Here’s the Mama Tea list of items to help you breastfeed comfortably (in no particular order).
1. A Set of Muslins
A great essential, that has multiple uses: use to cover when wanting to breastfeed discretely, use for mopping up baby’s dribbles and sick and use for protecting your clothes when winding your baby.
2. Breast Pads
Breast pads help you stay comfortable and dry if you’re experiencing leaking of breastmilk. Using the wrong breast pads can cause sore nipples if the nipples stay too moist. Breast pads can either be disposable or washable.
3. Breast Pump
Breast pumps can either be manual or electric and are used to extract milk from your breasts. There are various reasons a woman may want to use a breast pump; due to engorgement of her breasts, to stimulate milk production or to collect milk for feeding your baby later. Breast pumps have been in use in one form or another since the 1850s.
So you, or maybe someone else, can feed your baby with your expressed milk. Many women do this before they return to work, others do it simply so that they can have their partner do a night feed. One piece of advice we were given was to introduce the bottle before six weeks as this makes it easier and also have someone else introduce the bottle so your baby is not smelling you.
5. Breastmilk Storage Bags
These are freezer bags for storing your expressed breastmilk. A minority of women’s breastmilk is high in an enzyme called lipase, this means the breastmilk will be rancid after it has been frozen then defrosted, one tip is to do a trial and freeze and defrost a bag of your milk (freeze for about a week) to check you are not in this minority. It is heartbreaking to throw away lots of lovingly expressed and stored breastmilk as Jenine told us here.
6. Breastfeeding Bra
A comfortable nursing bra. Impossible to buy too far in advance as you don’t know what size you’ll be when you’re breastfeeding, but it’s all about comfort and ease of use for nursing bras and if you find something that looks good too you’re onto a winner.
7. Milk Bracelets
You’ll want to develop a way of remembering which breast you fed from at the last feed, some women write it all down in a notebook, some wear a ring or bracelet that they move from one side to the other. It is possible to buy bracelets specifically designed for the job, such as the one above from Mumstuff, with additional features such as charm that can move along the bracelet to allow you to mark the time of your last feed too.
8. Support/Feeding Pillows
You want to be sitting up straight when your breastfeeding and you might want to use a pillow to support the baby’s head, this can aid latching on. There are pillows specifically designed for this but the key thing is to find a position that is comfortable and supported for you and the baby. You might want to consider using pillows with washable covers.
9. Mama Tea
A cup of New Mama after breastfeeding, when your baby has gone back to sleep, will help replenish your milk supply, it also contains lemon balm which has calming effects. Alternatively have a cup of Cool Mama which is our calming and soothing tea and will help you relax.
If you have any suggestions of what should be on this list please comment below, we’d love to hear from you.
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