It took me a while to fall in love with breastfeeding. With my oldest daughter I did it because everyone told me that I had to. I was a naive first time mom that hadn’t a clue about parenting. I listened to those that incessantly told me that it was necessary for me to breastfeed my daughter, but failed to mention to me how hard it could be.
I struggled with it for months before I was finally comfortably nursing her. It took me nearly a year before I was okay with doing it outside of my home and around those other than my husband and family. Now nearly five years later with three kids, my breastfeeding journey has come a long way. I was prepared with what to expect with my next two kids. I knew I didn’t have to breastfeed them, but I waited to see how they took to it before declaring that was the way we were going to go.
It also became much easier. My youngest two latched on right away. This made it much less stressful for me as I could easily nurse them on demand wherever and whenever. My son Macks has been exclusively breastfed since he was born and I plan to nurse him until he weans on his own time. I’m enjoying nursing more than I ever thought that I would. Maybe it’s because Macks is most likely my last, maybe it’s because there’s no more pressure, or maybe it’s simply because I know that this is right for both of us.
While I don’t claim to be an expert on breastfeeding, having breastfed three children for more than two years combined, I do know what things have helped me along the way. Here are a some things that have proven essential to me …
While I don't use bottles that often, I do like to pump in the morning for those "just in case" moments. I keep a stock pile of milk in the freezer and it helps me feel at ease in case I need to run out without having Macks with me. It also gives me the ability to have some alone time or a date night.
I've really enjoyed using my Hygeia EnJoye breast pump. I've used it with both Avery and Macks (I simply bought a new spare parts kit when Macks was born.) It's comfortable and has an internal battery allowing me to easily take it on the go if I need to! Buy an EnJoye Breastpump at Hygeia starting at $299.99
Let's admit it. Those first few weeks after your baby is born you live in pajamas. You want to find something that is comfortable and can be easily accessible for when your baby wants to nurse.
I have several nightgowns from Belabumbum that I love. I've even worn them well after I've stopped nursing and even when I was pregnant with Macks.
They are so comfortable and come in so many cute and stylish designs. Most either have a clasp to pull down or can easily be pulled to the side to nurse. As someone who has a little boy who loves to nurse at all hours of the night, this is crucial.
I forgot how much thought needs to be put into an outfit when you are nursing. I love wearing dresses and most dresses are not nursing friendly. I had to add so many pieces to my wardrobe when I started to nurse Macks.
I currently live in V-Neck tees from American Apparel. They are deep enough that you can just pull them down to nurse without having to lift up your shirt.
I've also found a great line, Au Lait, that has so many stylish nursing pieces. I love all of their dresses and even wore one coming home from the hospital with Macks.
Finally, a site that takes care of all of the hard work for you that I really enjoy shopping at is BURU. All of the pieces on their site are nursing friendly. They sell a variety of name brand clothes that are both stylish and functional for the nursing mom.
I stocked up my nursing bra drawer before Macks got here because I knew that I was going to have to wear nursing bras nearly 24/7 once he arrived. I am very particular about my bras and want something that is comfortable and that I can easily clasp on and off to nurse.
Macks gets feisty when he wants to eat and the more time it takes for me to unclasp my bra, the angrier he gets. I've found a lot of bras from Bravado Designs that I really like. They have several different styles so I can choose which one I would like based on my outfit or what I'm doing that day.
I wore them all the time for Avery and still wear some of the same ones with Macks. They are very durable and will hold up to a lot of use, which is a must for a mom like me who plans on nursing for at least a year.
As much as I enjoy nursing, I don't enjoy the sore nipples that come along with it.
The Natural Nipple Butter from Earth Mama Angel Baby is a life saver when it comes to cracked and dry nipples. I applied it after each feeding when I was sore and it helped relieve some of the pain and returned moisture back to that area. It's also great for chapped lips and cheeks too.