My son Jack is 5 weeks old as of yesterday and thriving! Our journey started off a bit bumpy but things are sorting themselves out and the road is much smoother these days. Oh, and an exciting tidbit, I’m typing this into a note on my phone while Jack is nursing… with NO NIPPLE SHIELD. Woot woot! I may not have showered or slept more than 10 hours in two days, but I’m pretty sure I’m winning at mom life right now.
I thought I’d share some things that have been essential with helping me survive my first month of being a breastfeeding mom. Hopefully you can check out these little gems for your next baby or share them with new moms you know. They saved my sanity many a time this past month, so hopefully they’ll help you or your loved ones as well.
Mine is the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump pictured above. Whether you’re engorged and need some relief, or you’re a working mom who pumps and stores, a pump is a must-have. The pump I have is great. It’s easy to use and it really helped me when Jack wasn’t gaining weight and I had to supplement with expressed milk. Bonus: Tricare paid for my pump and a ton of accessories including nipple pads, storage bags and bottles. Most insurances cover breastfeeding supplies so be sure to check with yours to see if you qualify. It saved me hundreds of dollars, and who doesn’t love saving moolah?
The Coconut Stick by EcoSprout
This thing is phenomenal! First of all, the ingredients are 100% organic, which is always a positive for any product, AND it’s made in the U.S.A. It’s gentle on skin, smells wonderful, is easy to apply and works for nearly everything. Diaper rash, baby acne, dry skin, hang nails – you name it, it tackles it. Definitely a must have!
If you’ve been reading any of my previous posts, you know successful breastfeeding without a shield was quite a feat for Jack and I. If you’re struggling with breastfeeding and feel like giving up, these may be a good short-term solution. I would caution to consult with a lactation consultant before using these though, as you don’t want your baby to become dependent on them and you’ll want help with weaning. Though they were a pain in the ass and not ideal, they allowed me to continue breastfeeding instead of switching to formula, so yay for those annoying little pieces of silicone and good riddance to them too.
Motherlove Nipple Cream
In trying to nurse Jack, my nipples got ridiculously sore and even bled at times. On numerous occasions, I swore I was one feeding away from my nipples completely falling off. You’ll be glad to know they’re both in tact, thanks to this nifty salve. It helped greatly with the pain and it’s safe enough that I don’t have to wipe it before feeding. Considering pain is one of the top reasons women give up on breastfeeding, I believe this salve is a must to soothe sore, cracked nipples and keep you on your journey to nourishing your little one through breastfeeding. It’s made of 100% organic ingredients, kosher and cruelty-free. I also thought it was pretty cool that 10% of the profits go to their Nurturing Life Foundation which supports breastfeeding mothers in need. Mommas helping mommas!
Boba Wrap Baby Carrier
I’ll admit, when I took this out of the package I was intimidated and thoroughly confused. It’s basically a huge, long piece of fabric. I had no idea what to do with it. So of course, what do I do when I need instructions? Google a YouTube video! It took me around 3 tries to get the wrapping method down but once I got the hang of it, it was a breeze. I love that I can hold Jack close against me and kiss his head when needed. He loves it and mostly just falls asleep or hangs out looking up at me and cooing. It’s also wonderful because I can have both hands free. So far I’ve only worn it to Target, the grocery store and doctor appointments, but I plan on using it more frequently once I get more brave with my outings.
Baby Be Mine Nursing Gowns
I originally bought one of these because I wanted a gown to wear in the delivery room after giving birth, but now I wear them around the house and as a nightgown. I actually have 3 of them now. The neckline is stretchy so it’s great for breastfeeding. They’re soft and come in a variety of prints. I love them for the simple fact that I’m lazy and I wanted something comfortable and easy access for breastfeeding, and these comfy gowns fit the bill!
So, that’s my short list of items that were life-savers for me during my first month of breastfeeding.