Saturday, August 20, 2011

Breastfeeding Basics: Must Have Items for Breastfeeding Moms

This blog post is all about breast feeding. Although I like to find humor in life, I do not sugar coat my experiences. I can also be quite frank about what I like and dislike. I do not want to offend anyone, so if you are reading this and find that the topic of breast feeding is too personal, please scroll down to read some of my other posts. Otherwise, I hope you find what I have to say helpful.

my breastfeeding must haves
August is breastfeeding awareness month and I decided to put together a list of my breastfeeding must haves. I have two children, a two-year-old and a four-month-old. I have breastfed both of my boys and am still breastfeeding the newest addition to our family, Steven. I have encountered chapped nipples, mastitis, engorgement, and more. One thing that my children did not have any difficulty with was latching on, thank goodness.

Breast Care:

·    Within the first hours after each birth, both of my babies had latched on to breastfeed. Neither one had any difficulty finding the nipple and latching on. They were hungry little boys who knew that I was their food source. William wanted to eat all the time. I am talking every hour!  He wanted to eat so much that I got chapped nipples and sore breasts. Medela Tender Care Lanolin was my saving grace and really helped me to continue through this phase of my breastfeeding journey.

·    When my milk came in I knew it! I leaked through my clothing and all over the floor. It was an incredibly hilarious experience and I was so happy that no one was there to witness it. I have tried several different brands of breast pads; usually because my husband has picked up whichever one was on sale that week. My favorite breast pad is the Lasinoh Disposable Nursing Pads. They are thick enough that you won’t see my nipple through them. They have adhesive on both sides, so I don’t have to deal with them bunching up and free floating around in my bra. The pads absorb leakage incredibly well and wick it away from you so you are not uncomfortable.

·    The first time around I was given the rocking chair that my mother-in-law rocked my husband in when he was a baby. It was an incredibly sweet gesture and I appreciated being given such a sentimental family treasure. Unfortunately for me, the rocking chair was made for someone small. My mother-in-law is a very petite woman (if I didn’t like, love, and admire her so much I would be intimidated by her). I on the other hand have never been called petite. I used the rocking chair for my first born, but when it came time to have another child I wanted something made for me. I wanted something that I could comfortably sit in to breastfeed, and I got it! My husband bought me the Newco Serenity Classic Glider and Ottoman in Chocolate for Christmas this last year and I am in love. It is made for me! I find it extremely comfortable and have dozed off in it a number of times. It is has a smooth gliding motion and is made of this incredibly soft and durable chenille fabric.   I spend a lot of time in this chair.

·         If you are planning on nursing you are going to need nursing clothing. A couple of good nursing bras are a must. My favorite nursing bra is the Bravado! Design Sublime Nursing Bra. This bra is very comfortable. With soft cups, no underwire, and an easy one handed cup release this bra meets and exceeds all of my basic breastfeeding needs. As for clothing, I have found that if you wear a great nursing tank top underneath most regular shirts you can’t go wrong. I love the Gilligan & O'Malley Womens Side Sling Nursing Tank because it is super long. I have a long torso and cannot stand tank tops that barely cover my belly. And let’s be honest, post baby belly does not make me feel like a super model. This tank tops has me covered and sucks it all in. It is thick enough that you cannot see through it, but thin enough that it breathes well.

·    One of my favorite breastfeeding accessories is the Boppy Nursing Pillow. I love this little pillow! If I do not use the Boppy pillow when nursing my arms get tired and my wrists start to ache after a while. I have used this pillow with both of my children. I use it to help support my baby when I am breastfeeding and to rest my arms when I want to just cuddle with my bundle of joy. Did I mention that there are pillow covers available for this product to match any style and décor and for easy cleaning? This pillow is great and a definite must have for breastfeeding moms.

·    Depending on your child you may or may not need burp cloths. My son William practically burped himself and he never spit up. My four-month-old Steven on the other hand has projectile spit-up on me before. It was absolutely terrifying the first time it happened. He has a tendency of spitting up if he has not worked out all of his burps. I use Carter’s Receiving Blankets as burp cloths. They are great for swaddling a newborn and fabulous for cleaning up spit up. I use them as a burp cloth because they absorb really well and feel super soft. They are also large enough to cover me so that I won’t wear the spit up.

·    If plan to nurse in public a good Nursing cover should be on the top of your registry list. With my first born son I went and hid in bathroom stalls and changing rooms to nurse. Now that I am breastfeeding and have a toddler to manage at the same time, I have to breastfeed in public. I bought my Udder-Covers Nursing Cover after seeing it on another mom blog. I love this nursing cover and have used it a ton! To read my review on this product click HERE.

·    Everyone needs to be able to kick back and relax after a long day. One of my favorite ways to unwind is with a glass of wine. I am one of those women that will not drink a single drop of alcohol when pregnant. I will not drink alcohol when breastfeeding either, unless I can be sure that it is not being passed on to my baby. I discovered this neat little test called Milk Screen when I was breastfeeding my first born. Milk Screen is a simple two minute test that detects the presence of alcohol in breast milk. Being able to test the safety of my breastmilk gives me peace of mind.
Breast Pump and Storage:
·    I knew that although I was planning on being a stay at home mom, I would still need to be able to pump breast milk to store in case I needed to be away for any reason. I was not going to be using my pump on a daily basis (or so I thought), so when I registered I chose a pump that looked comfy, easy to use, and didn’t cost an arm and a leg. I registered for the Playtex Embrace Petite Double Electric Breast Pump. I am incredibly happy with my choice. Although it can be rather loud at times, it is easy to use, it is easy to clean, it is comfortable, it is affordable, and it is durable.

·    If you are pumping the milk you are going to need something to store it in. I received the Lasinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags as a sample in my Lasinoh Disposable Nursing Pads box. Since I keep buying Lasinoh Disposable Nursing Pads I keep getting free samples of the Lasinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags, so I never run out and I never have to buy them. They are easy to use, easy to read, easy to store, and easy to transport.

·    The First Years Milk Storage Organizer is a must for me because I like things to be nice, neat, and organized whenever possible. Life with two boys’ two-years-old and under is crazy enough in and of itself. I will take all the organizational help I can get. This organizer easily fits in my freezer; I have a side by side refrigerator/freezer. I can lay my bags of breastmilk flat inside the organizer so that they freeze flat and don’t take up a ton of space.  This organizer keeps my breastmilk isolated from other items in my freezer so that bags of breastmilk do not get accidentally torn or opened.

I love that I am able to have this incredible bond with my children. I am thankful that I have been able to breastfeed. I know a lot of women that encounter major roadblocks and are unable to breastfeed at all. I have been truly blessed to be able to experience this part of motherhood.

I am a breastfeeding mommy and proud of it. I breastfeed in my home and when I am on the go. I will not apologize for feeding my child. At the same time, I am modest and prefer to be covered when breastfeeding in public. I am not a source for your amusement or entertainment, no gawking please. Breastfeeding is completely natural and normal, please be respectful of women who breastfeed in public.

I hope my little list has helped. If you have a question, comment, or concerns please leave me a comment and I will respond.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are solely mine. All of the products mentioned on this post were given to me as a baby shower gift, purchased by my family, or purchased by myself.

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