you use your own tubing, flange, etc.
Milk Storage…And Start Early
I started pumping and storing milk postpartum earlier compared to my first born. If you plan to return to work or travel having a stash to rely on for back up will help to ease your mind. My go to are the Lansinoh storage bags. They are easy to label, thaw, and you toss them after usage. Check for the approved storage time based on room temperature, fridge, freezer, or deep freezer.
Nursing Bras and Clothes
An essential to purchase if you plan to nurse is a nursing bra. Nursing bras have special clips that allow you to pull down the front of the bra. You need this both to nurse and to make pumping easier – quick access. As you get farther into your breastfeeding journey your preferences or patience for clothing might change. You might start with nursing specific shirts or dresses, then discover which regular tops you can get away with wearing. Nursing tanks were always, and still are, a staple item for me. Choose a classic white or black and you can essentially wear them under normal and fashionable tops. Something else to consider when prepping for your breastfeeding experience is nighttime nursing. Picture yourself being tired in the middle of the night. The last thing you want to worry about is any difficulty of getting the baby to the breast or discomfort for mom. Consider nursing sleepwear and comfy nursing bras without wire.
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