My Breastfeeding Essentials For Round Two
I’ve shared before about my experience with breastfeeding Bodie which was far from the elegant and earthy vision I had. Instead, it was a pretty messy, very cumbersome process that I finally ended at five months after my final bout of clogged ducts.
This time around, I spoke with a lactation consultant and my OB before I left the hospital. I explained my oversupply issues nursing my first child and how I’d never quite managed it well. My OB gave me advice (and an Rx) to get ahead of the sore nipples. The lactation consultant and our pediatrician were both very clear that I should avoid an electric pump this time so I could give my body time to realize it wasn’t feeding twins. I followed up with my pediatrician who helped on positioning to help Lyla control the flow. Bottom line, this time I asked for help early and often.
Close to seven weeks later, it really has gotten better. I still look a bit sloppy when I attempt to feed in public but I’ve gotten past the soreness and constant engorgement and Lyla’s gotten more efficient at feeding so it’s not a forty minute feast every time. I’m still open to whatever works for us however this journey evolves but for as long as nursing works for her and I, I’m committed to setting us up well.
Per my previous post, I need a lot of props and potions to make breastfeeding work for me. So if you’re one of the incredible women who can pop the baby on a boob and cook a meal, skip this, but if you’re navigating the initial weeks of rawness and production regulating, here’s what worked for me.
1. My Brest Friend Pillow - This somewhat clunky pillow helps me maintain the right posture and give Lyla a comfortable positionining for feeding. It has a handy pocket that I keep some of the smaller items below.
2. Lansinoh Stay-Dry Nursing Pads - These are super soft which I appreciate when everything feels tender. They are thin enough to tuck in to your bra without obvious wrinkles but still thick enough to absorb the leakage. The gel and fabric reusable pads never quite worked for me.
3. APNO (all purpose nipple ointment) - This is a Rx cream that made all the difference for my first weeks - your OB can prescribe it but it can only be picked up at a compounding pharmacy. It has a mild steroid and antibiotic that is safe for babies but I still apply it only after a feed so that the baby is never sucking on the cream directly.
4. Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter - After my nipples survived the first three to five weeks, I switched to this super soft baste that just feels like a little extra TLC for that area.
5. Medela Harmony Manual Pump - The challenge with an electric pump is that it extracts a lot from both breasts which sends a message to the body to produce enough to keep up. For anyone who is trying to manage supply issues, I found using the manual pump on one breast to be a better solution for when I needed to make a bottle or alleviate fullness.
6. Vitamin E Oil - To work through engorgement, instead of defaulting to the pump this time I used this oil to massage out the knots and tough areas to extract out excess milk manually.
7. Pehr Design Bibs - I’ve found that other cloth bibs don’t hold up to all the drips as we are getting the hang of feeding which means a lot of wet onesies and lots of laundry. These bibs from Pehr Designs are soft and thick around baby’s neck and take a lot to get soaked.
8. BOOB design tanks - I didn’t know to invest in nursing friendly tops the first time around but this time, I’ll do anything for convenience sake. These pair well under sweaters and cardis and make for discreet access if and when I muster the courage to nurse out and about. I also have cute stand alone tops from Loyal Hana and Teat & Cosset.
9. Motherhood Maternity Nursing Sleep Bra - I’ve tried a fair number of nursing bras and I keep coming back to this one as my favorite for night and day. Beyond easy access which is a given, it’s soft but has more support for when you find yourself rolling from pajamas to drop off and can’t be bothered to change you’ll still feel put together.
What about you? What was your experience with breast-feeding? Did anything help make it easier?