World Breastfeeding Week starts tomorrow. While I have been very outspoken about how I did not enjoy breastfeeding with any of my kids, I would never tell a mom to not try it. Every mother has a different experience. The experiences even differ from baby to baby.
I do believe; however, we need to be more honest with new moms. When I was pregnant with Cameron, my first baby, there was an ad for something baby related that showed these moms breastfeeding their babies, looking so happy, calm and serene. They were all over and I can still see the mom’s face. When I birthed my screaming bundle of joy and he would not latch or stop screaming I felt completely disillusioned. Why was my experience like the pictures I had seen all over? Why couldn’t we sit comfortable like those moms and have this amazing experience. I was not prepared at all for the reality that was breastfeeding my permanently hungry newborn.
It was a little easier with Kiara, she was the easiest of all the children and as a result I fed her the longest (but that was still only about 10 weeks). I had hoped the experience would be different with Jack and in many ways, it was until I got mastitis and I thought it was the end of days. If you have had mastitis you will know how incredibly painful it is. I have had a hip replacement, 5/6 hip ops, 2 back ops – none of those compared to the pain I felt with mastitis. Moms who have managed to power through mastitis and carry on feeding have my utmost respect. I couldn’t do it. I wasn’t even going to feed Emma but I started and it did not end well. She was born tongue tied which meant she didn’t latch properly, which led to cracked nipples which ultimately let me to stopping.
All of that said though, I know how important breastfeeding can be. With my move to a more natural lifestyle, it makes sense to eliminate formulas where possible and stick to the more natural alternative.
Over the years I have been introduced to and used a variety of products that make life, when you are breastfeeding, so much easier.
Breastfeeding Pads: I loved the Pigeon ones. They fitted nicely into my bras and worked the best. I have used some that got all crumpled in my bra and it looked like I had a whole tissue box under my shirt. There are some natural, re-usable options though which you can consider.
A breast pump. I used a pump with 3 of the kids. You can pump and still breastfeed. Pumping allows you to build up a stock of milk for when you go back to work or those times you aren’t with your baby over feeding times. If your little one has to stay in NICU, a pump will help to stimulate your milk as well as store it for when your baby to start drinking from you, or a bottle. I would really recommend an electric pump, like the Baby Womb World one. They just make the whole process much easier.
Nipple cream. I have one word – LANSINOH! It will save your life (and your nipples).
Feeding bras. I know these aren’t often very sexy but they make breastfeeding so much easier. I used the Woolies ones, they are the most reasonable and work really well. There are some really nice one’s out there now though, so look around a little but this is definitely something you need.
A nursing scarf. Holly Molly has a wonderful product, designed to make your life easier. I really struggled to feel comfortable enough to feed in public so I avoided it. These scarves aren’t only a funky fashion accessory but double up as a feeding cover, allowing you to feed your baby comfortably when you are out.
What were some of the items you couldn’t do without when you were breastfeeding? If you are breastfeeding, what makes life easier for you?
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