15 October, 2012

31 Days of Breastfeeding: Nursing Essentials

I'm getting back on track here with my breastfeeding posts! Woo! Today I'm gonna talk about my favorite nursing accessories. Keep in mind as you read this post that these are things I've used and loved. Everyone has their own preferences and these are mine. 

First, we're gonna talk nursing pads. Before Charlotte was born I mistakenly thought I'd be good with just a few reusable (read: cloth) nursing pads. I had no clue about leaking and I thought those would be fine. Plus I could reuse them! Sounds great, right? Wrong. Oh, so wrong. Once my milk came in I was leaking all over the place. I leaked through those cloth pads in the same amount of time I leaked through any other bra or shirt. It was just another layer and it did nothing. Sigh. After a couple days, I sent Joe to the store to get me some disposables. I don't remember which ones he bought first, but these were the ones that I ended up loving for the my-milk-just-came-in-and-I'm-leaking-through-everything days and nights.

Source: amazon.com via Sarah on Pinterest

This is the only J&J product I have used. I love these. They have a little contour to help with sore nipples (wahoo!) and sticky on the back so that the pad doesn't move while you're sleeping (another serious bonus). The best part, though? They're super thick. And you need that if you're leaking.

Once I got past leaking ounces at a time, I swapped to these.

Source: amazon.com via Sarah on Pinterest

And these are my favorites. I still use them, but I don't need them in my bra all the time now. (And thank God for that!) I still leak a little when I feed her, so I buy them for that purpose. These are just very simple pads that suck the milk right up. Easy peasy!

Next up: lanolin. If you're pregnant and planning to breastfeed, you must have this! I went through about 3 tubes of lanolin before my nipples fully healed. I wish I was kidding. There are two popular brands, but I only used Lansinoh. {Side note: it irritates me to no end that some people mistakenly refer to lanolin as Lansinoh. Lansinoh is a brand name, not the name of the supplement!}

Source: amazon.com via Sarah on Pinterest

This brand obviously works, but I wished it wasn't so thick and clumpy to apply. I've heard that Medela's lanolin is thinner and easier to apply, but I never used it.

Another thing I used to get relief when my milk came in were these relief packs

Source: amazon.com via Sarah on Pinterest

They're basically gel packs that you can put in the fridge/freezer or in the microwave. It hurt a lot once my milk came in. I was surprised how much it hurt...and how big "the girls" got. =P I read somewhere (or someone told me, can't remember) to do cold packs after a feeding and warm before a feeding. The warmth helps to release the milk easily and the cool, well that's just for you. I loved these. My neighbor gifted them to me and I was incredibly thankful for them.

Along with the new-to-breastfeeding and pain, I used a nipple shield to help with the pain of my cracked nipple(s) while she fed.

I used this one by Medela. It helped keep the pressure off the painful areas, while still allowing missy to eat. She didn't like it very much, though, so I only used it during a few feedings. Sometimes a couple times a day, but never more than that. They're very simple to use and clean. They also can help with a forceful let-down reflex and inverted/flat nipples.

As I said in my last post, I also used a nursing pillow (aka Boppy).

This was a lifesaver for me. Charlotte was so tiny that I definitely needed help keeping her level with the breast while feeding her. Even though she was only 5 pounds, that's still a lot to hold up for 30-45 minutes at a time!

Another helpful thing that I use is a nursing cover. I'm planning a different post about nursing in public, but for now, this is the one I use.

Source: diapers.com via Sarah on Pinterest

It's not exactly the best one out there, but it works! I'm actually hoping to get a different one soon... Maybe one like this that has a better wire neck so I don't have to keep messing with it.

Of course, I also have nursing tank tops and shirts, but I think that's a post for a different day! If you're a breastfeeding mama-to-be I hope this has helped you! 

If you're already a breastfeeding mama, what are your nursing essentials? Did I miss anything?


Heather said...

I used the disposable pads for a while but then I switched to the cloth ones. I loved that I could wash and reuse them. After a month or two I wasn't leaking much at all. My disposables became my back-up for the days when I hadn't done laundry :)

I used the Lansinoh and the Medela lanolin. The Medela is a LOT thinner (especially if it is warm) but I think the Lanisoh actually works better.

You could probably make your own nursing cover! I found a tutorial once but I am horrible with the sewing machine ;) I ended up buying one on Etsy. I wanted something LARGE. The black one in your picture is one of the SEVERAL I had and it was too small once my little one got wiggly. She would grab it and pull it off! I wanted something I could wrap around behind me and hold so we kept covered :)

As for nursing tanks (I know it's another post but I am thinking about it now and may not be when I read that post) I didn't like them but I wanted something under my shirts. I used the stretchy maternity tanks. They stretch enough to just pull down when it is time to feed.

Chantal said...

Yes! Though I used cloth pads during the day and disposable at night. I haven't used them in who knows how long... for awhile there I just used a receiving blanket for the let-down, and that my milk has calmed down, I don't need anything.

Sven & Trin said...

I loved nursing my Little! We had it very easy though; never a complication and I know how blessed that makes us. I liked the Nuk nursing pads, too, but I think its because that's all I could find locally. I used these cute cloth ones also: http://www.amazon.com/Bamboobies-Variety-Super-soft-Washable-Nursing/dp/B004H60BZW/ref=pd_sim_ba_5 and loved them. I was gifted that exact nursing cover you have pictured, but this was actually my favorite one:http://www.amazon.com/Bebe-Lait-Nursing-Chateau-Silver/dp/B0040Z3YD6/ref=pd_bxgy_ba_img_y
Great info for nursing moms!

ASHTON said...

Most hospitals with have samples of lanolin and other Bfing products. I got the medela lanolin (which was plenty since this is my 6th) so I never had to buy it. With my first they also had samples of the gel pads you put in the fridge...super helpful! I always ask when I'm there just to make sure I don't buy something I could have gotten for free!

Jen said...

So, I tried the nipple pads. Holy wow! They are SO much better than the Lansinoh ones I used last time. Thank you so much for the suggestion!

Also, I think I turned on reply to email, let me know if I did it right!