Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nursing Necessities

Nursing so far with Emma has been going great! I'm more relaxed this time and hope that I have more success and can go for as long as I did with Eleanor. I wrote about our Breastfeeding Journey recently and you can click the link to check it out. Nursing is not for the weak of heart, it's tough work and was so much more difficult than I had expected it to be.

A few things I'm doing differently this time than I had with Eleanor:

- Keeping up on my water intake
- Eating good meals often and healthy snacks
- I've started pumping sooner, just 5 minutes after a feeding at least once a day. I'd like to increase this to twice a day, but we'll see how time permits once Matt goes back to work.
- I bought more nursing friendly garments and tanks which make life so much easier!

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Here's a breakdown of my favorite nursing basics:

Nursing Shaping Cami- This tank is so comfortable and offers a lot of support to your breasts. It's lined and shaped at the top, similar to a bra and not just a built-in shelf bra like other tanks. I would take the "shaping" in the title loosely, it's just has extra elastic and is comfortable to wear, nothing like wearing Spanx. I bought this top in both white and nude.

Slimming Nursing Cami- This tank doesn't offer quite as much support as the above shaping tank, but is super comfortable. It's probably the most comfortable nursing tank I've worn!

Full Coverage Bra- A real bra people! It's so hard to find good nursing bras that offer the same support as a regular bra and I really like this one. The only flaw is that it does have an underwire (they say to avoid them for milk production), but if you're going somewhere special or wearing a top that requires more support a few hours or a day or two I wouldn't think would hurt your supply.

Seamless Bra- This bra is amazing! Lots of support, feels like a sports bra, and is seamless so it's easy to wear. This one is my favorite to wear, especially on these hot days we've been having.

Sleep Bra- I don't care much for these during day wear, even just around the house, but they're great for sleep! That's why it's probably called a sleep bra, duh. They're soft and comfortable, not a ton of support which is why I don't care for them for the day.

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As for accessories, here's what I prefer to use and have the most success with:

Medela Pump In Style- I love this pump and used it every single day when nursing/pumping. It's easy to use and I like that it's convenient to shop for. In the event that you left pump parts at home you can always run to Target or another nearby shop and pick up parts and accessories on your break.

Car Adaptor- I didn't have to use this often, but it really did come in handy, especially when Black Friday shopping! Sometimes you have to pump while on the go and the adaptor is a life saver.

Pump Accessories- When you're pumping on the daily, it's nice to have extras because washing these puppies every single day gets tiring. I love having some extra this time around (they should also be replaced every 6 months...or at least with each new kid!), it makes cleaning and being ready to pump so much easier.

Aquaphor- When you first start nursing, your nipples are so sore and feel like they may fall off with every latch. Plus, they can get cracked and possibly bleed. So much fun.... Of all the products I've used, I've always stuck with Aquaphor, it heals so quickly and you don't have to wash it off before nursing. I give it to all my mama friends as gifts.

Breast Gel Pads- Also, another must have throughout all of nursing/pumping. You can heat or freeze these babies and they feel amazing when you're breasts are engorged, have a plugged duct, mastitis, or are still tender from the start of nursing. If you buy anything to help soothe the pain, buy these! Matt ran out and bought these for me the first day being home with Ellie and I've used them since.

What are your favorite nursing/pumping necessities?  What are some of your best tips for success?
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