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Breastfeeding is freaking hard and anyone who says differently is lying to you. Feeding is like a 40 minute ordeal every two hours. Then you have the cluster feedings where you might as well just cancel all plans now and get comfy because your ass isn’t going anywhere for the next few hours. On top of that you have the endless list of medicines and supplements you can and can’t take, you have to watch your diet for things that may upset your baby (spicy foods, caffeine, etc.) and don’t even get me started on cracked nipples and engorgement. Then the constant worry that all new moms have: is baby getting enough? It can be really stressful. Here are my all-time favorite things to help make your life a little easier.
5. easy-to-grab snacks. Most people suggest granola bars. While those are great, you get tired of them after awhile. I’ve found Hormel Natural Choice snacks are great to keep in the refrigerator. They make wraps and packages that have cheese cubes, chocolate, and deli meat and they’re easy to eat while nursing. I also like to make over night oats. I just take an individual packet of oatmeal and a yogurt cup, throw them in a jar together, mix it up, and let it sit. It’s perfect for those early morning feedings, plus oatmeal is a milk supply booster!
4. a nursing pillow. I actually have two; one for home and one I keep in the car. Just today Nursing Pillow posted on their instagram that they’re giving away pillows with the coupon code NPFREE. All you have to pay is shipping! I may end up getting another one before the day is over, I won’t lie.
3. a great nursing bra. I’ve tried a couple, but I LIVE in my Lamaze nursing bra . It’s so comfortable and I don’t leak through like I do the other ones (I forget nursing pads ALL. THE. TIME. so this keeps my mind at ease while I’m out and about and suddenly remember). Plus this is not a budget blowing bra. I really didn’t want to buy new bras since I’m a Victoria’s Secret girl myself, but when I started taking classes I learned that underwire can cause clogged milk ducts which are REALLY PAINFUL (trust me on this). So save yourself the headache.
2. this suction cup pump. It changed the game for me. It’s no secret that we floundered for awhile before we finally got the hang of this breastfeeding thing (you can read about our struggles here). But this thing is a sanity saver. While you’re feeding you just stick it to your other boob and it collects let down and let me tell you, when your baby is struggling with weight gain like mine, every extra ounce counts. It’s also great to help build your supply before returning to work. I was pumping after every other feeding to get anything extra I could muster (which is so time consuming for the little bit I would get) but having this around every time I sit down to nurse I’ve been able to save up a small stash without any extra effort (I thought a stash would be out of the question for me since I was feeding him absolutely everything I was pumping). Another plus is it’s only $7.99. My only regret is that I didn’t know about it sooner.
And number one…..
The More Milk Special Blend supplement by Motherlove. Women have used this to induce lactation for their adopted babies. I’m not kidding. It works that well. It tastes terrible but its a small price to pay to increase your milk supply and put your mind at ease. I won’t lie, I pretend I’m back in my college party days and take it like a shot. It is expensive, but the 2 oz bottle has lasted me more than a month and is the only thing that I’ve found that works for me. And no worries, ladies! It is USDA approved.
I’d absolutely love to hear your breastfeeding must-haves! What has worked for you? I’m always looking for new things to try.
Keep at it, Mamas! You’re doing great!
If you liked this post, you’d like How I fixed my baby’s weight gain problems (and the one mistake I made that you should avoid)