The one thing I wasn’t prepared for when Beth arrived was breastfeeding, I was a bit laid back about it all. I thought I’ll give it a go and see what happens – I had all the bottle feeding kit ready just in case as the one piece of advice everyone did give me was don’t put yourself under too much pressure when it comes to breastfeeding as it’ll only stress you both out!
However, once Beth was here and I started breastfeeding I then became determined I was going to do this and was so glad that a friend of mine had dropped round the first recommendation on my list a few weeks before Beth had arrived:
1. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International Book)
This isn’t a sit down a read from cover to cover type book, but more of a “what should I do when this happens?” or “what is this all about?” It’s an invaluable book to have handy and dip in to when you need a bit of guidance. La Leche League’s website is also a fabulous resource for any worries or questions you have about breastfeeding if you don’t have a local breastfeeding group in your area or it’s the middle of the night!
2. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin for Breastfeeding Mothers
This is my ultimate I couldn’t have breastfed without it cream. There are other creams available but they need to be washed off before feeding your baby, whereas this one is safe to leave on. As well as being great to put on before and after feeds when you need it, it’s a great cream for any cuts and grazes generally – so if you have any left after you no longer need it for breastfeeding it’s also a handy cream to keep in your cupboard.
3. Breastfeeding Butterfly
As soon I realised how determined I was to give breastfeeding a go, one of my first concerns was “what am I going to do if Beth needs a feed and we’re out … in public?!” The Breastfeeding Butterfly not only answers these concerns but also it’s really handy to use when you have guests pop over and you don’t want to have to keep popping upstairs to feed your baby or when your baby gets to the nosey stage and is more interested in looking around than feeding – it provides a calm private place for them to concentrate on feeding and not the many wonders of the world around them that they want to explore!
On my “preparing for baby” list everyone said you have to have muslins, but I didn’t really understand why? What am I going to use these cloths for? When Beth was born I soon realised – everything! Initially I purchased plain white muslins, but then I found these, bright extra large muslins that really stood out from the crowd – not only are they in wonderful colours and extra large (90cm x 90cm) they are lovely and soft, perfect for popping on your shoulder when burping – just in case! They’re great as they are larger than average so can also be used for other uses such as swaddling, a lightweight blanket or a change mat for example.
5. comfortable nursing bra
I loved this nursing bra by Bravado (Body Silk) as it’s seamless, so comfortable and comes in simple sizing – S, M, L, XL so you don’t have to worry about getting the exact cup size as not only do you not know what size you will be, it fluctuates so much too before and after feeding. The Bravado website has an easy size chart to follow and I opted for the neutral colour so the last thing I had to worry about was what colour bra to put on in the morning.
The bra has a really nice stretch to it so it moves with your changes and is very easy to un-latch every time you need to use it. The material is silky soft against your skin and disposable nursing pads fit perfectly, it also gives you a natural shape – as some of the nursing bras I tried did look like they had been on sale since the 1920’s!
6. Milk Supply Supplements
There are certain food supplements that may increase your milk supply. Before using any of these, it is important to rule out other problems such as illness in mother or baby. Some herbal supplements have been used for many years to increase milk production, with the most popular being Fenugreek.
When it felt like I just wasn’t producing enough milk, I found that Fenugreek supplements really seemed to help and very quickly Beth seemed to be getting more milk and finished her feeds much more satisfied. Fenugreek is available in either liquid or tablet form.
7. Good quality nursing pads
I cannot praise this enough. It may be quite expensive but, so worth the money. In fact, I would recommend one of these rather than a swing. My Son & Daughter hated the swing and would much rather be bouncing around in this! It has music, lights and a chair that spins around 360 degrees so that they can get to all the exciting toys to explore. It also has three adjustable heights, so that it can grow as your child grows.