6 Essential breastfeeding must-haves and tips
Your breastfeeding journey made easy, with these simple tips and essentials.
Breastfeeding, while it sounds very easy as you already have the required tools, your boobies! It can be a little bit more complicated than that, as nursing may not be as easy for some moms for several reasons. However, what you do have access to are tips and items that will help to make the journey a lot less complicated. So here on this list you will find a few suggestions that will help you make breastfeeding a lot easier and much more comfortable for you and your baby.
Disclaimer: These tips are not from a medical expert but from a mom of three with a little bit of unique experiences, just sharing a few tips to fellow moms out there. If you have concerns or questions about your own breastfeeding journey please make sure to contact your healthcare provider.
Let's get right into these essentials for every expecting , new or even experienced moms.
1. Lactation consultant class
The first tip is to go to a lactation consultant class like a breastfeeding class, before and even after having your baby. Regardless of whether you’re an experienced mom or a new mom, you can always learn new things or get a refresher as you may be surprised about some of the things you have forgotten.
Certified lactation consultants are trained to spot things that you may not be able to identify that may interfere with successful breastfeeding such as: tongue ties, lip ties, thrush, mouth infections and inverted nipples. So if it’s possible you may want to have a lactation consultant with you at the hospital. Most hospitals do offer these services so you want to capitalize on that and have them do a quick check of how everything is going, as issues can progressively get worse without early detection.
It’s also wise to have follow up consultations as well to ensure you are on the right track and there are no issues with your baby nursing.
2. Water bottle
One of the items nursing moms should have, is a water bottle. Keeping hydrated is imperative to nursing moms with a low milk supply as this will help quite a lot. If you’re not experiencing low supplies or your having an oversupply of milk, you still need to be drinking water regularly, as you may find yourself getting dehydrated often when breastfeeding. It's always good to keep your body hydrated so that you can have good nutritious milk for your baby.
3. Hands-free breast pumps
Now you may be thinking why is there a mention of breast pumps when this is exclusively about breastfeeding? Well if you’re a working mom or you plan to return to work shortly then this will be a great option for you. You can pump your milk and store it for your baby or if you have an oversupply of milk, a hands-free breast pump comes in handy so you can feel and stay comfortable. You also never want to be in a position where you need one and not have one. If you’re away from your baby for longer than expected and your breasts are starting to get engorged, a small hands-free easy to pack pump is your go to. You can pump and carry on with your day, without being attached to a unit.
If you’re also into preserving your milk instead of seeing it go to waste in a towel when you’re nursing on one side, having a pump at hand is also a great option. You want to choose a pump that is comfortable when it suctions on your boobs and not chafe or bruise your nipple. You also want to choose a pump with a softer yet firm material like silicone and doesn’t harbor bacteria.
4. Washable breast pads
Washable breast pads are more economical as they are much cheaper and you can use them over and over again. You surely can use disposable ones if that’s what you have, but if you’re being frugal then washable pads are perfect. You can use them if you leak in between feedings or when you’re in public and you want to prevent your clothes from being soaked and stained. Which can be a bit uncomfortable and embarrassing for some moms. Opt for washable breast pads with a waterproof layer on the outer side so that the milk does not seep through, giving you protection and comfort.
5. Nursing friendly clothing
Now you don’t need to change out every single garment or invest solely in nursing clothes. What you need to do is to find what works best for you and your body, pieces that are functional and provides you with easy and comfortable access to your boobs to feed your baby. As a suggestion garments with a stretchy neck or a low neckline, or a top you can easily pull up are great.
Not all moms will feel comfortable lifting up their garment, but if you have to wear that specific garment, wear a camisole underneath that covers your tummy so you aren’t overly exposed. Try to find bras that are specifically designed for nursing that you can easily unsnap to nurse with ease.
6. Muslin swaddle
If your baby loves to be swaddled for comfort and sleep like many babies, then a muslin swaddle is a must. Not only are these comfortable for your baby but they are super flexible, they can be used as a burp cloth, nursing cover and much more, in other words they are multi-purpose.
You can tie a knot in a muslin swaddle blanket, throw it around your neck and use that as a cover especially if you’re in the public. So a muslin swaddle is a great addition to all your breastfeeding must-haves.
If you’re an expecting mom or you’re already a mom, hopefully these 6 tips will help make your breastfeeding journey a little bit easier.