Discover which breastfeeding essentials you can't do without!
Apart from milk-producing (lactating) breasts, in order to be properly prepared for breastfeeding it is important to have a few essentials ready.
Nursing Bra - Make sure you get correctly measured for a nursing bra when the baby has dropped down into your pelvis. This usually happens when you are about 36 to 38 weeks pregnant.This will ensure the measurement will be more accurate.
A lot of baby stores now offer a bra measurement service. If possible, try on the bra to ensure it is comfortable and feels supportive. There are a huge range of nursing bras available and they don't all look very sensible. Believe it or not you can even buy nursing bras which look very feminine!
Purchase at least two nursing bras and one night-time crop top bra for maximum comfort. Nursing bras come with a variety of openings -for example clips or zips - so choose one that feels easy to operate with one hand!
You will need to replace nursing bras regularly as your body size will change often, particularly in the early days of feeding.
Nightwear - You may find it useful to purchase maternity nightwear that has a front opening. It can be used for breastfeeding after the birth. Mattress Protection is also very useful when breastfeeding as you may leak a lot at night-time.
Nursing Pads - another necessity although you may like to try out a few different brands to find one that is comfortable. Some tend to show their shape through your clothes and some are anatomically correct which can be a little more natural looking. Whichever you choose, it is a good idea to check yourself in a mirror when you are dressed. Disposable or re-usable pads are available. Change the pads frequently to keep your breasts dry and comfortable and to prevent chaffing as this can lead to soreness and infections.
Breast Shells - although these are not usually recommended they can help if you leak a lot or get very sore. Only use them for short periods of time and empty them often.
Breast Protection Barrier Cream - This can help to prevent and soothe cracked and sore nipples.
(Breastfeeding can sometimes be a little uncomfortable and even painful in the first few weeks, usually as a result of baby not being correctly latched on, but do stick with it as it does get easier.)
Nursing Cushion - this is a V shaped cushion which you can use to support your baby if you find positioning difficult. It can also be used to support your own back if you are breastfeeding in bed. And, it can be particularly useful for mums who have had c-sections as the weight of the baby will not be putting extra pressure on the wound.
Gliding Chair - this can be very supportive for feeding day or night. Many mums like to keep a gliding chair in the baby's room. It allows mums to feed comfortably and the gliding sensation can help to relax both mum and baby.
Electric or Handheld Pump - this is a necessity as it will allow you to express and store your own milk when you need to leave the baby, or for adding to baby's meals later on.
Steriliser Unit - useful for sterilising breast pump components and bottles, beakers, spoons, teats, dummies, food containers and so on.
Bottles and Teats/Beakers - for allowing others to feed the baby if you need to be away when a feed is due.
Muslin Cloths/Bibs - necessary for wiping up any baby sick and to protect your own shoulders and back when winding the baby!
Treat Yourself to Me Time!
Or, if you're currently struggling with a busy lifestyle and the added demands of parenting, try our Perfect Relaxation for Parents mp3 - take time out for yourself and awaken refreshed and ready to face whatever life throws at you!
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