Feel free to skip this post if reading about breastfeeding isn’t your thing.
*This was written when Harlow was about 6 months old, as advice to my pregnant-at-the-time friend. My own opinions.
If you are going to nurse/pump (if not, feel free to skip!)
- Breast pads! Always keep extra breast pads with you in your purse or diaper bag. You will leak, and you will wish you had a stash.
- Something I have wished I had every single time I’ve pumped at work, but didn’t feel it was “necessary” (and regret being so stupid about thinking that) is the pumping bra. It is like, $40 for a tube bra with two holes cut out of it (see why I thought it was stupid?) but I have regretted not getting it every single pumping session. Every single one. Even now I talk myself out of it because I’m nearing the end of BF, but I still wish I had it. If we have another little one someday, I will buy one of those NO DOUBT!
- A nursing cover. It is basically a piece of material with a strap for your neck and a bendy thing that allows you to see baby. I use it ALL the time when we’re out and about.
- Nursing shirts and/or shirts that open from the top down. I was stupid and thought “oh, I can just pull my shirt up!” and while that is technically true, you are then fighting gravity (shirt falling onto baby’s face/falling down while you are trying to pump) plus your whole tummy and back are exposed which is cold (I don’t like being cold) and embarrassing if you are in public nursing. I have zero problem nursing in public, but I’d rather not be 90% nekkid doing it. I have a couple of wrap tops that are perfect for nursing. Unfortunately, I mostly deal with the pull-up shirts and regret not having more of the other kind. Again, next time, I’d buy differently.
- Extra pump parts. Washing/disinfecting those things every day gets old. I have three “shield” sets. Always have extra membranes! Those little bastards disappear like crazy. *Tip: If you pump multiple times a day, put the pump parts in the refrigerator between pump sessions. That way, you don’t have to wash/sterilize between sessions!*
- Medela – I don’t have much to compare with, but I have really been happy with all the Medela stuff. I prefer their bottles, their pump has worked great, and I like all their wash accessories, particularly the breastmilk removal soap. I usually save up a few days worth of bottles in a separate plastic bin/tub and wash them in that with that soap. For the bottles/nipples, I first wash them in that, then put them in the dishwasher for sanitizing. The rest of the stuff, pump accessories, caps, etc… I just rinse well (after using the removal soap) and put in the sterilizing microwave bags.
(See above pic & link for Medela soap/sterilizing bags)
- Nursing bras… sigh. Nursing bras suck. I’m gonna be honest. They are unattractive, unsupportive (don’t get underwire ones because they can cause Mastitis). You will live in these for as long as you are nursing. I’m sorry about that. I did not splurge on mine. I bought 5, total, from Target. One was horrible and got thrown away rather quickly. Two have been demoted to weekend/sleeping bras because they are fairly pointless. The final two are okay at best. Bottom line, take your time and spend the money. I would/will next time!
Any to add? Disagree?