10 Tips & Things to Have as a Nursing Mother + Giveaway
August 10, 2015
A few readers and fellow mamas have requested a post about nursing and nursing wear, so in leu of National Breastfeeding Month I thought I would share what worked well for me the past 12 months. AND giveaway my favorite nursing cover from Covered Goods. Read on for more….
1. Don’t be surprised if it hurts (at first)
Breastfeeding hurts in the beginning. Your nipples are cracked and raw, your boobs are sore and letdowns can be painful at times. Just remember the first several weeks are the hardest. I remember thinking, will I ever be able to shower again without putting a washcloth over my nipples.
2. Moisturize those nipples.
I used Lanolin nipple ointment like it was going out of style. Thank god for amazon prime and two day shipping since I never left the house in the beginning.
3. Practice makes perfect (well sort of)
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming (as Nemo would say) Just keep nursing, just keep nursing. Don’t let a bad feeding get you down. Get support from other nursing moms, get online for support groups, or visit a lactation specialist. I did all of those. Whatever it takes to get you through the tough spots.
4. Invest in some comfy nursing tanks and bras! (you will be living in them)
5. Make sure you are eating enough and eating the right things!
It is so easy in the beginning to be consumed with everything baby and forget to take care of yourself. You may forget to eat or drink which can harm your supply. You need all the extra calories and fluids. I love Oat Mama’s bars for a good an easy snack or meal. Oat mama bars are packed with healthy nuts, oats, berries all that you need to keep your supply up. I love the fact they are egg free, wheat free, soy free, dairy free in case of any allergies.
I also took Fenugreek, which is a natural supplement that may increase milk supply. You can find it on Amazon or at Walgreens or CVS.
6. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
It’s so important to drink plenty of water! I used this water bottle and drank a full one first thing when I woke up, then aim to drink 2-3 more throughout the day.
7. Pump, pump pump!
I had issues with my supply in the beginning. I went from being basketball size engorged to having no milk. In the beginning it takes time to establish a supply and it’s all about supply and demand. The first couple weeks my supply was low, Sutton would get frustrated and stop nursing. Therefore my boobs weren’t being told to make more milk so I had to pump to tell my body to make more. Once I started gaining more of a supply, I keep up my pumping and would pump every morning after her first nursing and then once in the evening and once more at 4am-so a total of three times a day in addition to her nursing. Doing so I created a major stock supply of milk. At one point my whole deep freeze was full of milk. This also gave me the freedom to go out on a date or go on work trips and I had plenty of milk at home for Sutton. I stopped pumping at around 7 months and stopped nursing all together just short of Sutton’s first birthday. I still have my freezer stocked full of milk and am grateful I can still offer her breastmilk.
Here is the pump I used that worked well for me. Check to see if your insurance covers the cost of your breast pump.
8. Make Sure You are Comfortable When Nursing
Ways to ensure comfort while breasting:
-Have someone help you get positioned early on as you are trying to get the hang of things. My mom helped me so much with this, she was an OB/GYN nurse for 30 years, so I was very lucky to have her. Ask your nurse at the hospital, they are there to help! I ended up liking the football hold for one side and the cradle hold for another.
-Make sure the baby is latched correctly so that it doesn’t cause discomfort for you. A nurse or lactation consultant can help. I would suggest to master the latch before leaving the hospital, you have the experts there to help so take advantage. Request the lactation consultant and nurses to help.
-Use a supportive pillow to nurse. I tried several different ones and this one from Bebe Au Lait was my favorite.
-Consider a good foot rest and comfortable chair. I remember shopping for one and I couldn’t get over how expensive they were! However, it was worth every penny. I spent to many hours and nights in that chair. I did get a neutral colored one so I can use for next baby’s nursery and not have to buy another.
9. Get a good nursing cover.
Want to know the oddest place I nursed? It was in a gymnasium on bleachers during a wedding. It was not the easiest but Sutton was only one month old and I had to. Having a good nursing cover makes all the different. The Covered Goods nursing cover is by far my favorite. First of all, it doesn’t just cover the front of me but it covers the back too. With other covers I often felt exposed on my sides and back as I nurse. The one covers all sides and your back. With Sutton moving around and grabbing at things, I felt reassured that I will still remained covered. It is also extremely comfortable, made of soft, stretchy fabric. The stretchy fabric allows for it to be worn multiple ways. Plus it can be used as a carseat cover, scarf and shopping cart cover! All nursing moms need one. See how to win one below!
10. Be Willing to Admit that Nursing Sucks sometimes!
Although breastfeeding can be an amazing bonding experience with your infant, at times it down right SUCKS…literally! That is why it is so important to have a strong support system and remember WHY you are breastfeeding your baby.
*It is the best nutrition for your baby.
*You are boosting your baby’s immune system with antibodies now and down the road!
*You may be increasing your baby’s IQ
*You are creating a special bonding experience for your baby.
*You may be decreasing your child’s risk of SIDS
*You may be decreasing your child’s risk for obesity later in life.
The list goes on!!
Breastfeeding was one of the hardest and best things I have ever done. Give it a chance…even a fighting chance. If things don’t end up working out the way you planned, know that you are still a great mother with your baby’s best interest in mind!
And last but not least the giveaway details for the Covered Goods nursing cover. To enter all you need to do is follow @cellajaneblog and @coveredgoods on instagram, and comment below letting me know you entered! Giveaway ends Wednesday 08/12 at 11:59 PM CST and winner will be announced via instagram!