It’s World Breastfeeding Week so naturally that inspired us to write a blog post about breastfeeding.
When I was pregnant the most frequently asked questions I received were, “When are you due?”, “What are you having?”, and “Are you going to breastfeed?”. I don’t know if this was just me or if all pregnant women receive the same daunting question involving their breasts. Being pregnant for the first time, I never really took the time before to think about what breastfeeding really meant. Yes, I knew that it literally meant your baby would be drinking milk from your boob, but I never thought about how much that bond would mean and how much work would actually go into it. I remained unsure of whether or not I was going to breastfeed throughout my pregnancy.
During my pregnancy, I had a really good friend who was two months ahead of me. It was nice, I had someone going through the stages first giving me a heads up on what to expect. After she gave birth, I remember her telling me how immediately she started feeding her son and it was so beautiful. She told me verbatim, “Breastfeeding is so easy and the most natural thing ever.” I was eight months pregnant and of course getting sappy.
It was then my turn to give birth and all of a sudden there was no if ands or buts, I was breastfeeding. While in the hospital the nurses would grab my boob and say, “No, you need to hold it like this” or “No, don’t do that.” I felt like a pro so when the Lactation Specialist did her little lesson to the group of new Moms, I was pretty sure my son and I were naturals and home we went and let the mayhem ensue. Constant crying, trying to feed, not knowing if my supply was in and not knowing if he was getting anything. It was chaos.
Needless to say I only breastfeed for six weeks. It was a six weeks full of no sleep, tons of phone calls with Lactation Specialists, La Leche meetings, and lots of cabbage leaves (clogged ducts hurt, really really bad). Breastfeeding turned into something I didn’t bother to understand, to something I didn’t understand, to something I couldn’t let myself give up on even though my son had. He had stopped taking my nipple about three weeks into it and then I tried exclusively pumping and that turned into episode after episode of clogged ducts and really sore nipples. After my whole ordeal with breastfeeding I was talking to my friend about it and telling her how difficult of a time I had. She responded with a, “Me too! It was so difficult I had to stop.” And yes this is the same one who told me it was so easy and natural.
The best advice I can give to a new-mom-to-be is prepare yourself, whether you are committed to breastfeeding or unsure. Take all the classes you can, read, and stock up on all the supplies. It will help you better to be prepared than to not know at all what you are getting yourself into. Breastfeeding won’t always be easy and magical and natural. It will be painful, confusing, tiresome, and ever so emotional. Prepare yourself. But continue to tell yourself that it will get easier, but it will if you are prepared! And in the end if it’s not for you don’t beat yourself up over it. A happy mom makes for a happy baby and a happy baby makes for a really happy mom! The first month will be hard and be a learning time, but if you can get through that it will be smoother sailing from there!
Breastfeeding Must Haves:
1. A Good Nursing Pillow
And by a good nursing pillow we most definitely mean a Shuga Bebe nursing pillow! This pillow was specifically designed to be a nursing pillow. It was designed by a Mom who was sick of stuffing and readjusting a pile of pillows every time she was nursing. The Shuga Bebe nursing pillow will give you the most comfort and your baby the most comfort, allowing your little one to feed at an angle to help proper digestion.
The Shuga Bebe nursing pillow is also great for cuddling! It is great for big brothers and sisters to use for cuddle sessions with their new siblings.
2. Nipple Cream
Your nipples will hurt. You will need lots of nipple cream. And with the nipple cream the nipple pads will come in handy as well, not only helping with leaks, but nipple cream is oily and will stain your bras or shirts. Keeping pads over your nipples will help keep the oil off your clothes.
3. An Electrical Breast Pump
Definitely invest in an electrical breast pump. It will be well worth it. A lot of insurance companies give free or discounted breast pumps out, make sure to check with your provider before purchasing.
I uses the Madela Pump with the on-the-go Tote. I liked it a lot. Never had issues with it not working, easy to clean, easy to tote around, and easy to store.
5. Breastfeeding Friendly Clothes
You will be whipping your boob out everywhere and all the time, definitely invest in some close that will help make this easy. Get the bras that unlatch easily and the tops that slide right down.
6. Nursing Blanket
Covering up will be the last thing on your mind and it should be, but sometimes it just helps. The older your little one gets the more distracted they can get while feeding. Having a light weight easy snap cover for outings can make feedings easier out in public. Your little one will be forced to focus on the task at hand!
Our Shuga Bebe nursing cover is amazing! Light weight and has a snap in the back securing it so that Mom’s can have both hands free to tend to their little one.
7. Storage Bottles/Bags
If you have the ability to store milk, bless you! Getting surplus milk was always though for me, but having storage containers and storage bags are a great investment. When you breastfeed you will learn that crying over spilt milk or spoiled milk is a real thing! The bags are great to freeze your supply and don’t take up tons of space.