The picture of a mom embracing and nourishing her tender newborn always seemed so effortless to me. But the reality was not as breezy as I always dreamt. Of course I loved nurturing and nourishing my babies but I would be lying if I said it was easy all the time. Breastfeeding is an euphoric journey,albeit with few bumpy roads, especially in the beginning. Even though I was very determined that I would exclusively breastfeed my kids, doldrums did set in every now and then.
I wish somebody had enlightened me about the reality of breastfeeding, the cracked and sore nipples that came along with it.I would have been more prepared. For my first child I was an amateur but for the second I was all geared up! Let me share with you some products that really helped me to go on with breastfeeding successfully.
Your nipples are going to be sore,cracked or they might even bleed from non-stop nursing and cluster feedings. A good quality nipple cream will go a long way in healing your nipples. With Princess I had a blister and was bleeding , the one thing that really healed my blisters was breast milk. Yes! Just squeeze and apply some breast milk lavishly over your nipples and let it air dry. This is a natural way to heal sore nipples. You can also choose to apply nipple creams. I used Lansinoh Lanolin but if you have lanolin allergy then you might want to consider a nipple cream which is lanolin free. I have heard great things about Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter
Why not use a regular pillow? Do I need a fancy nursing pillow? Well if you ask me nursing pillow was my life saver. I had an epidural with Prince and ever since then my back aches when I do not hold a proper upright position. Nursing pillow lifts the baby up without me stooping in front thus providing a good latching position and it also takes off the pressure from my back. Boppy Nursing Pillow is my favourite
This was something that never crossed my mind. It was shocking when I used to wake up with wet shirt and sheets. You will leak a lot in those initial weeks until your supply gets stabilized. You will leak from one breast while your baby is nursing from the other. You will leak when your baby starts to sleep longer and when your breast becomes fuller. Nursing pads are made of absorbent material (cotton, bamboo etc) that you just tuck inside your bra and it takes care of leaky boobs. You can either use disposable pads like the Lansinoh disposable nursing pads or use reusable pds like the Motherease washable bamboo nursing pads.
Your breast are going to be enormous once your milk comes in. Nursing bras are an essential and they are specially designed to support your ever growing breasts and holds them in place without drooping down. Nursing bras come in wider straps for better support for your chest and back. They also have cups with flaps that open up for quicker and easier access. I recommend at least 4 bras so that you have enough for rotation.
I know we can debate on this forever. I am not saying that you should use a cover to breastfeed. I am nobody to comment on how you want to feed your baby. Infact I encourage moms to choose what works best for them and their baby. I felt more comfortable using a cover while I’m out and about. I also used them when I had guests visiting at home while I wanted to nurse but didn’t want to miss the company. If you like the idea of a nursing cover check this out.
Pyjama’s /button shirts:
I did not like the idea of lifting my shirt up every time I wanted to feed , so I brought some button down shirts that I lived in through out my breastfeeding days. You can splurge on nursing tops if you want but I just picked up few shirts from the clearance rack at Walmart. I didn’t want to spend much as I knew they are only going to bear sweat, spits and leaks.
When Prince was born I was producing a lot of milk and he wasn’t drinking all of it. So my nurse suggested that I pump or hand express milk every time I feel full in between feedings to prevent mastitis. I used Ameda Manual Breast Pump to relieve breast engorgement. But if you are planning to pump frequently I suggest a investing in an electric pump.
A well balanced diet is essential while you are breastfeeding. What you eat is what your baby gets. So to make sure that I get all the nutrients I needed I continued with my prenatal vitamins.I had the Jamieson Prenatals with DHA* everyday to ensure I was getting in all the vitamins and minerals needed.
Those crappy uterine cramps are going to revisit you every time you nurse your baby. Breastfeeding produces oxytocin which helps your uterus contract to its pre-birth size. I had deadly cramps with my second baby so my nurse suggested that I take some pain killers (tylenol*) for first few weeks until I could tolerate pain.
*Always check with your doctor before you take any medicines and do not forget to mention that you are breastfeeding. Self medication can be injurious.
A rule of thumb is you drink a glass of water every time you sit down to nurse your way. It is very important that you stay well hydrated. Water, juice, chocolate milk whatever it might be keep a bottle by your bed and drink up. I love my S’well bottle. It keeps liquid warm or cold for hours.
Last but not the least. Those never ending midnight nursing sessions are more tiring emotionally than it is physically. So look for local breast feeding support groups or online groups and do yourself a favour by joining them. Those mama’s empathize with you which encourages you to keep going.
So how was your breastfeeding experience? Did you use any of these products? What was that one thing that you really needed? Do share your thoughts!
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