Today I’m going to share some tips that have helped me on my nursing journey and I hope maybe they can help you or another mom as well.
I have found that breastfeeding takes a lot more time and effort than people lead you to believe when you are pregnant. Maybe they are just being nice or maybe they have forgotten -read suppressed- how much hard work actually goes having a successful nursing journey. Either way, I try to be as honest as possible about breastfeeding to other moms in an effort to set realistic expectations.
1. A Nice Setup
Set up a little area with a blanket, some snacks, and extra bottles of water. Make sure your phone and remote control is within arms reach. Don’t forget to keep your phone charger close, there’s no point in having your phone if the battery is dead. Your mobility is going to be quite limited once your little nursling falls asleep on you so you want to make sure you have some type of entertainment. I like reading or catching up on my favorite TV shows.
2. Comfy Clothes
Get yourself some nice clothes to wear while nursing, both for day and night time. It’s all about comfort! Don’t worry about it not being the latest fashion or newest trend. Personally, I can’t justify spending $20-30 on a nursing tanktop when you need several just to get trough the week, so instead I bought a bunch of regular tank tops in a size larger than what I actually need and then I just pull the side down when needing to nurse or pump. Super easy cost saver!
3. Good Bra
While I don’t like spending a lot of money on clothes, I have to say it’s definitely worth it to invest in a couple of good nursing bras like this Bamboobies nursing bra. Having at least 2-3 allows for you to do laundry in between and always have one ready and clean. Your boobs are going to get bigger and heavier so having good support is an absolute must and is going to help make you feel more comfy.
4. Fluffy Pillow
Get yourself a nice pillow or bobby or really anything that will provide your arm with relief while nursing even if that’s a rolled up blanket or sweater. Holding a newborn for a little bit in your arms is fine, but trust me, continuing to hold your baby in your arms while nursing is tough and exhausting. Having something to prop your arm up on is going to make your life so much easier. I even keep an extra pillow in the car for when we are out and about.
5. A Good Pump
Get yourself a good pump. Check with your insurance to see if they cover an electric pump. Just give them a call and they will be able to walk you through the process and inform you which specific pumps are covered under your plan. I ended up also purchasing a manual pump so that I could be more free to walk around the house while pumping. It made life so much easier during those first couple of months and I even found that my output is much better with a manual rather than electric pump. By now I have tried a couple of different pumps and my favorite is the Lansinoh manual breast pump.
6. Nursing Pads
Get yourself some nice nursing pads, either disposable or reusable, whatever fits your lifestyle. I prefer using washable bamboo nursing pads that I can just pop in the washer with the rest of my laundry, like these Enovoe nursing pads or these Serenity Bamboo nursing pads. They are nice and super soft! Plus it’s more economical and less waste for the environment. A win-win in my book.
7. Nipple Balm
The first couple of weeks, even months, can be difficult and painful. If this is your first baby or you haven’t breastfed before then you are likely in for an unpleasant surprise. Generally they say breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt, and while that is true, no one warns new mothers that it usually does hurt in the beginning due to mere fact that most of us aren’t used to having another little human being physically attached to us 24/7. Don’t let that discourage you. It gets better! Make sure to stock up on lanolin and nipple balm to ease the initial pain, like this Lansinoh breastfeeding salve. This is also great to help soothe any discomfort associated with a poor latch or teething.
8. A Good Support System
Surround yourself with people you can trust and depend on. People who support breastfeeding and support the commitment you are making. This could be your partner, a good friend, or a family member, really anyone you can trust and turn to when needed.
Another great place to find support is through an online community or by joining a mom group. There are so many different groups out there so try a couple different ones until you find one that fits your lifestyle and personal beliefs. Another great place to find support and help is through your local La Leche League where you can connect with other breastfeeding moms and professionals.
I hope you found these tips helpful. I know these things have made my nursing journey easier for me and I wanted to share so they can help someone else too. Please feel free to share what has or maybe hasn’t worked for you. I would love to hear about your experiences.