Thursday, February 09, 2017

Prepping to Nurse - Nursing Resources, Nursing Gear & Nursing Bras



So you may wonder why someone who hasn’t even given birth yet thinks they’re qualified or experienced enough to write about nursing bras, nursing gear, & nursing resources  Well, if you know me personally or have followed me for any length of time then you know I am a planner and a researcher.  I have done my homework and then some in regards to nursing because it's something I feel very strongly about, but I know that success doesn't always come easy.

For me the first step in planning to nurse was getting my hands on some good resources.  I decided to dive right into the world of breastfeeding and have tried to learn as much as I possibly can before baby comes.  I can’t call myself an expert because our peach hasn’t entered the world yet and we aren’t even sure that nursing is going to work out but one thing I am sure of is that I am going to go into it as prepped as possible. 

As far as resources go, the best recommendation I got was a breastfeeding book, this was given to me by a fellow blogger, Laura.  She is someone I would definitely consider an expert as she has successfully nursed her two children, one of them to two years and beyond and is currently nursing her youngest.  She told me the only book I needed to read was The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding which is a book written by the women of Le Leche League.  It contains a plethora of knowledge and she was right, it is the only book you would ever need to prepare and make it through breastfeeding. 

I took it a bit farther and also decided to download some videos from Lactation Link, another resource that I found to be very helpful.  I purchased all 3 of her videos including Breastfeeding Basics, Breastfeeding Hurdles & How-To's, and Pumping & Storing.  All 3 videos are mine forever so I can watch them anytime.  Joe and I also took a class at our local hospital about breastfeeding which was taught by the hospitals lactation consultant.  

For nursing gear, I went to my experts, aka. my friends who are or who have gone through nursing recently.  A couple necessities I decided on were a good nipple cream, a nursing pillow, and either reusable or disposable nursing pads.  I felt like all three of these items would be helpful.  I didn't want to make too much of an investment into nursing before I even knew if I would be successful.  As far as pumps go I was able to get my pump covered by insurance and then actually purchased a second pump from a friend who was no longer using hers so I only have $40 invested into those because my insurance covered 100% of my double electric pump.    

When it comes to nursing bras, simply put, there are tons out there.  Everything from your classic black, nude, and pink, to sexy and fun lingerie style bras, there is certainly something for everyone on the market!  At this point I’m not sure what will work for me and what won’t, but I am definitely prepared with a couple different options.  

When choosing a bra a couple things to take into consideration would be first of all, size.  I’ve heard some different opinions on this but I think the best recommendation is to take your measurements at eight to nine months pregnant and maybe even measure again after the baby is born since our breasts will change quite a bit with nursing.  I got mine well before I was eight months pregnant so I upped my size and that seemed to work for me.  

The second thing would be style.  The options are truly endless.  For me I want a few that can be worn every day, your black, white, nude, pink, comfortable-style bras, but I also thought I might want something a little prettier, sexier, and with some additional support/padding for nights out with the hubby or maybe even for returning to work.  Whatever your preference is as far as style is concerned, there is something for everyone on the market!   There are even nursing tanks, dresses, and tops on the market that come in tons of different styles.  It's wonderful that there are so many options available to mamas who are nursing.  

For working moms or any mom who cannot give up both hands while pumping, a hands-free pumping bra came highly recommended to me as well.  Let's face it, it's not often that we are actually free to sit down for 20 minutes and not have to multi-task in some way, shape, or form.  The hands-free bra allows for you to continue working, eating your breakfast, taking care of your other child, answering emails, or, if you are lucky enough to get to relax read a book all while pumping.  

Right now I have no idea if nursing will work for us, I am going to give it my all and I really do hope that we can be successful.  Like I said in the beginning, I am not at all an expert by any means, so I would love to hear from mama's who are or have nursed, what worked best for you and what didn't?  What were some things you had to have and things you could've lived without?

This post is a partnership with Nakturnal.


11 comments:

  1. Nursing one of the hardest things you will do. I think it would have been easier for me if I had known that going in. I would say, find a lactation consultant or a la Leche League to support you while starting off. Know that what ever happens, your decision is best for your baby. If you are planning on pumping at work, you may want to invest in a second set of parts is you aren't constantly washing them. I would keep mine in the fridge inbetween pumps but they would get cold and sometimes make let down hard. Good luck! Be easy on yourself. Do what feels right. Ignore what people say. Xoxo

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  2. Don't forget loads of nipple balm! Earth Angel was the only one I found that didn't irritate my nipples but I have very sensitive skin. I must have gone through a jar per month when I was nursing my daughter!

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  3. I've breasted three babies - one for a year and a half and the other two for 2.5 years each. The only advice I have is DON'T be afraid to supplement in the first few days before your milk comes in. With my first, I believed all the hype that if you supplement you'll never be able to nurse. We had a horrible, miserable, awful three days of constant crying (baby and mom) before we started giving her a little formula after she nursed. I was SO afraid I was "ruining everything" but as soon as my milk was solidly in, we stopped with the formula and she had nothing but breast milk until she started solids. With my second two, we supplemented with formula after most nursing sessions until my milk came in and they both nursed until 2.5. Okay, one more piece of advice :) We waited too long to give my second child the occasional bottle of breastmilk and when I went back to work she wouldn't take a bottle and never did!!! It was lucky I worked close to home so I could pop home to feed her. So, once BF is solidly established, make sure you're doing some bottles of breastmilk, too. Excited for you to begin this journey!

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  4. Washable pads saved me a lot of money. I got a lot of them and washed every time they got saturated. Another thing I loved was the Lamaze brand nursing bras for night-time. Cotton Spandex Nursing Bra Item: LMBRA 106 http://lamazeintimates.com/nursing-bras/

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  6. Things I rec...
    1. a nursing cami that you can sleep in as you will leak and I hated wearing a bra at night.
    2. Nursing pads for the inside of your bras, again, leakage will happen (usually in the middle of the night...)
    3. I loved the boppy!
    4. Experiment with different positioning, I found that the football hold worked wonders for us, it gave me better control over my daughters head to get her latched juuuust right.
    5. After birth have the lactation consultant come in and check everything out
    6. Make sure you get nipple cream, even with a perfect latch there is soreness and tenderness...

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  7. I highly recommend getting a few nursing tanks (I loooove the h&m ones the most, motherhood maternity next and target last (although target brand were the best for a postpartum tummy!)). I lived in tanks, nursing pads and open sweaters during the newborn phase and since then, have wore them under all of my shirts for easy access (sometimes with a nursing bra, sometimes not!). So comfy! And I'd second the advice of finding a great lactation consultant. Ours was such a great resource in the beginning and was so wonderful at helping us navigate through our initial nursing struggles. I'm convinced that without her, we wouldn't have the nursing relationship we do 21 months later. Also, Kelly Mom is an awesome online resource!!!! Good luck, mama!

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  8. Oh 'me so glad you loved the book! I think having all that knowledge going into it is so so important. And then with a great support team, you WILL be successful! Totally here to offer you any support I can once baby girl comes. FYI: DM on Instagram is always the quickest way to get a hold of me!

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  9. I truly believe my success in nursing both early on, and still to this day (14 months exactly!) was the lactation support group at the hospital.

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  10. As a "newer" mom (baby boy is 8 weeks old) and a fellow IVFer, my advice is invest in reusable nursing pads (disposable ones are so not comfy on your raw/highly sensitive boobs, even the most expensive disposables are scratchy!) get a lanolin free nipple cream, I found one at Walmart of all places, the brand is The First Years Nursing Care, lanolin is surprisingly thick and sticky. The boppy is my best friend, and a second cover since spit ups happen all day long. Also don't be discouraged if you have to supplement in the beginning, my milk didn't come in until day 7! I was freaking out but kept going and sure enough my milk came. Remember to trust your instincts, you got this mama!

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  11. it's a good thing you are preparing yourself before she is here. I had no idea what really goes into breastfeeding when I had my first. With the help of the lactation consultants and an amazing nurse at the hospital I was able to gain confidence and exclusively breastfeed him. Like another commenter said don't be afraid to supplement at first until your milk comes in. We supplemented my first son due to me becoming severely anemic and couldn't hold to feed him. Once I was ok the nurse worked with me to just breastfeed and not supplement. With my second he was formula fed until I got out of recovery but then he wouldn't latch. We tricked him by sprinkling a bit of either colostrum or formula on my nipple to get him to start sucking. Once we got home he was doing great and I didn't have to use formula at all. I did use nipple cream first time around. Now I've learn breastmilk works way better. Rub some on and let them air dry. It works wonders. This time around I also decided to use reusable nursing pads and have not regretted it.

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