When it comes to breastfeeding all you need is your boob and your baby, right?
Well, sort of. Obviously the mother and the baby are the two most important factors in making this breastfeeding thing work but having other supplies on hand can vastly improve your experience. And while we believe that nursing your baby is one of the most natural acts in the world, we also recognize that it doesn't always come naturally. We've chatted about this very thing in a previous blog, but to recap, breastfeeding is a learned behavior, much like learning how to play the piano. You need certain components in place to start off on the right foot, but success takes time, patience, and practice.
Thankfully, with new product conveniences we have lots of tricks and tools that can enhance your breastfeeding experience, taking some of the stress away and providing you a greater opportunity to bond with and focus on your baby. Here are just a few of the "must haves" that we recommend.
We can't stress how important this has been for almost EVERY breastfeeding parent we've talked to. The early days of breastfeeding are a blur and having people you can reach out to, to cheer you on, provide you with nutritious meals, lend a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on are game changers.
Support takes a different shape for everyone... maybe it's your local Lactation Consultant that you call on for in-person visits or the fellow moms at your weekly mom group. Whoever it is, we encourage finding someone who understands your personal breastfeeding goals and who will provide you with non-judgmental information, encouragement and support.
Comfortable Nursing Attire
Being a new parent is awkward enough without trying to figure out the logistics of nursing while fully clothed. Not to mention that engorgement can be painful and the last thing you want is tight bras & t-shirts increasing the pressure!
Finding comfortable nursing bras, tanks, shirts and dresses are the way to go. We recommend wearing a tank top under clothes, investing in wrap dresses, use scoop neck or v-neck t-shirts, and buy lots and lots of nursing tanks!
Breast Pump & Storage
Whether you're planning to return to work or just thinking about a date night in the near or far future, having access to an effective, comfortable breast pump and storage system is a must! Pumps can be used for increasing milk supply, relieving engorgement, breaking up a clogged duct and more.
And don't forget to come up with a storage system that works best for you! Breastfeeding experts recommend labeling the date & time, along with the number of ounces pumped on your storage bags and storing them toward the back of your freezer to maintain freshness. Pinterest has some great ideas to make storage easier and more practical!
Nursing on the go is a skill we recommend mastering, especially amongst the hustle and bustle of Orange County life. Finding a comfortable place to breastfeed can be a challenge when you're out running errands or at lunch with friends, but nursing while babywearing can keep you on track without disrupting you or your baby. If you're nervous about nursing in public, this can be a discreet way to breastfeed.
Make an appointment with one of our Babywearing Specialists to learn more about babywearing and provide personalized guidance to nursing comfortably in your baby carrier!
If you’ve breastfed before you’re probably familiar with the neck and back aches from contorting your body into various positions while nursing. Relaxing while breastfeeding is not only crucial for comfort, but for long term success! We highly encourage you have lots of pillows nearby to prop yourself up and make sure your body is completely supported.
Nursing pillows are a great option to bring your baby snug into your body and eliminate tension in the back and shoulders. My Brest Friend is our favorite because it provides ample low back support and has pockets for convenience to store nipple shields, nipple cream, chapstick, and more!
Sense of Humor
Anyone that has had breastmilk leaking through their shirt or squirted milk over their lover during an orgasm knows that breastfeeding can be a little less than glamorous at times. Uneven boobs, leaking when you hear a random baby crying, and having rock hard breasts due to engorgement are just some of the things that require a sense of humor!
Parenting is pretty comical at times and breastfeeding is no exception. Being able to laugh at yourself (instead of cry) will help keep your stress level low and keep that oxytocin flowing.
It’s ok to cry too. Breastfeeding is hard sometimes and feeling all your emotions is super important!
Basket of Goodies
Place baskets around your house for convenience, especially if you live in a home with multiple stories. Fill them with diapers, wipes, bottles of water, nutrient rich snacks, nipple cream, breastpads & burp cloths. We recommend you place the baskets near the nursing chair, couch, or bed where you may frequently breastfeed your child giving you easy access to these items when you need them. Ask your partner or postpartum doula to restock them regularly.
What products did you use that enhanced your experience and made breastfeeding easier?