Todays theme for the keep Britain breastfeeding scavenger hunt is top tips you should all know. Since my experience of breastfeeding is only 8 weeks I thought I would share the products I have found useful and leave the top tips to more bloggers with more experience. One thing I will say though is that you do not need all the products below. If you are unsure about breastfeeding, buy the basics and see how you get on (for instance you may decide you don’t need a nursing cover etc).
1. Lansinoh nipple cream – I used this a lot in the first few weeks to help soothe sore nipples. Everything I read before starting breastfeeding said that breastfeeding should not be painful. However since then everyone (health professionals and breastfeeding mums) has said this is a myth and of course it will be uncomfortable at the start. I haven’t needed to use this cream since week 2 but it is so good to know I have it on hand. This is one of the most expensive lanolin creams on the market but all the reviews I read said it was worth the money and I have to agree (although I have nothing to compare it to). This cream does not need to be washed off before feeding unlike some of the other brands available. I bought my tube during a supermarket baby event where it was 1/3 off so it is worth keeping an eye out and buying a tube during such an event, during your pregnancy.
2. Lansinoh breast pads – whilst I was pregnant I bought a box of own brand breast pads from mothercare, boots and sainsburys (you need loads anyway so I figured why not try out different brands to see which I liked best). All three worked ok but I still found my bras and clothes were getting soaked with milk (especially overnight but sometimes during the day too). A friend gave me some Lansinoh ones that she had left over from when she breastfed, I tried them out and have stuck to them ever since. Yes they are more expensive but they work so much better and I’ve rarely had a problem with leaking since.
3. Bubi Bainne nursing cover – I know nursing covers are one of those items that divides breastfeeding mums, some love them and some hate them. As a first time mum I was nervous about feeding in public. I have no problem feeding at baby groups with other mums (so don’t use the cover in these situations) but the idea of cafes etc is a different matter. This cover was given to me by a friend (who has family in Ireland, they do ship worldwide though) when my baby was 4 weeks old. A few days later I found myself alone in town, with a baby screaming for a feed. I was so grateful for this cover and the confidence it gave me to sit in a cafe on my own and feed her.
4. Muslins squares – These pictured are from Aden + Anais but you can pick up them cheaply from most baby shops and supermarkets (I’ve got some from sainsuburys, Aldi and mothercare and have no problems with any). They are great for putting over your shoulder when winding your baby, for cleaning up milk and baby sick and as a bib if you forget to pack one. I always have a couple in my changing bag, as well as several scattered around the house.
5. A good box set – Especially in the early days (but even after that your baby will feed more some days than others) you will spend a lot of time sat down feeding your baby. Instead of channel surfing through daytime tv I tend to watch tv shows that I enjoy and have recorded or box sets. At the moment I am working my way through the Gavin and Stacey box set.
6. ipad or other tablet – Yes I am one of those mums playing candy crush during night feeds. I also use it to catch up on blog reading, twitter or read ebooks (and the odd bit of internet shopping).
7. The essential baby care guide – feeding – I have enjoyed many documentaries by Professor Robert Winston so when I heard about his new series of dvds for new parents I was keen to watch them. This 2 hour dvd on feeding covers breastfeeding, formula feeding and weaning. I watched the breastfeeding section (the biggest section of the dvd) late in pregnancy and again in the early weeks of breastfeeding. It covers all the information would expect about breastfeeding by experts in the field. The biggest advantage I found is it is much easier to learn about different breastfeeding positions and latching on from this dvd than from a book. It also useful to be able to refer to this dvd if you experience any problems.
8. V shape pillow – There are many breastfeeding pillows on the market but I found a v-shape pillow works just fine. It helps to raise your baby up to the right height to nurse as well as helping to support their weight.
9. Nursing vest – I bought a couple of these that I wear under normal tops when out and about. The idea being that you can lift your top up and the nursing vest like nursing bras unclips at the shoulder so your post pregnancy tummy is not on show.
10. Nursing bra – You really can not breastfeed without a selection of nursing bras for support and easy access for feeds. You need quiet a few as you will be wearing one day and night. I love my Bravado body silk nursing bra (pictured) and it is a great first nursing bra. I will be reviewing this bra on the blog later in the week. It’s best to buy a few late in pregnancy but it is important to get measured once your milk supply is established as you might find your size has changed.
11. Water bottle and snacks – Breastfeeding is thirsty work so I am never without a glass or bottle of water as well as a few snacks (information tends to vary on just how many more calories breastfeeding mums need). I also take a multi-vitamin suitable for breastfeeding with the recommended amount of vitamin D in it.
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Disclosure – I was sent the Bravado body silk nursing bra to review (full review coming up later in the week). All other items I purchased myself or they were given to me by family or friends.