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!”
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.
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).
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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