For most of yall that have followed my blog since I had Caroline, it was pretty evident that I didn’t enjoy the nursing/breastfeeding component of motherhood the first time around.
During my 2nd pregnancy, people would ask if I planned to breastfeed and I told them I was going to see how it goes…if it works, great. If not, no big deal. I know Caroline did well on formula and I was confident Carson would too if we ended up going that route. I just didn’t put any unnecessary pressure on myself to make it work, yet low and behold it’s been a lot easier this time. We have been successful so far, nursing about 8 times a day and pumping a few sessions as well to boost my supply and put some in the freezer for those rainy days or when I am away for a bit. Carson is so laid back that it makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable and I don’t dread feeding time. She is exclusively on breast milk and we will continue to do it as long as it’s suiting both our needs.
With that, I have found some items to be extremely helpful in the breastfeeding department, and wanted to post a little guide on some necessities to make the whole experience as easy as possible.
1. The Pillow: If there was one single item to purchase or register for when it comes to feeding, hands down it has to be a supportive pillow so that your arms and back don’t give out I couldn’t imagine not having one! My favorite go-to pillows are the Dr. Brown’s Gia Pillow as well as the My Brest Friend Pillow. Another hint that I swear by is to have two in your house…especially if you have two floors, that way you can have one on each floor without having to constantly take it up and down the stairs-I assure you this makes life so much easier!!
2. A Breast Pump: I ordered the Medela Pump in Style Advanced version and haven’t looked back! It’s easy to use, powerful, comes in a convenient tote so I can carry it around, and it’s a must have for most other mommas I know…a bit pricier than some, but WELL worth the money. (Some insurance carriers will cover this purchase as well so be sure to do your research!)
3. Hands Free Nursing Bra: After investigating a few, I ended up ordering the Simple Wishes Hands Free variety and have nothing but AMAZING things to say about it. It’s comfortable, expands to fit well, is easy to get on and off, and I love the color.
4. Breastmilk Storage Bags: There are tons of options out there to choose from and I have used a few different brands, but I have found that the Medela Pump and Save Bags works great for me, just because I know they are made to go with my pump, so prepping milk for storage is WAY easier.
5. Milkscreen Alcohol Testing Strips: Now I haven’t used this personally (yet), but for those ladies put there who like to indulge in a drink or two every now and then, I have heard these are great…they are testing strips, so you can test your milk to make sure it’s baby safe to drink. They are a bit pricey, but I think these would offer peace of mind just to make sure your wee one isn’t getting a little tipsy after your morning mimosa ;).
6. Lanisoh Lanolin Cream: Just like the bags, there are all sorts of creams and potions to help ease the pain your ladies might encounter while you’re nursing. I haven’t had any terrible issues (thank gosh because I have heard my fair share of horror stories), but lanolin cream is a great way to keep your “friends” protected.
7. The Bottles: This is one area where I learned my lesson the first time, and finally got the bottles EVERY.OTHER.MAMA told me to get, and then realized it was well worth washing those extra parts and such. In our house, we got rid of all the other bottles and only have Dr. Browns. Seriously, we tried every bottle out there and by far these are the best…they help to eliminate gas, offer the closest style of breastfeeding, and reduce the chances of colic and spit-up.
8. Disposable Nursing Pads: Last but not least comes the nursing pads…to help prevent that lovely leakage that sometimes accompanies breastfeeding. My friend Cami got me the Lansinoh kind when I was pregnant with Caroline and I am so glad I kept them to use again because they are great. Discreet so you can keep them in your purse, and comfortable to wear with any bra.
There you have it ladies… all my go-to goodies to make the world of breastfeeding far more enjoyable! And with that, the kind friends over at Dr. Brown’s have graciously offered to let me host a giveaway for five (yes, I said five) Gia Breastfeeding Pillows!! Today marks the start of the World Breastfeeding Week so this is the perfect opportunity to help other mommas, too…all you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter widget below–good luck!!