After the birth of my son, I was so excited to breastfeed. I thought he would latch on and we would connect and be instantly bonded forever.
…I was wrong.
Well, my delivery was anything but perfect so he had to spend a few days in the NICU, and I had to spend a few days recovering. That time apart killed me. I knew I had to do what was best for both of our health but I knew that every minute we were apart, I was losing precious skin-to-skin time.
It was a week after his birth before we could both leave the hospital. My milk had STILL not come on. I was pumping my nipples raw. I hated it. I wanted to quit.
“He’s getting too used to formula,” I thought. “He’ll never breastfeed.”
It wasn’t until the 9th day, where I FINALLY managed to pump more than an ounce full at one time. The very next feeding, I put him to my breast and he chomped down, and the rest is history. After that, he didn’t even bother with formula anymore.
“Wow. It worked. It finally worked,” I thought.
He ended up breastfeeding for 15 months. I also went back to work full-time when he was three months. That was my life: working, pumping, breastfeeding.
It worked for us, hopefully it can work for you. Although it was a very rocky start, these were the supplies I used for our happy, breastfeeding journey.
1) Breastfeeding Pillow
The two most popular are the boppy and my breastfriend pillow. I prefer the breastfriend as it gave more support. The boppy “deflated” after a while.
2) Nipple cream
Your nipples may get sore, dry, and possible cracked. Have this nipple cream on hand to ease the discomfort.
3) Electric Pump
Hands down the best double electric pump on the market for home use is the medela. Convenient and compact.
4) Right size breastshields
This was one of my first pumping mistakes. I had the wrong sized breastshields. Once I got the right size, it felt way more comfortable and more milk was expressed.
5) Hand Pump
When I was in a bind, the hand pump came in handy. When I was engorged or had a clogged duct, this hand pump was able to help more than the electric pump.
6) Hands free Bra
It’s recommended to pump for at least 10 to 15 minutes. You don’t need to be holding on to your breasts for that long. Get the hands free pumping bra, and free up your hands for checking your phone, reading, doing makeup, etc.
7) Water bottle
Get yourself a quality water bottle and stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water definitely help keep up my supply.
8) Mother’s Milk tea
When my milk supply was dwindling, I felt that this lactation tea gave me a little boost.
9) Baggies to store milk
I preferred the lasinoh bags. I would only store 3-5 ounces in then and laid them flat to freeze.
10) Meatloaf container
Hear me out. I used these to corral all of the lasinoh bags until it was time to put those bags in a large ziploc bags. Mine was the perfect size and store the bags nice and vertically to save space.
11) Large Ziploc bags
to organize milk, Once I had ten or so bags of milk, I grouped them in one large ziploc bag and put the date on them. Once they were in my freezer stash, it as easy to grab and go and take them to his daycare.
12)Deep freezer or extra freezer
You’re going to need it to store your stash. It also came in handy for when I prepared freezer meals. You can get one used to save money.
13) One handed snacks
These came in handy when you found yourself too busy to eat, but you have a child or pump attached to you.
14) A support group
Got questions? Need Advice? Join a facebook group for breastfeeding or pumping mamas, and know that you are now alone.
What tools are you using?
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