First things first, if you are reading this and you are new to breastfeeding. My heart goes out to you. I want you to know that I see you and I know what you are going through. You CAN do this and there’s nothing wrong with you for thinking this is hard, it is!! Here is a little more about my journey and the products that I used to change the story of my breastfeeding journey.
Before my son was born, over a year ago now, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed…or at least try. I had heard from many, many women that breastfeeding was hard and not nearly as natural as people had claimed in the past. I was told how bad it hurts and that the pain would last for a couple weeks and then get better after that. I have to say that this is one area that people’s advice was mostly on point!
As soon as Foster was born I attempted my first go at breastfeeding. It was semi okay and he did get a bit of colostrum, so that was great news. My biggest problem was keeping this tiny little baby latched while trying to hold him in place without hurting him. I. felt. so. awkward!!
All the nurses acted like I was supposed to just know what to do or if they tried to explain a position for me they’d go so fast and I couldn’t figure out what they were telling me and how to do it for myself. I’ve never been so willing for anyone and everyone to look, touch and maneuver my breasts in order for me to understand the best way to achieve this breastfeeding thing.
My first night in the hospital was spent nursing every hour and a half and begging anyone who came in my room to help me keep my baby on my boob. There was this one nurse in particular who was so kind and I really don’t know what I would have done without her. Thang God for angel nurses!
Then my first night at home the pain really set in! I started to dread him crying because I knew it meant he was hungry and frankly my blistered breasts just couldn’t handle it.
Thankfully the nights and days following got easier and easier. So, if you are choosing to breastfeed and you are in the midst of the hard part I’m here to tell you it DOES get better. If it did for me, it will for you.
Breastfeeding is hard and that is exactly why I want to share a few things with you that REALLY helped me out. Like, I don’t know if I could have continued without them.
Breastfeeding Must Haves:
My saving grace-Brest Friend
I cannot emphasize this one enough! The Brest Friend was without a doubt my saving grace and literally my best friend. Until this point I was having to hold Foster the entire time he nursed.
It took both arms to get him and my breasts in the right place. Plus it took him about an hour to nurse, so that meant I was holding him in a static position for that long. Even eight pounds seems heavy after a while. So, my hands were tied every time I was breastfeeding and I was breastfeeding all. the. time!
A very sweet friend of mine introduced me to this miracle invention. All you do is strap it around your waist and your baby props perfectly on it, so I could actually be hands free if I needed to. That meant I could eat, talk on the phone or heck just scratch my nose.
It helped me feel like I had a little freedom even though all of my time was spent feeding my son. Being able to have some movement was an absolute game changer!
This was the first time I used it and was so excited I could take a pic and gives a thumbs up all while feeding my son! It’s the little things in life folks.
Sweet relief-Earth Mamas Nipple Cream
Like I mentioned my first night home was my absolute hardest! My breast were literally on fire, sore and chapped. I had several blood blisters forming and it was just not a pretty situation. Thankfully I had bought Earth Mamas Nipple Cream before Foster was born.
Read: The Day I was Shamed for Breastfeeding
Someone I taught with had recommended it to me and I’m so very glad she did. I applied this stuff like it was going out of style. My favorite thing about it besides the sweet relief that it gave me. Was that it was safe for Foster to consume. It is made with all natural ingredients so you can leave it on your nipple and not have to worry about it hurting your baby. Because Lord knows you don’t need one more thing to worry about!
Sweet nectar-Yogi Woman’s Nursing Support
Since I was breastfeeding so often I wanted to make sure I kept my supply up, so I did some research and found this tea. I was already a fan of the Yogi brand, so I was very excited when I found out that they made tea especially for nursing mothers.
Some of the ingredients include fennel and fenugreek which are known to promote lactation. There are other soothing ingredients like lavender and chamomile to help your stomach. Well, because your body has just been through A LOT!
It was also a great alternative for coffee since I was still trying not to consume too much caffeine and it just felt good going down.
I also kept annanaturals New Mama on hand. It has similar ingredients and taste. I was pretty much all about anything I could ingest that would help lactation and aid in healing.
Save the boobs-Coconut Oil
I used and still use Coconut Oil for many things. It’s pretty much the cure all for things that ail you. If you haven’t done it before Google it’s benefits and get ready to stand in amazement.
Since breastfeeding I’ve used it for a couple things. The first thing it helps me with is keeping my actual breast moisturized. Breastfeeding can take a toll on the girls and the rich saturated fats in Coconut Oil helps me retain moisture in my skin. Helping my boobs to have less of a sag. It’s not pretty to talk about but it is reality.
I also use it on my actual nipples in addition to Earth Mamas Nipple Cream. It was my main go to after pumping since they were always dry after that fun process…not.
This is not breastfeeding related but it’s also a great/safe moisturizer for your baby. It is how we got rid of Foster’s cradle cap. We put it on his head, let it sit for fifteen minutes, and then scrubbed it off with his baby brush. That was my little rabbit trail but good info!
Read: Breastfeeding Support Dads Can Provide
My uniform-Nursing Bras
Thank the good Lord for comfortable nursing bras. I prefer the “night time” ones because they are way more comfortable in my opinion. I bought several that are for everyday wear but they never felt good. So, I’ve pretty much only warn nigh time nursing bras for a year. Easy access and comfortable…yes and yes!
On a related note. If you need some easy access nursing shirts for lounge wear I got a hack for you. Take a t-shirt, cut off the sleeves and then you can just push it over to the side when you need to nurse. I did this after I got sick of lifting up my shirt all the time.
p.s. I’m thinking I’ll continue to wear these even after I”m done breastfeeding because bras stink!
Breastfeeding is hard and it’s not for everyone. Anyway you nourish your baby is a win! But hopefully if you are breastfeeding and need a little help this will be just what you need.
Above all else know that you are doing a great job!! You brought a human into this world and you’re keeping him or her alive the best way you see fit. So, be sure and give yourself a little credit and be nice to you!
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