Hi Loves! This post is for all my nursing moms,moms-to-be out there and friends/sisters/husbands of nursing moms too! I did a nursing photo shoot with my sweet Avalon in November and it made me reflect back on our breastfeeding journey, especially those early days of learning HOW to breastfeed — and remembering how HARD it was for us!!! I had no clue to even expect that it wasn’t going to just be second nature to me or my little one! Avalon came a bit early and had jaundice so she was, what my lactation consultant described as, a “lazy eater”- so we had a bit of an uphill battle. I honestly don’t know if we would have made it without the support of my amazing, loving and kindest-person-you’ll-ever-meet lactation consultant! (Her info is linked below.) And I also have to credit my loyal breastfeeding support group mama’s! It was so nice to know I wasn’t alone in my struggles and these lovely ladies have turned into a wonderful group of mom-friends too. So thankful!
I thought it might be a good idea to put together a list of MUST HAVES for those early months of breastfeeding for moms out there reading this. These items may not fix a latch or make those power nursing sessions any easier (cluster feeding is crazy), but they will help with some comfort and pain (clogged ducts anyone?) along the way.
Bella B Nipple Nurture Cream – One of my buddies (shout out to Karson in FoCo) in my breastfeeding support group turned me on to this product and I’m forever loyal. I still use this stuff on my chapped lips because it’s SO dang moisturizing and I seriously love the texture and creaminess of it. I felt like it penetrated my cracked nipples in their time of need a bit better than some of the other products I was using before she told me about this. Even better, just order on Amazon – no need to even leave the house! It just shows up at your door.
Happy Ducts – This stuff is AMAZING! You may be lucky and never experience a clogged duct – and I hope that’s you. But clogged ducts are fairly common and hurt like you know what!!! This supplement was all I needed (along with a hot shower, heating pad and some massaging) to get rid of a clogged milk duct. If you take this regularly, it will prevent them from occurring, but I always just started taking it the moment I felt one coming on and it would go away before I needed to take the extra measures I listed above. I would continue on it for a couple days and then stop using it. I have to warn you – this stuff tastes like dirt….like really bad. But I just put a few drops under my tongue and chase it with a tasty beverage of choice and it’s quick and easy.
Nursing Tank – I LOVE this nursing tank still to this day – I have several of the same one and pretty much still wear them EVERY SINGLE day. During those early days when you’re at home, I lived in this tank, an open knit cardi and loose black lounge pants. It was comfy, presentable for visitors and most importantly – easy access for that little babe to latch on. I leaned towards always having a nursing tank on – and still do to this day because I appreciate having my mid-section covered while I nurse. It’s all about layers when dressing to nurse and this is always my base layer! I also really like that this tank isn’t just cotton and made me feel a bit sucked in and supported as well.
The Dairy Fairy Nursing & Hands-free pumping bra – This is a must, I literally have no clue how you would pump without a hands-free pumping bra. Well, I do, but having your hands free is SO helpful. I had the traditional tube top zippered hands-free pumping bra for most of my early days, but I wish I knew about The Dairy Fairy one sooner. It’s a nursing AND pumping bra – hello! Genius! The tube top bra is a bit of a pain to put on every time you pump, so it’s nice to have something that you can wear all the time and then when it comes time to pump, you don’t have to search for your hands-free bra – you can use the one you have on. I was always looking for that thing – I swear if I was pumping upstairs, that bra was downstairs and vise versa.
Netflix – So….. this is for those first time moms…. Often it feels like you’re married to the couch those early days of nursing. It seems as though you’re nursing every hour or so. Just as you finish up and maybe have time to get a snack, it’s time to nurse again. It’s a time in your life where your MO is to keep your little one nourished – which is an amazing miracle in itself. But it doesn’t always feel that way because you’re literally sitting there. It’s couch jail with your baby, your boppy, a huge water jug (to stay hydrated), burp cloths, a diaper caddy near-by and maybe some snacks. So why not binge watch some TV? Netflix is such a perfect gift for an expecting first time mom. However, if you’re on your second LO, this situation TOTALLY changes and it’s just not the same because you have an older sibling in tow as well. But if you’re on numero uno – Netflix is awesome.
Along with the above items, if you’re struggling, getting in touch with a caring lactation consultant is key. I highly recommend Marianne Kmak if you’re in Colorado. Here is a link to her website: www.kmakbreastfeeding.com/ There were so many times I text her and she would text me right back with help and answers I needed. Forever grateful!!!
A support group is another great option as well – not only was the support group great for breastfeeding questions, but for any mom-question that comes up when figuring things out as a brand new mom.
Here are some beautiful pictures from my nursing photoshoot with Jamie, a wonderful photographer specializing in all things mom & baby. If you are interested in capturing those special moments of you nursing you little babe, she is great! Visit her website at www.theartofdoula.com for all the services she offers (she’s a doula too!) and mention Lashes to Lullabies for 10% off your nursing photoshoot. (valid until June 2017)
Kisses from Sarah K