I am so excited to walk you guys through today’s post! Breastfeeding was not an easy journey for Reagan and I, it took several weeks for nursing to feel comfortable and a couple months before we were doing it exclusively. Luckily this time around has been much easier, and I owe it partially to knowing what I’m doing and partially to having products that have made it much easier.
Learning how to nurse a baby was HARD. I remember having just delivered Reagan and the nurses asking me if I wanted to try breastfeeding. I literally had no idea what I was doing, I had read some books and looked at pictures but those did not prepare me for the real thing. Reagan couldn’t latch properly so it was incredibly painful, and I spent several nights during the first three weeks pumping because I was in too much pain to breastfeed. I am so glad I stuck with it because it ended up being the best thing in the world, but I was ready to give up several times.
One of my biggest fears with having a second baby was that I would have re-learn how to breastfeed, and that I’d have to go through all that pain again. But even knowing how to hold and position a newborn and my body having done this before made a HUGE difference in breastfeeding Elli. I had a lot of products on hand to help us out, and starting those early and regularly has made such a difference.
With all that being said, here are my FAVE products and hacks to make breastfeeding easier on you and baby!
I know everyone talks and raves about the boppy, but I have used mine three times in the two years since I bought it. I tried to use it while breastfeeding Reagan but it was so huge and bulky that it actually just got in the way. This Nursie pillow is small, fits over one arm, is super soft, and provides all the support I need while breastfeeding. I love that I can have this on one arm to support Elli while leaving my other arm free to help Reagan or work on my computer. I also love that I can stand up and move around with it because that happens a whole lot when you have a toddler!
Boob Food Cookies
I struggle with milk supply which isn’t something I ever really thought about being an issue. With Reagan, I had no idea this would be a problem so I was totally unprepared when it came to ways to boost my milk production. This time around, I knew what was coming so I stocked up on these lactation cookies to start using as soon as we got home from the hospital! They are super healthy, with all organic ingredients and can boost milk supply by 5oz! And they’re delicious.
Premama Lactation Drink
Another product to increase milk supply is this drink powder that contains tons of milk boosting ingredients like Fenugreek, Fennel, and Blessed Thistle! They come in single serving packs and you can mix with just water or in a smoothie. They taste really good, and are chock full of vitamins that nursing mamas need!
I feel like there’s a lot of controversy about these, but using them literally saved my breastfeeding journey with Reagan! They help pull out the nipple to make it easier for babies to latch. Some people say that it causes nipple confusion because the shield is made of silicone, but while Reagan preferred the shield for a while she was able to transfer back to breast over time.
Oh my gosh this is so important! Get one with Lanolin (this one is my favorite) and start using it after EVERY single feeding right away! I didn’t use it every time with Reagan if I wasn’t in pain, and that led to cracking and bleeding and worse pain down the road. Use it liberally, and it will save you.
Comfy Nursing Bras
My old nursing bras don’t fit anymore (and they’re kind of beat up) so I ordered one of these sleep bras from Kindred Bravely. I loved it so much that I ordered two more and am wearing these exclusively for the time being. They are made of THE softest material, are still supportive, and make breastfeeding so easy. They don’t have the clip (which I find to be difficult and awkward to maneuver) so it’s so easy to just slide over and latch baby! I highly recommend picking up a couple of these, they are very reasonably priced ($39 for a two pack) and you can usually find a discount code to use as well!
Good Nursing Clothes
Buying nursing specific clothing is awesome, but it isn’t always easy to find lots of styles that are affordable and you don’t mind getting spit up on. Go to Ross or a second hand shop and stock up on lots of v-neck and scoop neck tees that are stretchy and roomy! Another option is to buy a bunch of the Forever21 $2 tank tops to wear under your normal tops, so you can lift them up to nurse without flashing the world.
Get on a Schedule
This obviously won’t work for everyone, but dealing with low supply means I have to pay extra attention to the time I last nursed and what side I started on. Setting a good schedule for the day helps me know when I should be nursing next, and whether I need to make a bottle if baby is hungry before then.
Get a Good Quality Pump
If you missed my post on how to get a free pump without going through your insurance, check it out here. Having a good quality pump makes all the difference in your attitude towards breastfeeding! Trust me when I say the little manual hand held one will not suffice. Get the double electric, invest in a hands free pumping bra, and make it easily accessible so when you need to use it in the middle of the night, it’s a lot easier to get out of bed.
Have a Good Cover
I’ve tried a few different nursing covers but the all over ones are my favorite. I’m not one of those talented mamas who can whip it out and nurse in the middle of a store without anyone noticing. I more of the lift your whole shirt up and hope no one stares type haha. I’m loving this one from Covered Goods, but another option is tying a large swaddle blanket around your neck and calling it good.
I hope this was helpful to some of you mamas who are struggling with breastfeeding! My absolute best advice is to stick with it because it almost always gets easier. And if it doesn’t end up working out for you, give yourself credit for giving it your best shot and move on! FED is always best, and you’re doing the best you can for your baby.