Starting your nursing journey is not easy as it should be. Is anything with a newborn? I knew this, but I wasn't ready for just how hard it actually was. I definitely had the learn as you go approach. These are the things I wish I had had to start with.
If you go in prepared, it'll take the edge off.
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A Good Multivitamin
I believe a healthy diet is the best way to get your nutrients, but these postnatal vitamins are perfect the nursing mama who's diet may not be perfect. (Is anyones with a new baby?) These have nutrients and herbs in them that are supposed to help nourish your milk and even help some mamas boost their supply. They are made from organic foods and are specifically made for postpartum mamas for mood and lactation support.
This stuff is awesome. It’s all organic and certified Non-GMO. It's mostly just natural moisturizers and calendula extract. Calendula is an herb, great for healing small skin wounds, like those caused by constant suction on your nipples.
Leaks are gonna happen. It's way easier to toss these little reusable pads in the laundry than constantly washing your bras. And shirts. And sheets. Plus those disposable ones are expensive in the long run, and let's face it, terrible for the environment. These ones are organic and come with a little pouch so you are don’t loose them in the wash. Besides who doesn't want soft organic fabric against those already tender nipples!
This is something you may or may not actually need. When I was having problems with my first one, I happened to have had this on hand. My midwife had thrown it in my bag right after labor as a "just in case." After two weeks I was in terrible pain and this was a lifesaver. (I didn't know it but my baby was having terrible latch problems.) It may have even saved me from a serious nipple injury or giving up breastfeeding altogether. I only recommend using this when you’re having one of those “I can't nurse again, it hurts way too much” moments. It can be controversial simply because some believe it causes nipple confusion. This luckily wasn't the case for us. And without it, I don't think I would have been able to continue breastfeed.
The first rocking chair I had was this really cool double rocker. I got it when I was pregnant and still cared about how pretty my furniture was. It worked out ok. I regretted the purchase though. It was over priced and I wish I had originally gone with a glider. They are way more comfortable, and the stool is a must. I could not get comfortable with my feet on the ground and had to use a kitchen stool. Your going to spend a lot of time nursing that baby and rocking him to sleep.
Most insurances will cover a breast pump. Mine provided a Medela breast pump which works awesomely. But I don’t know if I would have been able to afford this one without insurance help. They have cheaper hand pumps if you plan on exclusively breastfeeding. But it’s good to have a few back up bags of milk the freezer just in case.
I bought the breast friend nursing pillow but I didn’t like it. I hated that it went around my body. It just seemed like to much work while holding my little one, so I never bothered using it. Someone handed down a Boppy pillow when my baby was a few months old, and I love it. The shape and the strap free design just worked better for me. Plus it’s a great positioner when baby gets a bit older. I also used it a lot after my second birth as a seat cushion. I'm sure I looked ridiculous carrying this thing around everywhere, but I had this thing by my side for 2 months straight as a seat and while nursing.
Breastfed babies wake up often. In those first few weeks postpartum your gonna be sore. I literally had to ask my hubby for help out of bed the first few nights. I wish I had had the arms reach cosleeper. I would have had more peace of mind and more sleep. With this bedside bassinet you can have baby right next to you all night long, in his own sleeping space. Its makes it easy to roll over and grab your little one to nurse. Seriously, the less you're getting out of bed, the faster you'll heal in those first few weeks.
Red raspberry leaf tea
Red raspberry leaf tea (read about all the amazing benefits) should be your post-pregnancy best friend. Seriously! Not only does it aid in delivering your little bundle, it’ll help your uterus heal up and increase your milk supply, all while making it extra nutritious. If you're bleeding a lot postpartum, umm, which you will, its high in iron. I prefer loose leaf. I get my teas at the Bulk Herb Store. It’s way more cost effective. But you can also get it in tea bags at the grocery store or on Amazon.
Mothers Milk Tea
If you're having trouble with milk supply you can also try a cup of mothers milk tea. This is my go-to brand for tea bags. This tea is a galactagogue, which means it increases mamas milk supply. This one is organic and doesn’t taste bad. With my second baby I didn’t need to drink this at all, but with my first, I had a cup nearly every day. I had a lot of supply problems.
You can read my full review of mother's milk tea here.