I breastfed my first child for over year. My second one weaned himself after just 3 months. My sister-in-law didn’t breastfeed at all, but pumped and bottle fed for 4 months. And my best friend was formula and bottles all the way.
Everyone does what works for her and her child, and there is no right or wrong way to feed your infant. If you do choose to breastfeed, however, we have a selection of tips and products — all made by moms for moms — that can support you and your choice to breastfeed and make life as a breastfeeding mom a bit easier.
Find the position that works for you. Does your child like to be cradled while nursing? Is the football hold right for you? Or does side-lying make everything easier? Find a position that allows your child to latch properly and keeps you comfortable, particularly during the early weeks when nursing sessions can be quite long.
If you’re nursing in a side-lying position or at night in your own bed, make sure that your mattress is protected. The Oops! Sheet waterproof mattress cover comes in all sizes — from king to crib. These waterproof covers are great while you are actively breastfeeding, will protect your mattress from the hormonal nighttime sweats that you may experience when weaning, and also do a bang up job in later years when your potty-training toddler crawls into your bed for a night time visit.
Breastfeeding may be natural, but that doesn’t make it pain-free. I remember how sore and raw my nipples were during the first couple of weeks after my son was born. Tend to your tender nipples with a nipple cream such as Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter Cream or ask your child’s pediatrician for a prescription for APNO (“All Purpose Nipple Ointment”). These soothing ointments are lanolin-free and toxin-free and can help to ease the pain of cracked and dry nipples.
In addition to soothing ointments, a supportive nursing bra also can help to minimize discomfort. Nizo Wear nursing bras are supportive and stylish; they also have hidden “healing” pockets into which you can put small ice packs or heat compresses, both of which can help to relieve breast discomfort and prevent mastitis.
And finally, consider using a device, such as Buzzy for shots, which was recently seen on ABC’s Shark Tank. Buzzy’s “wing” packs can be used warm or cold. When warm, they can be used as heat packs under the vibrating Buzzy device to help with the pain of engorgement and to clear blocked ducts, which if left untreated can lead to mastitis. When cold, Buzzy’s packs can numb tender areas and help to block the pain of sore or yeast-infected nipples (from thrush, common and very painful breast ailment).
Wear clothing that allows for easy breastfeeding. The Toni Collection‘s fashionable and fabulous shirts and dresses are perfect during pregnancy and breastfeeding. They are designed for easy access to your breasts, while providing substantial coverage of your sides, stomach, and back. Whether you’re breastfeeding in public or pumping at work, this line of clothing will quickly become your favorite, go-to choices.
Even if you want to feed your child breast milk exclusively, consider pumping so that can you catch a break or some extra zzz’s every now or then. Exclusively breastfeeding may be exhausting for some. If that is the case for you, consider allowing your spouse or partner to help with feeding by pumping breast milk for the occasional bottle or two. The Pump-Ease Hands Free Pumping Bra by Snugabell allows you to read, write, text, surf, type or tend to your baby, all while pumping. Because it is hands-free, it also permits for breast compression and massage during pumping sessions, both of which may help with milk production.
If you do choose to pump regularly out of the house, such as at an office, you may prefer a more stylish and attractive bag to transport your pump to and fro. Sarah Wells breast pump bags are stylish, functional, and fit most models and styles of portable breast pump. These bags not only have a special breast pump pocket to keep pump and sterile bottles separate from everything else, they also have space for all of your other essentials.
Choose your bottles wisely. If it is important to you that your child breastfeed, then take care to avoid nipple confusion by choosing the right type of bottle. Bare Air-free baby bottles closely mimic a mother’s breast and breastfeeding. Their Perfe-latch nipple extends upon suction to emulate the mechanics of breastfeeding, which helps to minimize nipple confusion and encouraging the breastfeeding relationship between mother and child.
Photo by Jomphong, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net