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Breastfeeding Essentials Every Mom Needs To Know

I will state this now, I am not a breastfeeding expert by any means. I really struggled the first month with breastfeeding Kellan but it was something I was determined to do and we went six months before he self weened. We learned that he was cutting a tooth them and was not showing interest in nursing because of that. Knox, I nursed for 8 months and boy was I glad when it was over. He cut his teeth and became a biter, which I was not happy about!  In my combined 14 months of nursing here are a few things that I learned and items I already have ready to go for our newest baby boy. I have no goal set in mind. We will just be taking it a day at a time in hopes that everything works out for us. 

*This post contains affiliate links

 

A Nursing  Pillow

This is a must, at least for me, in the first couple of months. Not only is this great for nursing but it also works for having family or kids hold the new baby. I received this Boppy Pillow from when I was pregnant with Kellan and I will be using it again for this baby. I tried an off brand nursing pillow and it didn’t give me enough support. This one is one that I love because you can change out the covers. I have two covers (I’ll probably be ordering another one) because if they spit up or drool all over you have a backup to put on while you’re doing your hundredth load of baby stuff for the day.  These are also great for all of the stages as baby is growing up. We did tummy time, sitting up, and to help balance.

 

Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Cream

This is my absolute favorite nipple cream for cracked or sore nipples. I’ve tried Lansinoh HPA lanolin tube, I didn’t not like it but it  gave me peace of mind knowing that it was toxin and lanolin free ( here’s a little info on lanolin) and I didn’t have to wash it off before nursing. It smells like cocoa butter and can be used on chapped lips, elbows, and heels. 

Disposable Nursing Pads

I know this is going to sound crazy but I’ve never been a big leakers. haha told you!  When nursing I don’t leak a lot of milk and by a lot I mean ounces and ounces like some moms do. I do like using the disposable ones better than ones you wash only because if we’re out somewhere or I don’t have to save these milk soaked pads. If you forget about them or something happens, let me tell you, they do not smell good! The disposable are easy and can be tossed away when you’re done. 

Nursing Bra

I’ve mentioned the ones that I have before in a Second Trimester Essentials. I definitely 100% do not recommend a nursing bra with an underwire. My very first one I bought when pregnant with Kellan had an underwire and it’s the absolute worst thing I’ve ever had to wear. I usually use this strictly for back up purposes. I love this Gilligan & O’Malley nursing bras. They are very comfortable to wear during pregnancy and after giving birth. Compared to some other nursing bras the price is spot on. Not that I wouldn’t buy an expensive nursing bra if I wanted but I was looking online the other day and found one for $80!! You do you mama!

 

Nipple Shield

Now this isn’t for everyone. At my first sons baby shower I received a TON of stuff. Things I didn’t know a baby or I could want or even need. From other new moms I received some vital things to help with nursing a baby. This nipple shield was one of them. I know 23 isn’t that young but I was a semi young mom that new NOTHING about breastfeeding. I mean absolutely nothing. I thought you just put the baby on the boob and they just ate. I had no clue there were techniques, right positions, what it felt like for your “milk to come in”. Nada, zip, zero! So one of these things that helped me in my second, yes  second, month of nursing was this nipple shield. With babies that don’t have a good latch, or moms that have an overactive let down, inverted or flat nipples this bad boy should help you out. Our case was the bad latch. I used this for a few weeks before Kellan and I got the hang of how to nurse and I’m positive it help me nurse him longer than I probably would have. 

The Pump

I always want to pump with my boys. At first it was to relieve so much pressure from my milk coming in but after I got the hang of it, I  liked to pump for a stash, so if mama needs a night out or to run somewhere I’m not attached to the baby 24/7. There is nothing wrong if you feel like you don’t want to pump but for me personally, now especially with having 3 kids, I feel pumping is going to be a must to have an extra helping hand (or for my sanity to get out of my house for a minute). They recommend not pumping for your first 6 weeks postpartum because this is the time you establish your milk supply. I did not follow those rules with my little Knox and I started lightly pumping around 1 week postpartum. Mainly just to give myself some relief and so I wouldn’t get mastitis. If you don’t know what that is, you’ll have to check it out.  I’ve thankfully never experienced it, knock on wood. I only pumped for about 6 weeks with Knox and saved over 1,500 oz of milk!!!! I know I was proud of myself because pumping is a job in itself. These are all of the pumps I’ve used since having my two boys. If you’d like to see a pro and cons list of what worked and what didn’t work let me know! I could write a whole post on breast pumps alone! 

Medela Pump In Style

Medela Harmony Manual Pump

Ameda Purely Yours Double Electric Pump

Philips Avent Breast Pump
(I believe the one I have is discontinued because I can’t find it anywhere)

Storage Bags

These you won’t need if you don’t plan on pumping. If you do plan on pumping you will need to store your milk in some storage bags. The Lansinoh bags are my favorite.  I’ve used Ameda Store N Pour and Pump and Save Medela Breast Milk Bags. These are cool because you can pump straight into the bag without having the hassle of pumping into a bottle and pouring into a bag. I still prefer Lansinoh bags because of how they store in the freezer and you can put  a little bit more milk in them then the other storage bags.

Staying Hydrated

It’s so surprising how breastfeeding takes everything out of you. Staying hydrated is key into keeping up your milk supply. The boys and I actually love drinking coconut water and this is a great way to see a boost in supply and stay extra hydrated.  I always buy the Zico water from Costco but if you don’t live near a Costco or have a membership you can find it here

The Latch Is Everything

Now everyone is different but I found this video when Knox was almost two weeks old. I swear by it if you’re having a hard time with getting baby to latch on correctly. I’ve sent this video to friends and have added it to my mommy groups I’m apart of and everyone has thanked me for it because it’s totally life (and nipple) saving for when you’re struggling to get baby on the boob. 

 

I hoped this help in some way. What are somethings that really got you through your time breastfeeding? I’m having to get my self prepared again. Ethan likes to tell me before each baby that I need to start “roughing my nipples up” haha oh men!!

 

 

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