Breastfeeding: it’s so much more than feeding your baby. It’s a parenting style. It’s nurturing. It’s medicine! It’s an adjustment at first, of course. You’re tired and your brand new baby needs just you. You will overcome. Watch your baby, not the clock, and nurse on demand whenever baby wants. *thats the best advice I have ever received! Ty, Ashley D!* That’s not spoiling them – that’s loving & nurturing them! This helps regulate your milk supply & helps you to slow down and soak up your new baby. Everything else can wait. Seriously, let someone fold your laundry, load your dishwasher, get you a snack… if you don’t have someone to help then consider a postpartum doula or just let it stack up! You’ll never get this time back! Your baby will never be as little ever again. I didn’t keep up with everything. I let my husband do a lot (and thank God for him, he did and still does a ton!) I don’t regret not folding laundry or any of it! I’m so thankful I was able to “Keep calm and nurse on!”
As you know from previous posts, I’m not super into gear, but I’d suggest buying a few breastfeeding items before baby arrives!
🌀Nursing bras and tank tops are LIFE! I still wear the tanks to bed all the time! I honestly only bought 3 and rotated them. Same with bras (except the bed part, haha) The first few weeks postpartum I lived in those suckers! Eventually I just started wearing regular tank tops but having nursing tanks was essential! I still wear nursing bras at 19.5 months PP! No underwires for me anymore! Side note: I did NOT purchase “nursing” clothing. I do the two shirt method. I wear a tank top under everything. When it’s time for baby to nurse I pull the top shirt up and the tank down so only my breast is exposed. Works like a charm and saves lots of $$
🌀Gel nipple pads – I got these as a gift at my shower and after the first day or so of nursing I realized how amazing they are! They are reusable gel/cooling pads that you refrigerate. I’m sure there are many brands but the lifesaving okay, nipple saving ones I used were lansinoh brand.
🌀Breastpads – you will more than likely leak! Have these on hand and change them often! (An alternative to these are freemies collection cups which would probably be awesome for a working mama! I haven’t used them but they seem awesome.)
🌀Water water everywhere! Seriously!! We had/have at least 1 case of water in every room in the house! (Okay not every room but kitchen/living room, baby’s nursery, and our bedroom!) Nursing makes you soooo thirsty and being hydrated is imperative! Make it easy on yourself by having drinks available without having to go far. Get a Costco membership!
🌀Snacks – 💯% not kidding! (This is where partner support comes into play too!) Have healthy snacks (and let’s be honest chocolate, lots of chocolate) on hand! Have bananas and apples ready to grab, cut fruits & veggies ready to hummus, cheese sticks, yogurts, protein shakes, all stocked up in the kitchen. Around the house – to accompany your water stations 😂 have protein bars, crackers, nuts and other non perishable snacks ready to grab. You will so thank me for this one when your baby is nonstop nursing!
🌀Lanolin/coconut oil were LIFESAVERS during the first few weeks of nursing! I slathered that stuff on my sore nips every chance I got! Warning: does stain clothes. Oh well, my nursing tanks & bras don’t have to be beautiful!
🌀Teething necklace -mine is food grade wood/silicone beads from an etsy shop. I’d link it but I honestly can’t remember which! This was essential from like months 5-10 or so! It kept my boogie’s hands from pinching, squeezing, etc me! Mine only had a few beads in the center – someone told me once not the buy the ones that are silicone the whole way around because they’d get stuck in your hair- ouch! No thanks!
🌀your phone, tablet, netflix – seriously. Bonding with your baby and making eye contact is ammmmazing. Nothing will ever replace those moments! But for real – clusterfeeding is REAL and you may be up at weird hours nursing for marathon stretches of time. I’d be lying if I said I stared at my baby the whole times! I always had my phone/iPad nearby. Sometimes when my son was tiny little I’d camp out on the couch for evvvvver binging Friends on Netflix. (How cool would that be as a shower gift, by the way?! A Netflix subscription would be legit!) Find a local (no to low drama) mama group. I looooove my Badass Breastfeeders group. An online village is legit because at any given time SOME MAMA is up nursing her baby too! Use your phone! Reach out, text, call someone! No mama is an island! 🌴 la leche league meetings can definitely help you with your breastfeeding journey and could even help you grow your village!
Another HUGE factor in successful breastfeeding is support and most importantly, knowledge. For me, breastfeeding wasn’t a choice. I always knew I would because my mom did, my aunts did, my older cousin did. Formula feeding never crossed my mind. I thought maybe I’d pump and bottle feed but that didn’t end up being our journey. (I never even tried to intro a bottle.) My husband and mom were my number 1 supporters. They encouraged me and supported me. They were always available to chat, grab me a drink, run to the store, etc! Seriously amazing support. My other family members were equally supportive. When I was at a cookout when E was like 3 weeks old my younger cousin sat on the bed when I was nursing my newborn. No one made me feel uncomfortable! Having love and support at home affirmed my “decision” to breastfeed and ultimately made me comfortably to nurse in public. KNOWLEDGE gave me the most power. I knew that breastmilk was the best possible thing for my baby so I persevered. Breastfeeding classes helped a lot and so did reading in books and on the internet. My son and I mutually benefit from breastfeeding. He received the best nutrition, mama’s loving arms and comfort and I benefit from the feels! #oxytocinrushanyone?!