But I can say with 100% confidence that
My number one recommendation for moms who know they want to breastfeed is to do your research. First, attend a breastfeeding class. Most hospitals offer a birthing class, which is great, but they usually spend very little time on breastfeeding. The hospital we used also offered a separate breastfeeding class that I attended with my mom (my poor husband was traumatized from the birthing class, so we let him skip this one….however, if I had it to do all over again I would have skipped the birthing class and just attended the breastfeeding class. It’s important for husbands to attend this class because they are most likely going to be your breastfeeding support system. They will be with you when you are struggling or upset and it is helpful for them to have some background knowledge about the benefits of breastfeeding so that they can encourage you when you are feeling overwhelmed. My husband did some research and also read part of my breastfeeding book to make up for not attending the class! And don’t worry husbands, the breastfeeding class is totally fine for men to attend.)
Second, start thinking about a support system. Most hospitals or even some pediatric offices offer a breastfeeding support group. Find out where there is one by you and write down the meeting times. Hudson’s doctor’s office has a lactation consultant on site to meet one-on-one or in groups with nursing moms. Take advantage of this service! I attended a support group meeting with the lactation consultant and it was wonderful! The lactation consultant will weigh your baby, watch you feed him/her, assist with your latch, and answer any questions you have. After you finish feeding they will weigh your baby again, which is great for new moms who wonder if their baby is getting enough….the lactation consultant will be able to tell you pretty accurately how many ounces baby is getting (and if that’s enough for him/her). It really is encouraging to hear you are doing it right!
Okay, now for the breastfeeding supplies I recommend for every new mom. Did you know that breastfeeding supplies are tax deductible? So keep your receipts ladies!
3. Comfortable nursing bras. For those first few weeks you’ll want a nursing bra that doesn’t have padding or underwire. You’ll be wearing them a lot so be sure to invest in something that is comfortable! These aren’t nursing bras, but I used them as such, and they are my absolute favorite!
4. Nursing Pads. You’ll leak all over the place the first few weeks….and months. Trust me on this one. These are great because you can throw them away. They were a little bulky on me so sometimes I cut them in half! I think the next time I have a baby I’ll ask my mom to make me some washable ones out of flannel.
5. Soothies Gel Pads are like heaven on your sore nips. Buy just a few pairs…you won’t need them after the first month…in fact I think I only used two pairs.
6. You’ll also need some nursing tank tops. I bought these tanks in several colors. They are great to wear by themselves or under a sweater for discrete nursing sessions. I found that after a few weeks of constantly wearing a bra or nursing tank top my skin was getting irritated. I’m not sure if this happens to everyone but I have super sensitive skin. I ended up wearing my regular tank tops at night. They are stretchy and just tight enough to provide a little support without any elastic digging in to my skin.
7. Lansinoh Lanolin cream is a must have! I used this for the first 4 weeks and it helped me avoid chapped and cracked nips! And it feels awesome.