When my son was a newborn I had a couple of different friends ask me how nursing was going and both had told me that it was “beautiful”. I remember thinking, there is nothing beautiful about this. I will say that the way he knew exactly what to do minutes after being laid on my chest as a newborn was beautiful. It was amazing. But, days and weeks later? It was awkward. It hurt. And it hurt. Did I mention it hurt? Don’t believe those lactation experts. It hurts! Thankfully, I did get past the “this is not beautiful” stage and really began to love it. Breastfeeding is beautiful and it is something special that you and your baby have just between the two of you. But, yes there is a bit of a learning curve. And, now that I’ve done it, I totally get why so many women give up in those first few weeks. There are a lot of great products to help nursing moms. I have compiled a list of 7 Breastfeeding Essentials that really helped me out as a new nursing mom.
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- Lansinoh Soothies – Oh. My. Word. These things are AMAZING! My sister is a lactation consultant (I know, how lucky was I?) and she swears by these. In the beginning when I was experiencing a lot of discomfort, she ran out and bought me some. Like I said, amazing. They instantly sooth nipple soreness. Seriously, get them.
- Lansinoh Lanolin – Also for the soreness (cracking, blistering… oh my!). In those first few days/weeks, you will be sore. Unless, of course, you have nipples of steel. I only had a small tube that the hospital gave me. I didn’t even use the whole tube but it was still very helpful to have on hand, especially for the first couple of weeks.
- Sports Bra – A friend of mine suggested that I buy nursing sports bras as they are more comfortable. I have one that someone gave me but I actually ended up buying regular sports bras. I eventually started wearing regular bras but at first I only wore sports bras. And when I say “regular” I mean regular. I’ve never purchased a nursing bra. (And only own the one that was given to me.)
- Nursing Pads – For the leaking. Need I say more? I used Lansinoh Disposable Pads. They worked really well for me.
- Ice Pack – In the event of engorgement, you will want an ice pack. I used a regular old ice pack but there are ice packs and cold compresses specifically for breastfeeding. Whichever you choose, make sure there is an ice pack in your house!
- Water Bottle – Get the biggest water bottle there is. Nursing makes you thirsty. Really thirsty. I got a 32 oz. hydro flask as a gift when I was pregnant and it was perfect!
- Nursing Cover – This is probably not something you will use right away, unless you plan on having lots of guests that you feel comfortable nursing in front of but not so comfortable that you don’t care if they see your breasts. But, when the time comes, you will may want a nursing cover. I don’t use a cover a whole lot, only because we’re pretty much always home. But I do have a cover. One of my biggest tips on choosing a cover, is get something lightweight. After all, it is going over your baby’s head! You want to make sure it’s not too heavy, so it doesn’t get too hot in there. There are a lot of different covers to choose from. You could go with the sheet/apron looking kind. I was given two of these. Free works for me. Or you could go with some of the more fashionable covers. I was recently introduced to Hannah Grey Nursing Couture through Instagram. They have some really cute covers that can be used as ponchos, scarves and even car seat covers or blankies for baby. I really love their collection! Oh, and did I mention they’re offering us a discount? Use my code “diary15” for 15% off! This offer ends May 20.
So, that’s my list. These are the things that helped me in my nursing experience. (Yes, I realize I didn’t include pumps. We’ll talk about that later.) What are your nursing essentials?