A post from one of our new breastfeeding mums, K. We last heard from her here when she was preparing for the arrival of her little man. Now a few months in, she wanted to share her top ten items that have helped her in her breastfeeding journey, in honour of breastfeeding week!
Breastfeeding Top 10
- Lansinoh has to be number 1, it is a must have. It’s a lanolin nipple cream which prevents soreness and cracked skin. To be honest, your nipples (probably) aren’t used to someone being attached to them for 6-8 hours a day and this comes as quite a shock to them. It’s not cheap, around £10 for a 40g tube, but it does last and really helps. It also makes a really good lipbalm! Just warm a pea sized amount between your fingers & apply after every feed or when the mood takes you.
- Jelonet dressings. These little known wonders are gauze dressings impregnated with white soft paraffin. You can get them from pharmacies for around 70p for a 10cm x 10cm dressing, this can be cut into 4 squares to do both boobs for 2 days. Lansinoh up your nips and then apply your square of Jelonet and then your breast pad to keep everything in place. It really helps to keep the nipple moist which promotes healing from the inside and no scab formation. The pain of pealing a breast pad off a scabbed nipple…Eek!
- Breastpads. These are a must for the Lansinoh/Jelonet open sandwich, there are lots of brands out there, but I have found the larger the better, especially for over night. You move, they move and before you know it your milk has leaked through your bra and pjs. Lovely.
- Well fitting nursing bra. Until your milk has come in you will just be guessing at how big your bazookas are going to get! Shops like Mothercare and M&S offer a bra measuring/fitting service and offer a large range, although not cheap. Matalan offer really well sized and fitting bras in a pack of 2 for a reasonable price. An ill fitting nursing bra can cause milk ducts to block which can lead to mastitis so allow room for expansion between feeds too!
- Nursing pillow. There are lots of shapes available, crescent shaped are very useful to aid positioning of the baby and takes the weight which after 45 minutes plus seems about 10 times more than at the start!
- TV, box set, smartphone. There is quite a lot of sitting around involved with breast-feeding; some say it is this way to force a new mum to sit down and rest. As much as rest is good, it can also be good to use the time to catch up on the newest episodes of the latest American must see series, a few episodes of Escape to the Country or to play candy crush, do some Facebook stalking or catch up on the newest Dodging Tigers blog post!
- A drink. It is thirsty work this milk making and once you’re sat down you’re never quite sure how long you will be there, especially in the early days. Making up a large bottle of squash in the morning is a good idea so you know how much you have had through the day and it’s one less thing to do every time you need a drink.
- Hobnobs. Ok, it technically doesn’t have to be hobnobs but some easy to eat one handed snack is good to have close by. Breastfeeding can cause you to have a hunger like you’ve never known so handy snacks are a must. Back to chocolate hobnobs, as they’re the best, they also have the added benefit of being made from oats which can help to promote milk production. Nothing better than a medicinal hobnob!
- Breastpump. The gold standard, or yellow in this case, is the Medela Swing. It is quite expensive but the saving in lost tears when you see just 10ml of milk at the bottom of the bottle after 30 minutes pumping is priceless.
- Nursing tops. Without special nursing tops you’re not going to be easily able to get your boobs out, and that is now what it’s all about. There’s the uniform of nursing vest top with a cardi, but many online stores, including Vertbaudet have a large range of nice tops which aren’t obviously nursing. These make feeding while out and about much easier and discreet.
Finally the support of a good husband, partner, mum, sister or friend is invaluable…especially if they bring hobnobs!