In my experience, breastfeeding has been a challenge. My first daughter was born via C-section, because she never dropped.
I was not prepared for a hospital staff change to interfere with having her near me. They sent me to recovery and I didn't get a chance to see her for several hours. They called me from the nursery and asked permission to give her a bottle since her blood sugar was low, and this was all shocking, since I hadn't expected this to happen. No one told me I could have expressed milk for her in recovery!
In retrospect, I wish I would have had more knowledge to advocate for myself or my husband. It was completely unacceptable. As a result, I had difficulty getting her to latch, despite a tongue tie revision that was completely scary at the time. "Just a simple procedure" for a 2 day old + a sleep deprived mama were not so simple words. I wish I would have read up on that ahead of time vs. frantically googling. I had lactation consultations in the hospital on the 3rd day, when I really needed them immediately.
When I came home, I worked with several other lactation consultants including one who owned the popular breastfeeding shop for over twenty years, and even with her expertise I struggled.
I must have tried every contraption out there, and the only thing that worked to keep my supply going was a Medela symphony double electric hospital grade pump.
I ended up pumping exclusively for her for an entire year after supplementing for a month and made just enough to meet her needs. The stress of a house flood caused my supply to drop. I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my story. I learned so much along the way that helped prepare me for my second daughter.
Here are 10 tips that I made me a great breastfeeding mama:
1. Meet with a Lactation Consultant before delivery
Determined to see if my outcome could be different when pregnant with my second, I met with a lactation consultant before delivery for some tips. Meeting before I gave birth to my baby girl helped put my mind at ease about all the options I had. I even learned about supplements if the need arose.
2. Skin to Skin Contact
I included my desire for the baby to have immediate skin to skin contact at delivery in a birth plan with copies given to the Dr., hospital staff and my husband. Skin to skin is something I've learned is of utmost importance and even helpful at all times.
3. Find the right breast pump
I made sure to find out which pump the hospital carried, and since it was different than the one I was familiar with, I decided to rent one just in case I needed it. I also brought all pump parts and accessories washed and sterilized.
4. Hands-free Pump Bra
I highly recommend the Simple Wishes hands free pump bra. It really does make things easier to multi-task during pumping. A pumping tidbit I learned to increase supply: pump 5 min extra after a letdown. The ability to be hands free while you pump allows you to relax surfing the web or looking at cute photos of your baby and not rush the process. Heck, for those who work at home you can work while you pump!
Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra
5. Learn how to massage your breasts
Be hands on- whether you are pumping or feeding. Massage the breasts help beforehand to help with letdown.
6. Pumpin Pal breast shields
These easily attach to the Medela connectors, and accommodate a range of breast sizes unlike the Medela breast shields that come in sizes 24mm, 27mm, 30mm, and 36mm. This is nice because breasts can fluctuate in size and you can also lean back with these.
Pumpin Pal Breast Shields
7. Create comfortable breastfeeding stations
Chair station: I had a rocking chair with good back support, a foot stool and placed a small pillow to support my lower back unless I was in bed, I used a yoga bolster by Hugger Mugger to support my lower back.
Hugger Mugger Yoga Bolster
Nursing pillows: I tried The Boppy, Bobby travel pillow for on the go, My Breast Friend, Luna Lullaby Nursing Pillow just to keep things exciting and have a pillow for nursing in every room of my house.
Luna Lullaby Nursing Pillow
8. Galactagologues and Galactagenic foods
I started off trying all the Motherlove More Milk Plus, and Now Foods Brewers Yeast tablets. I experimented with foods and had good success with pearled barley, seaweed, fresh basil, coconut water fresh from the coconut, quinoa, avocado, flaxseed and nuts.
NOW Foods Brewer's Yeast
9. Silverette cups
I purchased these as a precautionary measure. They are .925 silver cups designed to help protect and heal sore nipples.
Silverette Nursing Cups
10. Bamboobies Boob Ease Soothing Therapy pillows for nursing
I used these for a few months to bring warmth to my breasts and feel relaxed. Highly recommended!
Bathtime is an important time to bond with your new baby so we are giving away a gift set and four amazing breastfeeding brands we love are also giving away gifts! Winner receives:
Written by Elana Priesman, Owner of Bathtime Baby & Kids
Bathtime Kids & Bathtime Baby is a luxurious, eco-friendly baby safe bath time products for kids and babies that is gentle and formulated with all plant-based ingredients, skin nourishing vitamins, and antioxidants that protect and care for children’s delicate skin.
When the Bathtime Baby& Kids co-founder was expecting, she found natural/organic baby products completely greenwashed due to a corrupt industry that allows products to market themselves as natural but still contain ingredients with harsh chemicals and endocrine disruptors. She was motivated to create a better, safer skin care line of vegan bath products for kids. The result became a collection of natural and organic baby products that are paraben-free, propylene glycol-free, phthalate-free, petroleum-distilates-free and hypoallergenic.
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