Breastfeeding Diaries: Nursing Essentials

This post may contain affiliate links that result in my compensation. These links are for products/service I would or do already use. Thank you for your support!

No matter what project you take on you need the perfect set of tools. You get a manicure and you have nail polish, a file, clippers… you paint a picture, you have a paint brush and a canvas. To me, breastfeeding was no different. Of course nursing a baby is much bigger and more important than painting your nails or a picture, but it does require a certain checklist if you want to do it efficiently and comfortably.

Of course your breastfeeding essentials may vary from my own but if you’re just starting out or preparing to nurse and have no idea where to begin, feel free to check out my list!

1. A good nursing bra.
One that clips in the front! This will save you from a lot of fumbling as your baby quickly grows hungry. They’re also incredibly comfortable and you may find yourself wanting to wear them for months AFTER you’ve weaned the baby from the breast.
Found at: Target
Tip: Wait to be fitted until after the baby is born and your milk has come in then buy the bra. 


2. Tank Tops.
If you’re more on the modest side and don’t want to lift your entire shirt up in public then this will be a staple in your closet. Layer it under your shirt and simply pull the top down for the baby to eat (this will help keep your tummy covered).
Found at: Old Navy or Target
Tip: Don’t pay for overpriced nursing tanks; instead buy some simple tank tops that are big enough to pull down!

3. A good cover.
Blankets will work for this but I recommend using a light weight, breathable one. I personally decided to invest in an Udder Cover and am so glad I did! These not only come in some extremely cute prints but they are light and airy with a little plastic insert that allows you to see the baby as your nurse. Each one also has a strap that’s acts almost like an apron keeping the cover securely attached to you. This provided a huge peace of mind and made it much easier to maneuver the baby without letting the cover slip.
Found at: Uddercover.com
Tip: use the code 767593 at checkout to save $35 on yours today!


(using my Udder Cover after crossing the finish line at a 10k)

4. A reliable pump.
Whether you plan to go back to work or just go out to see a movie, you’ll want a good pump you can depend on. My recommendation is to use one that is easy to travel with. My Medela came in a backpack so it was great on the go.
Found at: Target
Tip: Check with your insurance..they may cover some or all of the cost of a pump!

5. A bottle you’re comfortable with.
As a mom who felt strongly about breastfeeding it was very important to me that I find a bottle that would be as similar to the breast as possible. There are a variety of options. Do your research and you’ll find one that you’ll feel comfortable with. We used bottles very seldom but when we did we used Munchkin Latch bottles.
Found at: Target
Tip: Keep in mind that many bottles have “stages” based on age/size of baby. Don’t get one that is too big or small for your little one. 

6. Nursing pads.
A Breastfeeding mom’s worst nightmare…leaking! Chances are, the leaking may begin towards the end of your third trimester. Having nursing pads on hand will save you some discomfort and a lot of embarrassment. They tuck securely into your bra and are comfortable enough that I had no problem wearing them for the entire 12 months that I breastfed!
Found at: Target
Tip: if you’re leaking and using these, I recommend also getting a “sleep bra“. It’s a thin cotton bralett type of bra that will help jeep the pads securely in place through the night. I found mine at Here at Target as well.

 (Picture via www.breastfeedingmamatalk.com)

7. A mommy-worn teething necklace.
These adorable accessories come in handy for much more than teething! During my breastfeeding experience my son would paw at me like a puppy. To be honest, being scratched and pinched by little baby fingers isn’t ideal. Wearing a teething/nursing necklace will keep those little hands busy while nursing. It allows them to grab and hold onto something other than your boob or shirt (which you are probably trying to keep up and off of the baby’s face!). My absolute favorite nursing necklace is by The Vintage Honey Shop. They’re absolutely beautifully handmade and they offer a variety of styles/patterns. Best of all, I’ve teamed up with them to GIVE one lucky reader a $25 gift card to their shop in an INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY!

To enter:
1. Visit our Instagram @beautifullyimperfectmama and follow us!
While you’re there, like the giveaway photo for an entry!
For more entries tag a friend (1 entry per friend) or Share our post (be sure to tag us so we know!)
2. Head on over to @thevintagehoneyshop and follow their page as well!
Giveaway ends Tuesday April 11, 2017!

You may find that you need some or all of these items but either way I definitely recommend checking them out. Life doesn’t give you a checklist for motherhood and winging it can be tough. I hope my Nursing Essentials here at least gave you an idea of what to look for!

What was your MUST have product when you breastfed? Do you have a concern and need a product to help? Comment below and maybe we can find an answer for you!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our series. This includes product recommendations for breastfeeding for the first time and tips on nursing in public!

**Still need to create your baby registry? Click here to create yours today!

Breastfeeding Diaries: Nursing in Public

This post may contain affiliate links and result in my compensation. These links are true recommendations for products that I would or do already use. Thank you for your support.


Nursing in public was once one of my BIGGEST fears about breastfeeding. There are all sorts of stories about women getting dirty looks, lectures from strangers, or even having an accidental slip of the cover! As if I really needed more pressure as a first time mom right? But I did what any overwhelmed mama would do and pushed those fears aside, figuring I’d cross the bridge when I got there.

That bridge appeared one afternoon two weeks into my postpartum adventure. My husband, my mother in law, and I took the baby to a store on base to browse around (really I was just getting cabin fever from being stuck at the house). Things we’re going smoothly as we wandered the store then the inevitable happened… the baby got hungry. In a panic I debated going to the bathroom (gross) or the dressing room (awkward) to feed the baby. Instead I settled on the car.

Continue reading

Breastfeeding Diaries: The First Time

 

featured

This article contains affiliate links and may result in my compensation. These items are true and honest recommendations for things that I would or do already use. Thank you so much for your support.

   If you’re reading this then you have likely decided to breastfeed or are seriously considering it. Now, I have to tell you that I am not writing this to talk you into it one way or another just as it is not meant to freak you out. I am however, here as your friend, to be honest; the first few times nursing can be TOUGH. Again, I am here as a friend. I am not a doctor, nurse, or breastfeeding expert. I am here to give advice from my own personal experiences with breastfeeding. Always consult your doctor or an expert should you have any continual difficulty. 

   Let me start by painting you a little picture: you’ve just given birth, you’re tired, emotional, and probably very sensitive (both emotionally and physically). They hand that sweet baby to you for his first feeding, you don’t even have time to think, you’re just so in love with the little life you’ve create, he latches to your nipple and OUCH!

   That was not what you were expecting. The nurses will of course explain that it’s perfectly normal, that your breasts just need time to adjust and they’re right. Breastfeeding in general should not be painful but those first few times (when you and your breasts are new to the game) can be difficult and uncomfortable. Here are some tips to help you push through those first few days:

  1. Ask for help.
    Simple and very true. Breastfeeding can be tricky and you need to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, you need help getting baby to latch, or just need some encouragement, don’t hesitate to ask for your hospital’s lactation consultant. If they are unavailable you can call the Le Leche League helpline (visit llli.org to find a local chapter in your area or call 1-877-4LALECHE). Many hospitals are now offering classes as well.
  2. Be Prepared.
    There are a few items that I wish I had known about from the very beginning. I recommend looking at the following list and deciding which items to stock up on ahead of time, or even register for! (Haven’t created your registry yet? Click here to begin!)

    Lansinon Lanolin Cream This cream will both sooth and protect dry, sore, and cracked nipples (eek the truth hurts I know!). The best part is that it is a 100% natural product, meaning it is safe for both you and baby.
    Found at: Target
    TIP: some hospitals will provide you with samples but to be safe I recommend having a tube on hand.

    Disposable Nursing Pads These won’t help with pain but they will save you a whole lot of embarrassment when your milk comes in! Simple to use and comfortable to wear, I used them the entire year I breastfed.
    Found at: Target

    **These last two items are for extreme cases (I personally used BOTH of these those first 2 days at the hospital)

    Soothies Gel Pads These provide instant cooling relief and are even reusable for up to 72 hours.
    Found at: Target
    TIP: You can also use cabbage leaves (cooled in the fridge first) or you can even put a (unused) diaper in the freezer and apply directly to the breast when needed!

    NUK Nipple Shields These are basically armor for your nipples. Just because your nipples are sore doesn’t mean baby will give you a break and stop eating. These provide a great break for you while still giving baby what he/she needs.
    Found at: Target

  3. Remember it will pass.
    Yes, it hurts and yes, it’s hard; but so was childbirth and you got through that right? Be patient with your body. If breastfeeding is something you truly want to do then remind yourself of the reasons and remember that you will be happy you stuck with it in the long run.
  4. Look at your baby.
    A big reward of breastfeeding is the connection it gives you and your baby. The endorphins nursing releases may just be the ultimate helping hand in sticking with it. So just take a deep breath, look at that beautiful baby, and enjoy the moment.

I hope this helps! If you have decided to nurse, please just remember that breastfeeding should not be painful. Remember that you are not alone mama and please take advantage of some or all of these tips. You will survive those first couple of days and it will be smooth sailing from there!