Breastfeeding can be a rollercoaster ride. Right from the initial euphoria of baby latching on, to doubt and anxiety about milk supply. For first-time moms breastfeeding can be an overwhelming experience. It can be quite intense and an eventful journey to say the least. But with a balanced mindset and preparation, you can settle into your routine with the baby and succeed at breastfeeding.
This is a minimalist list of breastfeeding essentials you will need. These will help make the journey through breastfeeding a little more comfortable.
Correct knowledge at the start of breastfeeding is crucial to long-term success. Not many moms think of investing in a breastfeeding class and regret later for not having known certain information when they first started. An online self-paced breastfeeding class is best suited for this very reason. You can take the class at your own pace and all the information is always available to you even after you complete the class. This especially helps when breastfeeding throws a curve ball when you least expect. There may not always be time to call a doctor or LC, in such a case you can quickly refer the information sheets from class.
As a new breastfeeding mom you will experience arm and back pain. After going through an exhausting labor experience you will now have a mini human attached to you all the time. It’s not easy. But a breastfeeding pillow offers good support for your arms and back. This is a purchase that you don’t want to skip. I used my pillow until my son grew out of it at about 3 months.
You may experience sore nipples due to constant latching, unlatching and inexperience in breastfeeding. A natural nipple butter can be used between feeds. This helps moisturize the sore area and heal any cracks and bruising. I find nipple butters with calendula extracts to be quite helpful for quick healing.
Breastfeeding makes you super thirsty. It is handy to have a water bottle by your bed side. In fact I place bottles all around the house since I get thirsty quickly and with no warning when breastfeeding! This is one breastfeeding essential you can’t skip.
The first few weeks of breastfeeding usually bring with them breast engorgement and leaks. Leaks can happen at times even when you are in an established breastfeeding routine. Nursing pads are a savior especially when you go out with baby. You don’t want your nice clothes to get spoilt.
Once your milk supply is established a breast pump can give you a much-needed break from constant feeds. Pump milk when the baby sleeps and let a family member take over the next feed. You can use this time for yourself. Get some sleep, catch up on a book or go out with friends. I personally found an electric pump easier to use with better output compared to a manual pump.
Round the clock breastfeeding can make you ravenously hungry. I found the combination of dates and nuts to be the most filling snack. I even kept some by my bedside for midnight cravings. Other snacks that I found filling [when I could literally eat the entire fridge and didn’t want to pile on those calories] were hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter sandwiches, hearty soups and smoothies. Read my post on easy snacking ideas for breastfeeding moms to know more.
A good nursing bra is an important essential. Try to look for ones with clickable clasps these are easy to unhook when the baby is in a hurry to feed.
When traveling with a baby or when out and about a nursing cover is a great option to feed in public. You can even use a big wrap or shawl if you have one. Always pack one in your diaper bag.
These were some of the breastfeeding essentials that all new moms need early on. Which ones do you swear by?
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