My breastfeeding survival kid guide.
I was very lucky with Ronnie. She was born (out of the sunroof) and latched on to me as soon as I was taken to the post surgery ward. So quickly in fact that she made my uterus contract, of which it had been reluctant to do and caused me to lose a lot of blood. But more about that in my birth story. So, although amazing that she'd got the hang of it so quickly, it wasn't without its drama.
My relationship since then with breastfeeding is a little mixed. She was a dream and my flow was hearty, so I believe. Of course its hard to tell if you are producing enough for them but her weight was gradually increasing and she is generally a healthy kid to date. She was feeding a little more than i'd hoped but we are still very much in the early days and take us back a few 10's of years i'd still be bed rested so how often she feeds would be irrelevant. Having said that breastfeeding is not easy. Emotionally, physically, you name it its tough. Sure you don't have to wash bottles carry around formula or sterilise your life, but you do have to get your wangers out in public, deal with humongous leaking udders, be the soul giver of food / comfort, and have all the nutrients sucked out of you every 2/4 hours. Something that I 11 weeks in have decided to stop.
So since I have gone to the other side, i thought i'd share my little survival kit to those that decide they want to give it a go. Things that I have used and that have worked for me whilst I delivered the gold top.
The bolder holder 'Bra'
Firstly the picture above is misleading. The lopsided melons are honest but let me tell you maternity bras do not come so delicate, or vibrant. If you take yourself back to the days of your first training bra, then stretch it and stain it with milk. That there is where we are at. But pretty is not something you care so much about when your boobs are big, sore and leaky. You also have to wear a bra 24/7 too so invest in day bras and night bras, the latter being much more comfortable but they WILL NOT support you in the day. I bought all of my bras from Jojo Maman Bebe.
Sanitary towel for the nips 'Nursing pads'
Yes I have been caught short without any and had to cut a sanitary towel in half to do the job (which is a great tip btw) but from trial and error I believe the best ones are the Lansinoh (awards winning apparently). Although tommy tippee are just fine. The Lansinoh are just a bit of a better stick and cup in my opinion. Buy a few packs, one won't be enough and you can always hand them out to your leaky mates should they get caught short when they pop round for tea.
If you're like me and obsessed with Lucas Papaw Ointment then you'll love nipple cream. In fact I think they may be the same product packaged differently (don't take my word on this!) It not only soothes your nips but you can put it on just about anything.. it's the perfect lip balm. So good I had to buy more as I used it all in my pregnancy!
There is a lot of bad press about these. I initially only used them because my left nipple wasn't coming out so the home-visit midwife suggested I use one to coax the little man (i don't know why its a man) out. But then I kind of got into using them. My nipples didn't hurt, and i could see how much milk Ronnie was getting. The biggest problem with them is they give your baby a lot of wind, which is a NIGHTMARE, they are also fiddly as F*CK to put on in public, oh and they are hard to explain to Nelly (Jess's 3 year old) when she picks them up off the side..... I used Medela, recommended to me and a size medium- which is weird that you now know how big my nips are!.
This goes against a lot I believe in, as I think there is no way that we should cover up what is completely natural. HOWEVER, I also appreciate that the old man who sits outside the deli every saturday morning did not ask for a pair of massive leaking breasts when he ordered his tea and toast, this and my husband is a prude and likes his wangers to himself. So if you too want to cover up then go big. My favourite brands are Mama rules, the palm print is AMAZING, Noe and Zoe and Aden & Anais *who i always mispronounce anus...
Ok so this is a big piece of advice. Breastfeeding makes you thirsty. It also disables you from being able to move for a good had an hour at a time. So just before you sit down grab a huge glass of water that you can plug whilst your babe slugs on you.
I'm assuming you don't need to see a picture of water?
I won't lie to you. I didn't use one. I couldn't understand when I could find the time to pump as well as feed. It just all felt like too much. But if you are going to fully commit to it for a long time, and if you want any form of life at all you'll need to get yourself a pump so that you can bottle the goods for someone else to feed. Those I know that used them swore by the Medela.
As for clothing, well this needs its very own blog so stay tuned and expect a lot of shirts...