Breastfeeding is a beautiful and natural way to nourish and bond with your newborn baby. While it may seem overwhelming at first, with the right knowledge and support, breastfeeding can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for both you and your little one.
When it comes to breastfeeding, there are several resources and products that can assist and support you on your breastfeeding journey.
10 Must-have Breastfeeding Essentials
Lactation consultants are professional healthcare providers who can offer peace of mind during a potentially stressful time by answering questions, giving advice, and helping to resolve your breastfeeding problems. They can help parents and infants with issues like milk supply, sore nipples, and breastfeeding positions. Discussing your concerns with a professional can help you a lot. You can visit a lactation consultant while you are still pregnant, right after you give birth or several months into breastfeeding.
MOMS TIP - They can prescribe you the best lactating granules/medicines to improve breast milk supply as well. A lactation consult helps in improving your diet for good milk production.
Breast Pump: Breast pumps are medical devices regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are used to maintain or increase a woman’s milk supply, relieve engorged breasts and plugged milk ducts, or pull out flat or inverted nipples so a nursing baby can latch on more easily. If you are breastfeeding your child, a breast pump should be there as your breastfeeding essential.
- Breast pumps include a breast shield that fits over the nipple, a pump that creates a vacuum to express (or pump) milk, and a detachable container for collecting milk.
- You will make only small amounts of colostrum (a rich “pre-milk”) until your milk fully comes in. Keep pumping and your supply will slowly increase.
- You can buy manual or electric breast pumps based on your budget, and usability.
- Breast pumps are designed for one user only (single use) and should never be rented or shared for safety reasons.
- Contaminated breast pumps could cause you and your baby to develop an infection.
MOMS TIP - Invest In electric breast Pumps only if you are totally dependent on pumping and then bottle feeding. If your main concern is to increase and regulate the milk supply, choose a manual pump.
Breast milk storage bags: If you are pumping enough, it enables you to store extra breast milk in the fridge or freezer, so your baby won't need supplementary food or liquids. While some parents use food containers or baby bottles to store their milk, they take up a lot of space in the fridge or freezer. That's why breast milk storage bags are the best way to preserve and store your milk. After all, they're created for that express purpose.
MOMS TIP - If you are planning to return back to your work or planning a trip with your husband alone, even if it is a single-day trip. You should start planning and expressing and saving milk. It is very convenient to store milk in milk bags and put a date on them to understand its validity date by others who must be feeding your baby in your absence.
Nursing/ Maternity Bras: A nursing bra is a supportive garment for the breasts, worn while a new mom is either breastfeeding or during pregnancy. It differs from a regular bra because it has a latch to easily and quickly expose the nipple to breastfeed your baby. They also give extra support to engorged breasts that may be heavier than usual. Remember to wear a comfortable wire-free, seam-free, and supportive nursing bra. You don't need to buy full nursing clothing. Just a nursing bra and tees to pull it over while feeding is sufficient.
MOMS TIP - Staying Bra-less should not be an option as it will sag your breasts and you will soil your sheets in case of any leakages. But choose non-wired bras will full coverage for fuller support.
Nursing Pillow: Nursing pillows usually are U-shaped and are placed around your midsection in order to support your baby during feeding.
- It can provide support and positioning assistance while breastfeeding, ensuring a more comfortable and ergonomic experience for both you and your baby reducing back pain issues.
- Using a nursing pillow can protect your stomach while you heal, making nursing less painful after a cesarean.
- Sitting on your nursing pillow can relieve the pressure from your stitches while you heal after a vaginal delivery.
- It Provides Support when your Little One Learns to Sit.
- It can be used for baby's tummy time, Place your nursing pillow on the ground with a few toys in front of it.
MOMS TIP- A breastfeeding pillow might be helpful for some mothers in the early weeks but for others, it can mean the baby is too high at the breast. So It is totally up to you, whether you want to buy it or not.
Nursing Pads: The breast pads are able to absorb any milk that has been released from your breasts, which can help prevent damp circles that surface around your nipples. Breastfeeding pads are also useful in the sense that they protect your clothing from becoming stained from any leakages that occur. It saves you from the embarrassment of stained clothes. Some women wear pads all the time while nursing; others wear them only when out in public.
MOMS TIP - You can use disposable breast nursing pads when you go in public as they are very thin, and try to wear cotton soft reusable pads at home, as they are bulky but very breathable.
Nipple Cream: Nipple creams can help soothe and heal the skin around your nipples. During pregnancy, nipple creams can be used to help moisturize your breasts if the skin is itchy or dry. Nipple cream or ointment can provide relief and help heal sore or cracked nipples that may occur during the initial stages of breastfeeding. Apply daily a few weeks before the birth date. After birth, apply cream and massage your nipples before and after each feed or whenever they are chafed and painful. Bonus Tip, Some nipple creams can also serve as a lip balm, skin moisturizer, or diaper cream.
MOMS TIP - You can use extra virgin coconut oil instead of nipple creams. They are a must-have in your breastfeeding essentials, Never ignore the pain of chaffed, and cracked nipples.
Nipple shields: A nipple shield is almost like a second nipple. It goes over your breast and nipple and has tiny holes at the end where milk can transfer from your nipple to your baby's mouth. It helps infants with trouble latching onto the breast by acting like a longer, firmer nipple. Nipple shields are thin barriers often made of silicone that can help ease the breastfeeding process. They are used when you have sore nipples, and the doctor has asked you to stop feeding directly with sore nipples to prevent further cracks and in some severe cases, bleeding.
MOMS TIP - Use them in case of crucial circumstances only as Nipple shields can interfere with your baby's breastfeeds, reducing the amount of milk she can take from your breast. But they are a must-have for women with sore nipples.
Healthy Diet and Tons of Water: Yes, you need tons of water and a healthy diet to keep yourself hydrated and efficient for producing liquid gold for your child. Add whole grains, legumes, nuts, multi-seeds, fruits, low-fat dairy, and some spices for a good milk supply.
MOMS TIP - Fenugreek, Fennel seeds are good for your milk supply. Try to eat as healthy as you can eat to maintain your energy and mental well-being while breastfeeding, as it is a tiring task for your body and mind.
Breastfeeding Support Groups: Joining local or online breastfeeding support groups can connect you with other breastfeeding moms, providing a supportive community where you can share experiences, seek advice, and gain valuable insights. or You can use Breastfeeding Apps that can help you track your breastfeeding sessions, monitor your baby's feeding patterns, and provide helpful reminders and tips.
Remember, breastfeeding is a learning process that can take time and practice. Patience, perseverance, and support are essential. Don't hesitate to reach out to healthcare professionals, lactation consultants, or other breastfeeding support networks if you encounter any challenges or have questions along the way.
LOVE AND SUPPORT ALWAYS...!!