I had an extremely hard time nursing both my daughters, which is probably not what you want to hear at this very precarious time of your life, however, I was able to work through the issues thanks to a few helpful items that I now swear by.
So, if you are planning on nursing (and if you’re not, I am not judging or condemning; my motto is “my breasts, my baby, my decision,” so do what’s best for you!), here are some of the items I would recommend that you have, just in case the breastfeeding doesn’t go as smoothly for you as it does for some.
Here are 5 Helpful Items to Have if You Plan on Breast Feeding Your Baby
- The phone number for a lactation consultant – Some babies latch on perfectly with no pain or fuss for either mom or baby, HOWEVER, that is not always the case. So, before you even go to the hospital, ask around to some of your trusted mom friends, or maybe even your OB/GYN, to see if any of them can refer a lactation consultant. If, after a few days, the nursing is not going right for ya, call someone for help. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. It is VERY normal to need help, and the sooner you get help, the better for everyone. Also, I had to go to 2-3 lactation consultants before I found one that really helped me so it wouldn’t hurt to get a few referrals.
- Soothies – I had EXTREME pain for the first 1-2 months of nursing both my daughters and the only thing that helped ease my pain were Soothies. They can be found in your nearest drug store but I would recommend having a pack at the ready before you even have your kid. They are round gel pads that you place over your nipples after your nurse. You can even leave them on until your next feeding.
- My Breast Friend – There are other nursing pillows out there, but the My Breast Friend was my favorite because a) It’s flat whereas some of the other pillows like the Boppy are curved and my baby would always slip off the side. (My Boppy came in extrememly useful as a pillow to sit on after giving birth though. No one warned me that my nether region was going to be so dang sore!). Another great selling point of the Breast Friend is that it straps around you so it won’t slip off. You can even walk around the house with it, and you’ll feel like a cigarette girl from the 50’s.
- Comfy Glider/Rocking Chair – 50% of your time will be spent in your rocker (though you’ll feel a little “off your rocker”), feeding, reading, rocking or even sleeping with your baby, so it’s worth spending some money on. I HIGHLY recommend the brand that I used which was a Dutalier (I called it a Doodle-eer for a long time til I realized it’s pronounced Do-tall-e-ay). But whatever brand you go with, be sure it’s comfy first and foremost, and that it reclines, glides, and swivels.
- Hooter Hider by Bebe Au Lait– Now here is where I got into BIG trouble a few weeks ago when I mentioned Hooter Hiders on a weekly Fox 5 parenting segment that I do. In many states it is your right to nurse in public (NIP), so please don’t think I’m trying to tell you not to feed your baby. I just personally liked to be discreet when I nursed my daughters, and quite frankly, I am grateful to other moms who are discreet as well. The Hooter Hider made it extremely easy to be discreet nursing in public (not to mention fashionable, you should see their adorable patterns). It is essentially a lightweight cloak that goes around your neck and covers the baby. The reason it is so wonderful is that there is a wire around the top that creates a window for you to see down to the baby and for the baby to see you. Plenty of air gets in so the baby can breathe and does not feel smothered in the slightest.
There are also a ton of websites, message boards, and support groups you can attend to help if you’re experiencing some difficulty with nursing. It’s an emotional and sensitive subject, so just know that there are women to help you online and IRL, along with the products above, no matter what you decide.