Nursing Essentials: The Only 5 Things You’ll Ever Need

 

 

Nursing Essentials: The Only 5 Things You'll Ever Need

 

When you tell people you’re planning to breastfeed your baby, you might be met with a positive response.  (You should, because it’s a beautiful bonding activity that benefits both you and baby with countless health benefits!)  Or, like many aspects of motherhood, you may be met with a laundry list of “supplies” you’ll need to handle the job (pillows, tubes, shields, nursing bras, emergency hand-pumps, etc).  Well, I’ve been a nursing mama since September 2015, and I’m no expert, but I’m here to tell you there are only 5 things I have ever “needed!”

 

1. La Leche Guide

If you already know how to nurse, you may not feel the need for a “guidebook.”  But this book is so much more than a how-to.  It contains chapter after chapter of information, FAQs, encouragement, lessons, and support.  It’s the only breastfeeding book you’ll ever need.  And if you’re like me, you’ll pick it up every time you have a baby, because it’s helpful to refresh your mind on the basics of your breastfeeding journey.  Each baby has it’s own one.  I love this book.

 

 2. Infinity Scarf

This is the only nursing cover you’ll ever need.  Because a scarf can be worn over virtually any outfit, you’ll never have to worry about packing (or finding) a nursing cover again.  It’s stylish in color so you won’t feel like a motherly spectacle when nursing out and about.  And it’s breathable enough that baby can comfortably fall asleep while nursing.  Honestly, I didn’t want to nurse in public at first.  But like many nursing moms before me, I was put in a situation where I had to (which so happened to be the Pentagon at a military ceremony in the second-to-front row.  Classic).  I absolutely love how covert and seamless the transition is in taking the scarf off and unfolding it to use during my nursing sessions.  So much more stylish and unnoticeable than the giant baby-colored clip covers! (My favorite infinity scarves are this style by Charming Charlie).

 

3. Nursing Cream

If you’ve nursed before you may not need this.  But if it’s your first time, you might get sore or chaffed the first month.  I have used plain coconut oil, and love it.  However nipple cream formulated especially for nursing is nice because it comes loaded with more benefits.  The kind I used is discontinued, but I have loved this brand for a variety of mama needs since my first pregnancy.  Or if you want lanolin as the main ingredient, I have purchased this cream before too.

  4. Nursing Tea

This one is somewhat optional as well.  Not everyone feels the need to increase their supply.  But since nursing is a very natural activity, it doesn’t have the strictest output everyday.  While your body will learn to make more milk on baby’s “extra hungry days” it can be very helpful to drink tea as a boost on those days.  I have drank the Earth Mama Angel Baby Milkmaid tea as well as the Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother’s Milk Tea.  But if I could only drink one it would be this one.  Fun fact: my 3rd trimester tea and my red raspberry leaf tea are both excellent sources of support as well.

 

 

5. You and Baby

At the end of the day, you and baby as a pair makes the real and most significant ingredient for your nursing journey.  I think many nursing mothers would agree that breastfeeding feels like the intimacy of pregnancy taking place outside of yourself.  Nursing is your months-long continuation of giving your body to your baby.  A lot of women say that they “miss” being pregnant or that it’s hard to give up feeling those little kicks while baby is tucked safely inside. But to me, there are few things in motherhood you can experience that give you that intimate feeling, and nursing is definitely one of them.

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Nursing Comfort – Cream Edition

Nursing Comfort - The best nipple cream

 

I can (and probably will) write post after post about nursing, what it means to me, how important it is, etc.  But this post isn’t about any of that.  It’s about a particular topic that began circulating when I researched it before having my first baby.  It was a little known “fact” that I had no experience with:  nursing hurts.

I didn’t know if this would be true for me or not.  A book by the La Leche League called “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.”  (I can’t recommend it enough!)  had an interesting perspective.  It recognized that nursing can hurt.  But it said that nursing never should hurt.  They say that almost any mommy and baby team can make nursing work, and so if it starts to hurt, that only means that something is off and needs to be fixed.  I know it sounds like wishful thinking, but I loved the concept that pain doesn’t equal incapability.

With that in mind, I entered into the world of nursing.  And much to my pleasant surprise, nursing really doesn’t hurt!  However since it was my first baby, for the first two weeks or so I found myself sore during the latching process.  The number one way to ease the soreness is to ensure proper latching and help baby do this if need be.  But I still wanted to find something that could provide comfort in between nursing sessions.

Enter the My Brest Friend Nipple Cream! It’s made of natural and organic ingredients (bonus!) and is completely safe for mom and baby.  There is no need to wipe it off before baby nurses, and its clear in color, so no staining anything!  It had a very slight butter smell, but it is very pleasant and relaxing.  What I loved most about it was obviously it’s effects– it is soothing if you’re hurting, but it also is effective at preventing those hurts in the first place.

One word of advice, this cream does “solidify” in a way because it has coconut oil in it.  So it comes out of the tube a little “grainy” which doesn’t hurt when you apply, but it makes it less perfect that a buttery-vaseline type texture.  (Obviously vaseline isn’t a nursing cream).  My advice is to roll a little bit of it between your fingers to try to warm it.  Once you apply it, the cream will also melt onto your skin, so warming it beforehand is not strictly necessary.  But if the grainy-ness is not your thing, you may want to rub it between your fingers before applying.

I suppose you could just use plain coconut oil–it really does work as a nursing cream!  But if you want something that is easier to carry around then a jar of coconut oil 🙂 then I highly recommend this cream.  Plus, it has a few additions to it that coconut oil doesn’t have…like Shea butter, sunflower oil, mango seed butter, Candelilla wax, and soybean oil.  Those little additions have their own nourishing benefits, and make the cream extra buttery and soothing.

What’s your go-to nursing comfort?

 

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