10 Breastfeeding Essentials Every New Mom Needs
I always wonder how my mother and generations before her breastfed with such ease. It could be because I was totally unprepared but my first two weeks breastfeeding my son was a total disaster. My husband had to run to the store every now and then for something to ease my pain and to help feed my son—basically some breastfeeding essentials or the other. Based on my experience, I am listing below 10 essentials that helped me through those two weeks.
It might seem like I am kidding. But I am not. Though breastfeeding is a very basic and natural thing, it doesn’t come naturally to many mothers. Moreover, being prepared is always good.
So, go over to YouTube and search for “How to breastfeed videos.” These videos will be more helpful than any books to help you understand all about latching, right positions and correcting a painful latch. A video that I found useful in covering the basic is embedded below-
Wondering what to do with a safety pin? As you would have seen in the video, its best to offer one breast for a feed and the next breast for the next feed. Thanks to baby brain, you simply won’t be able to remember which side you fed from last. Once the milk starts flowing, it takes some time to regulate. So, cupping and trying to weigh breasts (yup, everyone does that) doesn’t always help identify from which breast you fed last. So, a safety pin could be handy to tag from which side you fed.
If you would like something fancy, you can opt for this night-time nursing light which not only helps to tag the sides, but also has a soft glow light and a gentle vibrator with timer to help prevent the mother from falling asleep while feeding at night.
Many might consider breast pump to be an extravaganza for a non-office going mom. But nothing could be further from truth. The milk starts coming in about 3-4 days after you give birth. Even if your baby is feeding well, you may feel engorged if you have a good milk supply. At that time, a breast pump will be immensely helpful in extracting milk and relieving pain from engorged breasts. Also, if you want to step out of home for an hour or two without your baby, keeping a bottle of breast milk will help you be rest assured that your baby will not go hungry in your absence.
At the bare minimum, you can opt for a Pigeon Breast Pump, which is pretty economic, and still does a good job of relieving engorged breasts and for occasional pump and feed.
If you are looking for something more than for occasional use, then this list would be helpful in choosing a breast pump best suitable for your needs.
Most new moms can develop sore nipples once the baby starts breastfeeding. Nipple cream will help relieve pain in case of and fasten the healing process. Mamaearth Nipple cream is a pretty good choice. Alternatively, applying your own breast milk and air-drying the nipple also does the job.
Not to scare you, but mothers with sensitive nipple could develop cracked nipples once they start breastfeeding. While it will heal within 4-5 days, during that time, a nipple shield will be helpful for pain-less breastfeeding. Mothers with flat and inverted nipple also will need nipple shield for successful breastfeeding. I personally used Pigeon Nipple shield, which was literally a savior during the first week of breastfeeding.
In order to prevent cracked nipples, ensure that you unlatch the baby from the breasts by inserting your little finger. Never pull away the breasts from the baby’s mouth.
Milk supply regulates itself by around 8 weeks. Before that, most moms find themselves leaking from the one breast while feeding from the other breast. This might result in embarrassing situations, especially when you are out of home. Mothers who resume work after maternity leave may also leak breast milk around the time they usually feed their baby. This is why a disposable breast pad is one of the must-haves for a new mom.
Trumom anti-bacterial disposal breast pads are a good choice as it is economic, thinner and has a larger diameter compared to other brands.
There are different types of nursing bras available—from ones that make nighttime feedings easier to ones that gives you ample support and access while wearing stylish clothes. This article on best nursing bra will help you not only find the best brands, but will also help you choose the right size and comfortable fit suiting you.
Nursing Night Wear
You don’t have to compromise on style just because you are nursing. There are number of options of nursing night wears with hidden zip that makes breastfeeding at night easier and breastfeeding during day much more discrete.
Discrete Nursing Tops
Discrete nursing tops make breastfeeding in public a lot easier. The zips are hidden and even if your baby refuses to stay under the nursing cover, it is quite discrete helping you breastfeed confidently in public.
During the first 2-3 months of child birth, nursing cover is quite helpful for breastfeeding in public. However, past 3 months, most babies refuse to stay under the cover and try to kick the cover away.
A Nursing scarf is a stylish option that can be used as a cover and as a chic scarf around your neck.
I wouldn’t really classify nursing pillow as a must-have unless you have twins—in which case you will find a nursing pillow useful for feeding both babies simultaneously.
Moms who have had C-section will find nursing pillows useful. However, a few comfortable cushions also do a good job of providing support in the initial days. If you plan to buy a nursing pillow, then Boppy’s is one of the best options available.
Last but not the least breastfeeding classes
If you google, you will be able to find breastfeeding classes nearby your home. Major cities also have La Leche classes. These classes help you understand about correct hold, latching and most importantly what to do when something doesn’t go as planned. If you can find a good class nearby, attend it by all means. Or else, educate yourselves by reading articles and watching videos.
Finally, something controversial too. Not everyone has ample milk supply sufficient for newborn to thrive. So, if your baby keeps keeps demanding for feed very frequently, say every 20-30 minutes, cries after feeding or loses more than 10% weight in the first four days, consult a doctor and be prepared to supplement if necessary. Remember, not breastfeeding doesn’t make you a lesser mother. What is more important is that your baby receives sufficient food to thrive. Read more at https://www.facebook.com/fedisbestfoundation/