Are you planning on breastfeeding your baby? If so, we have a few tips, resources and products that will be useful along the way to help you on your journey!
While nursing a baby is the bodies natural physiological process, it is often a challenging and difficult time for many new parents. Both you and baby are new to each other and 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 and worries, and seek out additional support when needed.
Second, build a list of community resources where 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. The KFL&A Public Health unit has an amazing weekly drop-in group, as well as one-on-one support by appointment. La Leche League meets once per month on a Wednesday evening at the Community Midwives of Kingston office and has an active and supportive Facebook Group.
We also welcome you to stop in the shop ANYTIME to simply chat and share your concerns. We are not lactation consultants, but we all have a variety of experiences breastfeeding and bottle feeding many children between us all. 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 consider having on hand.
1) Nipple Butter - While your nipples are adjusting to their new role, some discomfort can sometimes be expected. We love how soothing this organic balm is. We hope that you won't need to use this whole container and have many customers who use the leftover as lip balm! If you are experiencing severe and/or on-going pain, please see a health care provider.
2) Haakaa Suction Pump - A simple and very clever little device that will help to catch your "let downs" on the opposite side baby is feeding from. Made from silicone, this manual pump is incredibly easy to clean and is a great way to collect that liquid gold to feed to baby right away or store to build a freezer stash.
3) Washable breast pads - To keep your clothes, bed and whatever else you are wearing dry while you sleep or are out and about.
4) Nursing Bra - We recommend having at least one nursing bra and/or tank at home or in your hospital bag before baby arrives. Make sure you will feel comfortable wearing it while you sleep or rest to keep your nursing pads in. After 4-6 weeks your milk supply will start to regulate and you will hopefully have a better idea of where your nursing journey will take you. This is the time to get another couple styles as your cup size will be more reliably regular.
5) A nursing pillow - We love the buckwheat hull stuffed Nneka Breastfeeding Pillow for many reasons. The biggest one is that it is one of the most flexible and versatile nursing pillows out there. When you no longer need it for feeding baby, it's great for tummy time or as a cushion for you to sit on while you play with baby on the floor. Use it as a bolster for yoga or meditation after the little one(s) are in bed!
We hope these 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!