Hi everyone! My name is Jenny and I blog over at The Sensible Shopaholic. I’ve been married to my hubby, Kurt, for 9 years and we have two amazing little kids named Carter (3) and Mackenzie (14 months). I usually write about all things fashion, trends and sales on my blog, but today I’m going a completely different direction on Julie’s Breastfeeding Diaries series.
- Get a good pump. Health insurance policies are now required to offer a free breast pump, and many companies offer free ones for working moms. Who doesn’t like free?? Remember, this post is coming from a total sale shopper, so free is like music coming down from the heavens for me. My company strongly supported nursing moms and offered the top-of-the-line Medela Freestyle pump as one of the free options. The Freestyle is the little portable one with the rechargeable battery and it was amazing. The battery lasted me about a month for each charge and never lost suction. Even if you have to foot the cost and pay for it yourself, in my opinion, you get what you pay for when it comes to breast pumps (I know, I’m bringing my shopping mantra over to breastfeeding again).
- Get extra pump parts. I personally recommend having 3 sets (one set comes with your pump when you buy it). I realized after my first that my biggest hatred of pumping had to do with washing pump parts. At the time I didn’t run the dishwasher everyday (that has since changed since both my kids now easily go through 5 sippy cups a day), I felt like I never had the parts ready to go when I needed them. Having the extra parts really reduced my stress with baby #2. Also, if your company offers a flexible spending account, you can use those funds towards breastfeeding supplies, including pump parts and freezer bags.
- Get a manual hand pump. I know you are asking, what??? I know I just said to get a good pump, so why would I also recommend a cheapo manual hand pump? Well, this tip was a genius recommendation made by a friend shortly I planned to attend one of my BFF’s bachelorette party when my daughter was 8 weeks old. We had events planned where we would be away from the house for more than 8 hours with no quiet or private place to pump. I knew I had to keep up the pumping at that stage to avoid my supply dropping and the hand pump was portable, quiet and fit in a small purse. Easy peasy for ducking in a bathroom and getting out a few ounces (don’t worry, I always dumped milk pumped in a bathroom). No one wants to hear the crazy loud roah-roah-roah-roah noise in public, so this was my sneaky way to keep things flowing.
- Pump extra milk. And do it every.single.day. I strongly believe pumping a little extra helped me keep up my supply when I couldn’t pump right on schedule at work. It also let me build up a giant freezer stash. I love a good routine and I would always pump one extra time after my kid’s first feeding of the day.
- Use your resources. If you are having problems, ask the hospital nurses for help, call the lactation support line, ask your friends for pointers, read the books or phone apps (some are free), or attend hospital classes. Knowledge is power.
- Find the gear that works for you. I loved the twins version of the My Brest Friend nursing pillow, the Udder Cover (free as long as you pay shipping, just Google it for the free code), and the Lansinoh freezer bags. Destination Maternity was great for buying nursing bras and tanks.
- Lanolin. Enough said. I found I didn’t need it after the first few weeks, but it was a game-changer once I figured out how important it was at the beginning.
- Don’t skip any feedings during the first 2 months. When my daughter was 4 weeks old, I skipped one feeding when I went to my first post-baby dinner with friends. I ended up with mastitis about 2 days later. Just take it from me, don’t make this mistake.
- The last tip I will leave you with is probably the hardest to learn; have no shame. While at the beginning you will be incredibly self-conscious about every element of breast feeding, remember we are talking about about feeding our babies. What is more important than that in the world? If you need a place to pump at work, just ask. You aren’t the first and certainly won’t be the last. If your baby is hungry in public, toss a blanket (or a high chair cover, scarf or whatever else is in your trunk) over your shoulder and go for it. Breastfeeding usually isn’t convenient, but it is so rewarding.