Are you planning on breastfeeding your baby? If so, we are going to give you a few tips, resources and products that will be useful along the way to help you on your journey!
While breastfeeding can be easy and "natural", it is often a challenging and difficult time for many new moms (and dads in the process). Both you and baby are new to each other and new to the world. You are both trying to adjust to your new surroundings and new life with each other. During this time period you will want to be armed with a few resources, products and supports that can help improve your breastfeeding experience.
First, be sure to find yourself a wonderful support person. That can be your partner, mom, aunt, grandmother, friend, doula or a health professional. Having someone with you as moral support can greatly increase your breastfeeding success and your experience overall. We all need at least one person that understands our goals and can be there to lend us a helping hand, listen patiently to our concerns (whines or cries too!), and seek out additional support if need be.
Second, you will want to build a list of community resources whereby you can get support from either professionals or peers in the community. In Kingston, we are extremely lucky to have a variety of wonderful community resources for breastfeeding moms. Our shop offers a weekly breastfeeding drop in with a certified lactation consultant to help with your questions and needs (each Thursday at 10:00am). The Community Midwives of Kingston also offers a weekly breastfeeding drop in with a certified lactation consultant (each Friday at 10:30am). Public Health has more than one certified lactation consultant on staff that can offer assistance via phone or weekly Baby Drop In's at the Health Unit on Portsmouth Avenue. La Leche League meets once per month on a Wednesday evening at the Community Midwives of Kingston office. I also welcome moms to stop in the shop ANYTIME to simply chat and share their concerns. While I am not a certified lactation consultant, I offer great peer to peer support and have breastfed and bottlefed 4 children (both breastmilk and formula). Sometimes all you need is to be heard and to have an empathetic listening ear.
If you can't make it out of the house and are having difficulty breastfeeding, online help is available from Dr. Jack Newman and Kelly Mom. Both offer extensive videos, information sheets and Kelly Mom has an amazing online forum with 24/7 support.
Third, you will want to be prepared with a few basic items. We want to keep things simple for you, so here are our top 5 breastfeeding products that we recommend you have on hand.
1) Nipple Butter - It will save your butt in the middle of the night when crack nipples creep in. Dr. Newman also created a All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO) that can be ordered through your doctor or midwife. This is the creme de la creme for major nipple pain and infections.
2) Washable breast pads - To keep your clothes, bed and whatever else you are wearing dry.
3) Bravado Body Silk Seamless Bra - An all around comfy, relaxed fit bra that grows with you. A favorite among moms in our shop and myself!
6) Nursing Tea - I love this tea. Tastes delicious and helps boost milk production!
These will products will help ensure your success along with a great support system.
Lastly, remember that at the end of the day you have to do what is best for you and your family. Maintaining a happy, healthy mental state and relationship with your partner is most important to ensure that you can be the best parent you can be. Use your supports, speak to your health care provider and don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and your baby. You know what is best for both of you and what is best for your family! Take care of yourself and your baby first - that is all that is important!