5 Things All Breastfeeding Moms Should Have in Her Bag

5 Things All Breastfeeding Moms Should Have in Her BagThere are many AMAZING things about breastfeeding and one of them is that you don’t need a lot of “stuff.” You and your baby, that’s all you really need to breastfeed. Chances are you’re together quite often anyways so this works out great for breastfeeding moms!

By not needing a lot of “stuff” you can eliminate an entire category of things to pack in your ever-growing mommy bag. Because, of course, you DO need 7 packages of wipes, 4 extra adorable baby outfits with matching booties, and 12 stimulating baby toys (we’re exaggerating…a little), but you DON’T need bottles, formula and special water to mix the formula.

With that said, there are a few things all breastfeeding moms should have in her bag for those all-too-often “just in case” moments. Here’s what you should tuck away in your mommy bag to always be on the safe side.

Nursing Cover: Nursing covers are great for those who prefer modesty, but they are also very useful for other reasons as well. Even if you have no qualms about breastfeeding in public, a nursing cover may be a lifesaver if your baby is easily distracted. Or if you’re outside and need to protect your baby from the sun, insects or whatever other elements are in your vicinity.

Our lightweight, breathable nursing cover is fantastic for keeping your baby on task while ensuring she gets enough air. The sheer design even allows you to maintain eye contact. Plus it doubles as a fashion scarf!

A Snack: Breastfeeding moms know that extreme hunger that suddenly consumes you when you’re nursing. Regardless of the tremendous amount of pancakes and power-packed smoothie you had for breakfast, breastfeeding can make you famished. Always have a little snack – such as nuts, dried fruit, a protein bar or crackers – in your bag.

Water: Snacking and breastfeeding can make you thirsty…very thirsty. Staying hydrated is essential to your milk supply and your own wellbeing too. Keep a refillable water bottle in your bag so you can grab some water wherever you are.

Nursing Pads: Embarrassing leaks happen at the most inopportune times, like job interviews, PTA meetings and shopping trips. Be prepared with an extra set of washable nursing pads in your bag. If you leak, simply replace your nursing pads and go on with your day. Don’t forget to take the soaked pair out and wash them when you get home.

A Change for Mom: While it’s true that breastfed babies have less digestive issues and their poop is not as stinky, spit-up and diaper leaks still happen. When you’re holding your baby in a close breastfeeding embrace, some form of bodily fluid is bound to get you from time-to-time. Be prepared with an extra outfit for yourself so you don’t have to spend the rest of your day turning heads for all the wrong reasons.

Breastfeeding Supplies

Breastfeeding is one of those pure and simple natural acts of love and nourishment that doesn’t require a lot of “stuff.” It’s tempting to buy a ton of breastfeeding supplies before your baby arrives thinking they will help make breastfeeding easier or solve problems if they arise. The truth is, you can probably secure a few essential items as a starting point and then see what you need as your journey begins.

Here’s our list of recommended breastfeeding supplies:

Nursing Pillow: Propping your baby on a soft pillow can be useful to finding great breastfeeding positions. You’re hands may be busy holding your breast and helping your baby latch so having a secure place for your baby to lie is nice. There are many types of nursing pillows each with their own clever features. Some can be repurposed for helping your baby sit up or for tummy time as well. If you don’t want to buy a nursing pillow, any pillow you have at home will do.

Breastfeeding SuppliesNursing Bras and Nursing Tank Tops: Fumbling to remove your clothes and bra with a hungry, fussy baby in hand is no fun so be prepared with nursing bras and nursing tank tops that will make breastfeeding much simpler. Nursing bras and nursing tank tops offer easy access to your breasts either with nursing clasps and drop-down cups, slide-over cups or front-closures. Select styles that are appropriate for your stage of breastfeeding – stretchy styles are great for maternity and the early weeks of breastfeeding as your milk supply fluctuates. You’ll definitely want some daytime nursing bras and some nursing sleep bras as well. Nursing tank tops are terrific for wearing out-and-about, sleepwear or layering.

Nursing Pads: Many new moms experience leaks between feedings. Sometimes it happens as you get close to a feeding time, when you hear your baby cry or even when you think about your baby. Nursing pads simply fit right inside your nursing bra or nursing tank top to absorb any breast milk leaks. Loving Moments’ washable nursing pads can be reused and are soft, discreet and easy to wear.

Nursing Cover: For distraction-free nursing, a nursing cover is a handy tool. Our Loving Moments nursing cover is the ideal lightweight, breathable material that offers discretion while allowing your baby plenty of air flow. Plus, it doubles as a fashion scarf so you can easily carry it with you on-the-go.

Breast Pump: Whether you’re returning to work or not, a breast pump can be a life-saver. It allows you to be away from your baby occasionally and possibly get more sleep while your partner handles overnight feedings. You may also want to store breast milk to use at later dates or pump to relieve engorgement or build up your milk supply. Here’s some really good news you may not know: many insurance plans offer a free electronic breast pump to new moms. Ask your insurance provider if you qualify.

Comfort Place: A rocking chair, cozy couch or your bed are all super comfort places for breastfeeding. There’s no need to buy anything fancy – a peaceful spot in your house will do just fine. Both you and your baby will associate this spot with breastfeeding and being there will help both of you relax and enjoy being close.

If you run into common breastfeeding issues, consider these breastfeeding supplies:

Lanolin Cream: A pure lanolin cream is safe and soothing for sore or cracked nipples. Apply it after breastfeeding. Lanolin cream can help ensure breast pads don’t stick to your nipples as well. (Breast milk is also a great way to heal sore nipples. Simply hand express a little milk and rub it on your nipples after feedings.)

Nipple Shells or Gel Pads: For extremely sore nipples, engorgement, plugged ducts or mastitis, nipple shells or gel pads can make you feel a whole lot more comfortable. These wrap your breast in cold or warmth to help reduce swelling and tenderness.

Nipple Shields: For extremely sore nipples or flat or inverted nipples, a nipple shield can be helpful. Also, babies who have trouble latching may have an easier time while using a nipple shield.

Baby Scale: If you’re worried about your baby getting enough milk, invest in a baby scale so you can weigh your baby often. You can also weigh your baby before and after feedings to see how much she’s taking.

Sources: KellyMom, Parenting and Parents Magazine

 

Leading Lady’s All About Breastfeeding blog series serves to educate and inspire new moms with information on a range of breastfeeding topics during the month of August in honor of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month. This resource guide of helpful tips, breastfeeding advice, and research-based information supports our mission to raise awareness for breastfeeding and motivate moms on their breastfeeding journey.

 

5 Ways to Encourage a Pregnant Friend to Breastfeed

Once you’ve experienced the joy of breastfeeding and know its incredible benefits, you may find yourself becoming a cheerleader for the cause, especially with your friends.  After all, you love your friends and want them and their babies to have a wonderful breastfeeding journey and reap the benefits of breastfeeding too.  As an experienced mom you can be a huge asset to your friends who are expecting.  Today we’re sharing five ways to encourage a pregnant friend to breastfeed.

5 ways to encourage a pregnant friend to breastfeed1 – Talk to Your Friend about Breastfeeding

To you breastfeeding may feel like second nature, but to your friend it may be a very foreign concept, especially if she was not breastfed or doesn’t have a breastfeeding role model in her life.  Whether you are currently breastfeeding or have already weaned your baby, talk to your pregnant friend about your breastfeeding experience.  Those who have not yet had the pleasure of breastfeeding might have misconceptions or focus on the negative aspects of breastfeeding they may have heard.  Learning about your experience can ease some of your friend’s fears and help her grasp how fantastic breastfeeding can be.  It’s OK to share the challenges you may have had too.  Sugarcoating your struggles may only make your friend feel she is alone if she runs into problems.  Rather, be realistic about your journey and remind your friend that most wonderful experiences in life come with a few hurdles along the way.  In your chat, let your friend know she can always come to you for advice if she needs it.

2 – Buy Your Friend a Breastfeeding Book

A breastfeeding book is a fabulous baby shower gift.  (Throw in a nursing bra and it’s twice as nice!)  Breastfeeding books are great resources to prepare expectant moms for breastfeeding and she can refer back to it once her baby arrives and she’s ready to put all the information into action.  Most breastfeeding books share the vast benefits of breastfeeding, review breastfeeding positions, explain proper latch and address many common issues breastfeeding mothers face.

3 – Be a Breastfeeding Role Model

Talking and reading about breastfeeding are great, but watching breastfeeding in-person is even better.  Invite your friend to spend time with you and your baby so she can witness breastfeeding firsthand.  Don’t think of it as a lesson or demonstration, but more of a natural part of your day that she’s sharing with you.  If she has questions, you can answer them but you don’t have to expound everything you know about breastfeeding as that may be overwhelming for her.  Seeing breastfeeding as a normal part of infant care can be very helpful as your friend prepares herself for motherhood.

4 – Share Your Breastfeeding Supplies

When you are done with them, pass along your breastfeeding supplies to a pregnant friend.  Nursing bras or nursing camis that are still in good shape, a nursing pillow, extra breast milk storage bags and an unused tube of lanolin could all come in handy for your friend.  (Note, breast pumps should not be shared for sanitation reasons.)

5 – Help Her Make a Plan

Many moms don’t realize that breastfeeding should happen as soon as possible after birth.  Giving birth is a big deal, and for some the labor and delivery process is traumatic. Not having a clear game plan prior to childbirth coupled with an unsupportive team of doctors and nurses can derail a new mom’s notion of breastfeeding.  By helping your pregnant friend make a plan, you can increase her chances of successfully breastfeeding.  Her plan should include: bringing nursing bras or nursing camis to the hospital since she’ll need them right away; telling her nurses upon arrival and all nurses that see her throughout her stay at the hospital that her intention is to breastfeed; and requesting visits from the on-staff hospital lactation consultants.

You can be a breastfeeding advocate and encourage a pregnant friend to breastfeed with these 5 tips.  Spread the love, spread the breastfeeding!

My Baby Registry is Driving Me Crazy

Registering for baby gear can give a mom-to-be as much heartburn as, well, anything she eats! But, it doesn’t have to. Take a step back and eliminate the stress with a few easy steps.

First, ask the experts: other new moms. They’ll know of the best simple, yet essential must haves – such as hooks to attach your diaper bag & shopping bags to the stroller – and those items you can do without – wipe warmers, for example.  If your mom friends are too busy changing diapers to weigh in, sites like WeeSpring and Criket’s Cirlce give feedback from lots of moms.  Or turn to those in your Facebook network for advice.

My Baby Registry is Driving Me Crazy   When you’re ready to build your registry list, divide it into the items you need now and those you can wait to receive or purchase later. High chairs are great, but they just take up space for a baby who can’t yet hold her head up. Crib sheets, a diaper bag & a baby bathtub on the other hand, you’ll use right away.

Next, stock up on nursing essentials. A boppy pillow or BreastFriend help mom & baby get into an ideal breastfeeding position, while a great selection of nursing bras and nursing tank tops keep mom comfy & supported. If you’re planning to pump in addition to nurse, don’t forget bottles, a bottle brush and an all-natural, baby-friendly dish soap.

Clothes, clothes, clothes. Adding select layette items to your registry is a great idea, but remember that you’re not the only one who will be buying those adorable teeny clothes. You’re sure to get many onesies, blankets and hooded towels as gifts.  Stick to scanning the items people may not think to buy but you really need like a diaper pail and changing table staples including diapers, wipes and a grooming kit.

Lastly, keep it simple. You may be tempted to register for ever gizmo, swing, bouncy seat & swaddle you see, but wait a beat. Every baby likes different things an you won’t know what yours fancies right away. See if you can borrow or “test drive” the big ticket items from friends before you add them to your list.

Happy registering & happy mommying!