Staying Stylish in Suburbia

Baby Gear Guide- Nursing & Feeding

Friday, January 17, 2014

Nursing and Eating

There were a lot of things about nursing that I didn't expect. My first daughter was preemie, which meant that we got off to a rocky start in the nursing department. I had to pump and bottle feed her in the NICU at first. Once she was home and ready to transition to the breast, she had a hard time catching on. After six months of struggling to nurse her, my milk supply ran out and she lost a lot of weight. At that point I decided to begin supplementing with formula. I felt like a failure at first, and like I was doing her a disservice. But then she started gaining weight and I realized that it was fine. She was healthy and getting fed and that was what mattered most. Fast forward to my second daughter, and my experience couldn't be more different. Not only hast she taken to the boob like a natural, she won't have anything to do with a bottle. On the other hand I have a friend who found it so painful to nurse that she supplied her baby with breast milk by pumping for an entire year. Now that's dedication. I guess my point is this. Try not to stress or judge yourself too harshly. Like with so many things in motherhood you just have to figure it out as you go. Listen to yourself and listen to your baby. Find what works for the both of you and don't worry too much about what you "should" be doing according to the opinions of others. Having said all that, here are the things I have found most helpful in regards to feeding the little ones.

I put this particular kind of nursing apron on here for a reason. It might not be the hippest looking cover, but it works really well. Nursing scarves are fine for certain occasions but they tend to cover up the baby's face, leaving them in the dark and you without a good view of their sweet face. In contrast, this apron has wire across the front, which holds the material out from the baby's face and allows you to stay connected to your baby as he or she nurses. It's also light weight and fairly easy to carry around in your bag. I'm a big fan. I have a nursing scarf as well and use it from time to time. I think both kinds of covers have there place. 

Assuming that you are going to be nursing, you can't live without owning easy access nursing bras. There are lots of different types from sporty/comfortable to pretty like the one pictured above. You will have a lot of milk leakage at first (something I wasn't prepared for as a first time mother) and you will be changing your bra daily. You will also most likely be sleeping in a bra at least at first to keep from leaking all over the place. (Sorry but it's true.) My point is that stocking up on comfortable nursing bras is super important.

If you are going to pump, then having a hands free pumping bra is absolutely necessary. I'm not particular to any one brand. It basically enables you to use your hands while pumping. Otherwise you are a slave to the pump. 

I'm not partial to any kind of brand of burp cloth. They are fairly self explanatory but super helpful for spit up and other unexpected messes.

Here's another thing I wish I had known about to begin with. Nursing can be hard on the nipples at first. Don't worry it does get better, but while you and baby are getting use to the whole process it's essential to have some nipple cream on hand. This brand is safe for you and really helps heal sore or cracked nipples. It is a must!

These are super handy. When I had my first baby I didn't realize how much leaking was involved with nursing, especially in the beginning when your milk is first coming in. Nursing pads can save you from embarrassing leakage and protect your clothes from staining. 

If you are going to use a pump the Madela is a good option. I used it with my first baby and didn't have any issues.

If you think you will be pumping then you will need to find the right kind of bottle for your baby. I have had a hard time getting my second child to take any kind of bottle. What can I say, she has a thing for the boob. I just bought one of these Adiri bottles because they are supposed to do a decent job of mimicking a real nipple. I haven't tried it yet but I've heard good things. Nipple confusion is a real thing. It's when babies have a hard time switching between the real boob and the bottle. For that reason I would suggest breast feeding exclusively for as long as possible before trying out a bottle. That way the baby will be sure to learn how to nurse and avoid confusion which can lead to feeding struggles. Not fun. 

I hope you all found this helpful. Please let me know if you have more recommendations to add to the list. Come back tomorrow for my next baby gear post and be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay connected. xoxo  


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