I’m not writing this as any expert, (I’ve only been at it 8 months) but wanted to pass on any helpful tips I could to my many wonderful prego friends!
1. It might be hard.
2. It might not be hard.
3. It WILL be worth it.
4. Call a lactation consultant ASAYHP (as soon as you have problems).
5. Don’t be ashamed to use a nipple shield (do whatever it takes to get milk from point A to point B).
6. Don’t feel guilty if after everything has been tried, you just aren’t able.
7. Drink LOTS of water. I bought a cute, large water bottle and made an effort to drink half of it each nursing session.
8. Relax. Stress can inhibit milk production. Put on a movie or tv show you like or listen to music. Or just stare at the amazing human being you helped create.
9. After baby is eating every three hours instead of every two start pumping 4-5 times a week. It’s best to pump in the morning after your first nursing session of the day when you have the most milk. This will help aid your milk production and give you a little back stock of milk in the freezer.
10. Introduce a bottle around 4-6 weeks. Waiting too long can result in refusing a bottle, starting too early can cause nipple confusion.
11. Every time the baby gets a bottle, you have to pump. That means no sleeping through a feeding and having daddy feed a bottle. Your milk production relies on supply and demand. Skipping a feeding can mess with that. The best way to get the most sleep is to have dad get baby up, change him, hand him to you, then take him when you’re done and get him back to sleep. Aaron would sometimes take Eli upstairs to get him to sleep because he knew I wouldn’t be sleeping if I could hear him crying.
12. Nursing can be exhausting at the beginning so don’t feel bad about taking naps. Your body is working much harder than its used to.
13. Don’t buy an expensive pumping bra. Take an old, or cheap new one, and cut circles out where your nipples go and voila!
GREAT resource: http://www.kellymom.com
Favorite Nursing Gear:
My Brest Friend: I liked that this was flat which was more support for his tiny body. It was also nice for walking around the house while nursing.
Nursing Scarf: This thing is genius! I wore it on the plane which made nursing much easier. It may be difficult to manage while you’re just starting out, but for later on its very handy. For the crafty mom it would be super easy to make.
Reusable nursing pads: you can buy disposable ones to keep in the diaper bag or purse but you will need them for months so definitely buy reusable ones.
Motherhood Maternity nursing tanks: I LIVE in these. It took a while (8 months) before I could go without a bra. These are comfy and do the job. If you are more well endowed than I am you may need a sleep bra under it.
Maternity tank top: Another thing I live in. Maternity tank tops are stretchier than normal ones and are easy to pull down to nurse. I wear these under everything when I know I will be nursing in public.
Lamaze sleep bra: Best for sleeping in or wearing around the house. Super thin so not great for leaving the house in (your nipples will be out in force for a while.)
Bravado bra: This is the only regular nursing bra I wear. Its really comfy.
I can’t find the Lamaze sports bra I wear almost all of the time. It’s a razor back which keeps straps from falling down. I also wear it to run and ride. I don’t fit in any of my pre-baby bras… Here is a similar one.
Things to keep in mind when buying nursing bras: Comfort: You will spend a lot of time at home and because of engorgement and leakage wont be able to go without a bra for months. Brands I like: Bravado, Lamaze, leading lady, La leche league. Zulilly has a lot of sales on nursing bras, keep an eye out.