Thursday, June 13, 2013

Taking Care of the TaTa's: Breastfeeding & Pumping Survival Kit

Since my "Healing After Baby. AKA: The Vagina Repair Kit" post has been quite popular, I thought it might be time to address the upper half... Just to be fair.

Calvin is now almost 8 1/2 months old and I still nurse him once or twice a day. Breast feeding has never been easy for me but I was able to so I did. I say it wasn't easy for me because he never had a problem. I was/am the one being gnawed on, clawed at, bitten and pulled on. I affectionately call him "my little piranha". If i nursed more than 2 feedings in a row my nipples would hurt so bad i would cry. So I pumped and gave him bottles a couple times a day just to give my nipples some relief. I think we had maybe a month or two where we hit a stride and things seemed to go a little smoother... but then he got teeth and it all went to hell again.
With all that in mind, here is my list of absolute must haves if you're breastfeeding and/or pumping. These are literally the only reason I didn't give up.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter : Babies are not supposed to ingest lanolin or vitamin E which are the main ingredients in A LOT of nipple butters. This is organic, baby safe and awesome. I have 3 scattered around the house. Use it after you breastfeed, pump and get out of the shower. You NEED to keep those puppies moisturizer or you will be in a world of hurt.

Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads : Heart shaped to conform to your breasts, I wear them upside down (think bikini top). Barely noticeable and I've never leaked though them. I do have the super thick night time ones, but I've only used them a handful of times when my milk first came in so I'm not sure I would buy those if I were to do it again. Although, if you're a heavy-leaker it might be worth it.

Bravado Wireless Nursing Bra : Comfy, functional and not "super ugly". Invest in a couple because you'll be wearing them for a while.

Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump : A good breast pump is worth it's weight in gold. You will probably spend countless (read: endless) hours of your life with your boobs hooked up to this thing so you can at least get a nice one.

Medela Harmony Manual Breast Pump : I know most people think if you have a fancy double electric pump you don't need a hand pump, but this thing has saved my butt on more than one occasion and it's pretty cheap. I've used it in the car, I've thrown it in my purse, and if I needed to finish emptying a breast after nursing and this was just faster. It's especially useful for taking into a super hot shower with you to help clear a clogged duct or milk blister. You just can't do that with an electric one.

Medela 8oz Breastmilk Bottles : It's amazing how many moms don't know they make bigger pump bottles. There was a time when I could pump 14-16oz. in a sitting so those 5oz. bottles just weren't cutting it. These are also great for storing milk in the fridge when your kiddo starts drinking larger quantities. They come 3 to a set and I personally have 2 sets.

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags : I did my homework and have only ever used these bags. I've used about 200 of these and have had only 2 leak, which is pretty darn good. The link will take you to the best deal for them on all of the interwebs which is on Amazon. 

Oregon's Wild Harvest Fenugreek Capsules : This brand specifically is my favorite. I've tried several different varieties and this is the only one where I actually felt the difference. I take 2 in the morning and 3 before bed.

24-Ounce Cold Tumbler : Why did this make the list? Because you need to drink a TON of water and if its not right-in-front-of-you, you won't drink it! Keep it with you, shove it in between the couch cushions, take it in the car. Hydrate!

So there you go. Did I miss anything? Want to add something? Let me know!

I leave you with this pic of the kiddo:
His stupid-adorable one-piece can be found Here

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