Breastfeeding is a rewarding, unique experience, but it also bares a set of challenges. From finding oneself in an inopportune location with a hungry baby, to dealing with cracked nipples, the challenges of breastfeeding can exacerbate the exhaustion that comes with taking care of a new baby. Fortunately, those nursing challenges have inspired many inventors and innovators to create and market things that will help ease those challenges.
The following list of items is not a list of must-haves, as all a breastfeeding mother needs to successfully feed her baby is the time to do it, the right diet, and her healthy milk-producing breasts.
A Nursing Bra
A nursing bra definitely makes nursing a bit easier. These bras might flap down from the shoulder strap, or open up just over the nipple. These bras support mother’s heavy breasts, while creating an easy way for baby to access the breast without mom needing to disrobe. Remember, though, that if you buy a nursing bra before the baby is born, that the breasts normally get larger.
Nursing moms may experience leaks at unlikely moments. If a baby, even someone else’s baby, cries, milk-producing hormones might kick into gear. It’s a good idea to wear some nursing pads. The most common kind is a disposable kind, though there are washable pads. It’s good to consider the fit as well as the type of bra that the nursing mom will wear, as some pads may not stay in place.
A Nursing Cape
Many nursing moms opt not to nurse in public, but there may be times when a hungry baby must be fed away from home. While it is true that breastfeeding can be done discreetly without blankets or capes, some women may feel more comfortable putting something completely over baby. Nursing capes are designed to conceal baby, so they are much easier to manipulate then receiving blankets or other cover-ups.
Breastfeeding nipples can become sore and cracked. Lanolin not only protects the nipple, but also softens it. Some women say that lanolin is the only nursing comfort they felt they could not do without. Some products have a lanolin blend, but Lansinoh is pure lanolin. They can all be useful. Also, medical-grade lanolin is considered very safe for baby, and it does not need to be washed off the breast.
A Breast Pump
There are different kinds of breast pumps, and depending on the nursing mother’s situation and need, different types of pumps will need to be considered. For the stay-at-home mom, a manual pump may serve as a “just-in-case” item. If she has appointments she must attend where she cannot bring baby, she can pump in advance to ensure the caretaker can feed baby. Electric pumps can be either high quality, super expensive, or they can be battery-operated. The working mom may want to either rent a hospital grade pump, or purchase a more expensive, dual breast pump.
A Good Nursing Pillow
When holding baby to nurse him, it helps to have a comfortable boost. One of the most noted nursing pillows is the Boppy. The Boppy is a U-shaped pillow that can be placed around mom’s abdomen to ease the holding of feeding baby. A nice feature of the Boppy is that it can be used to help baby learn to pick his head up and to sit up.
A Comfortable Chair
A rocking chair or a recliner can be wonderful for a nursing mom. The chair can go in the bedroom near the bassinet or in the baby’s room by the crib. A step further would be to create a nursing-nook of sorts. Putting a small table within arms-reach of the chair is a great way to ensure mom can have her water or fruits while nursing. Some moms may delight in listening to calming music while sitting comfortably in her special chair.
Milk Storage Containers
Whether mom expects to need to store a lot of milk or mom plan’s on being available the majority of time, it’s a good idea to stock up on some storage containers safe for freezing breast milk. There are plastic bottles as well as plastic storage bags.
Finally, nursing is a beautiful and beneficial experience for baby and for mom, but it can be challenging. Nursing moms can use all the support, and encouragement they can get.