This is Part 3 of a 3 Part Breastfeeding Series in honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Closing off the series, I wanted to share my must-haves for every nursing mom.
When I had my baby girl, very few if any of my friends, were currently nursing their children. Thankfully, I had one friend/mentor who shared all of her tips and tricks. She was a saving grace as I navigated a season of breastfeeding and being a new mommy.
Through her guidance and my own trial and error, I was able to successfully breastfeed Natalie for over a year.
Absolute Must Haves for Nursing Moms
1) A boppy pillow. This saved me from always having to hold my daughter. Instead, I could hold a book or a bowl of cereal while she ate.
2) 32 oz jug w/straw. Making milk is hard work—you are always thirstyand frequently refilling a cup is rarely an option.
3) Nipple cream.I was lucky enough to not suffer from cracked or dry nipples. Before and after every nursing session I would lather on Earth Mommas Nipple cream.
4) Reading Material. In the beginning, you will spend hours nursing. Reading is a great way to pass the time (especially during cluster feeds).
5) Snacks.As I mentioned earlier, making milk is hard work. Not only are you thirsty, but also you’re always hungry. There is nothing worse than sitting down for an hour long nursing session and having no snacks in sight.
6) Headphones.Towards the end of my journey, I started listening to audiobooks and podcasts while I nursed. Headphones allow you to listen to a book, podcast, or movie without waking up your partner or baby.
I had a set spot in the house where I would spend my time nursing. I staged everything I would need, to include snacks, so that I never had to worry about losing the boppy or not having a book.
Support a Nursing Mom
Right after my daughter was born, I was blessed with a meal train and friends continually checking in on me to see how I was doing. I was one of the lucky ones. Being in the military means that I don't get to have my mom with me through every part of motherhood. As difficult as it is, it means I rely on friends to journey through this season with me.
It really does take a village to raise a child, even if the village is a virtual one (Facebook groups anyone?).
♥ If you want to bless a new or nursing momma, create a sweet care package for her. Some items to include:
o Snacks (like Nutri-grain bars, Belvita bars, Lactation cookies)
o Gatorade (apparently the blue kind helps with milk production*)
o Large water bottle (at least 32oz, with a straw that won't leak when tipped over).
o Amazon gift cards (for the late night feeding sessions that result in Amazon purchases)
o Rice heating pad for shoulders (those first few months result in tight muscles)
o Boppy and/or cover (best invention ever, although having an extra cover would have been nice, mine got dirty often)
o Words of Affirmations/Encouragement
*No evidence to suggest this is true
♥ When you are around her, make sure she has plenty of water or snacks. Don’t wait for her to ask.
♥ If she is at your house, offer a comfortable environment to nurse. This is not to say you need to banish her to a room or under a cover, but give her the option to nurse in private or public.
♥ Be her cover. Say something to her if she forgets to snap the strap of her shirt, or sit in the more publically visible seat to give her some privacy from rude/staring eyes.
♥ Remind her of how a great of a job she is doing.
Remember, breastfeeding is not the best option for everyone. Whether you chose to breastfeed, bottle-feed or both remember that this is only a small choice in raising up a child.