A few days ago, as I was nursing the baby, the phone rang. I got up, still nursing, walked over and answered the phone. It was my husband, and when I told him what I was doing, we both laughed. Nursing child #4 is very different compared to child #1!
With my first, I would probably have been sitting on my bed, surrounded by the myriad supplies and paraphernalia I thought I’d need, petrified to interrupt the feeding, never mind actually getting up and walking around while the baby was still eating!
I still have various supplies and paraphernalia that I use while nursing, but over the years have fine-tuned what is and isn’t so useful. Here are my findings:
Oh, Lansinoh, how I love thee, let me count the ways. When starting to nurse a newborn, it can hurt! With my first three babies, every lactation consultant that visited me in the hospital told me that if I was doing it right, it shouldn’t hurt. So when my babies would latch on and aggressively go at it, I would wince and think about how I was clearly doing something wrong. It was super encouraging (that’s sarcasm).
The most recent consultant I spoke with told me that it was normal for it to hurt when the baby first latches on, but that it shouldn’t continue to hurt throughout the feeding. Well! That makes a difference. I felt very vindicated.
Anyways, with my first, I definitely had cracking and bleeding, which was NOT enjoyable and didn’t exactly make nursing a positive, pleasant experience. That’s when I learned to put a little lanolin cream on each nipple when I was finished nursing on that side. It makes such a difference!
This is really only useful when your baby is very small, and helps raise the baby up so you don’t have to be all hunched over. I use a Boppy, have had friends who use My Breast Friend (hardy har har), but I think even a very firm normal pillow (or two thinner ones) would probably do the trick. That’s what I used in the hospital.
This isn’t something I shlep around with me. If I need to nurse the baby while out of the house, I just hold the baby, and we do just fine.
Another mother once told me how hearing any baby cry would cause her let-down reflex to kick in, and she would have to suddenly cross her arms as the front of her shirt would become damp from the milk seeping through. Oy!
With nursing pads, this is not an issue. There are disposable ones available, but I prefer reusable ones. I’ve tried many different brands, and the best ones I’ve found are Bamboobies (so many pun opportunities with breastfeeding supplies). These bamboo-based pads are thin enough that they don’t create bulky lines or bunch up, but absorbent enough to work very well. In this four-pack there’s a thicker overnight pad that really works well.
Plus they are cute! I mean, look at them. They’re little hearts. Adorable.
This is something that I really wish I had known about with my first two babies. Listen to the genius of this product: It’s a slim container that catches the milk which drips from the breast you’re not feeding from. So, if the baby is nursing on the right side, you put the Milk-Saver on your left side and all the milk that would otherwise go into your nursing pad goes into the container and you can save it!
It comes in a case that doubles as a stand, so when you’re done nursing, you can place the Milk-Saver upright in the case and it will wait there until you’re ready to store it.
I regularly get two to three ounces a day, sometimes more, from this otherwise wasted breastmilk. That’s like a bottle every other day without having to use a pump. A-ma-zing.
And guess what? You can get your own Milk-Saver for free because Milkies has generously agreed to send one to whoever wins this giveaway! I love the Milk-Saver so much that I emailed them to ask if they’d be up for donating one, and they prompted responded with an affirmative! Isn’t that nice? Yes, yes, it is.
Not nursing? The Milk-Saver would make a great present for a friend/daughter/sister/cousin who is. Seriously, I cannot recommend this product highly enough. It is a game changer.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below with what baby-feeding supply you find indispensable (this is limited to my North American readers. Sorry to all my friends abroad).
The giveaway will end in one week, so you can enter up until midnight on Tuesday, December 16th. I’ll select a winner through a random number generator, and will contact the winner via email, and then you’ll have 24 hours to get me your address so I can get you your prize! Clear? Great.
I didn’t include a breast-pump or breast milk storage bags in the list because they’re kind of like extra on top of nursing, though certainly it’s nice to be able to save breast milk and have it on hand for when you plan on being out of the house. Or to have your husband help for a middle of the night feeding. Or whatever.
Right now there’s an almost unbelievable opportunity to potentially get an electric breast pump FOR FREE. What? Yes. And not some off-brand pump, either. We’re talking Medela.
Check with your insurance to see if you’re eligible for this seriously unreal offer. Free electric breast pump = do it. Those things aren’t cheap. I’ve used a hand pump with every kid, and while I appreciate having monster hands that are ridiculous strong, I’m extremely glad to finally have an electric pump. Mine came in the mail today! Like, while I was writing this post!