Just a final couple of thoughts to round off breastfeeding awareness week. First of all, if you are pregnant still, you will have no idea whether you will be able to breastfeed, how long you will do it for and so on. I don’t think there is any point tormenting yourself one way or the other. Even if you do have strong ideas about feeding, I would still only recommend the bare minimum of purchases before the birth. I.e buy one feeding bra at about week 38, possibly wait to order a breast pump until you’ve decided you really need one, or borrow one from someone if that’s an option. After the birth, you will have a better idea and most things can be bought online.
That said, if you are able to breastfeed, I found the following helpful:
– drink lots and lots of water. try and have a glass every time you feed, especially in the early days.
– Lanisoh nipple cream is amazing. I used it every time I fed for perhaps two weeks, and haven’t had to use it again. My nipples did crack and bleed to start with, but they’d healed up within a few days. The nipple cream really helped.
– Feeding vests for night time wear. My favourites are from JoJo Maman Bebe, but I’m sure there are others, we just have a JoJo round the corner from our flat. I wear them as pyjama tops and bought enough so I can have a clean one every night (I have four and we do a lot of washing). I just can’t bear being covered in spilt milk.
– Muslins for mopping up posseting and vomit. The best quality ones I have found for the price are from John Lewis. I was also given some Cath Kidston ones as a present and they are great too, just more expensive. It is nice having a pretty option of something we use so frequently.
– Breast pads are not all equal. I think the Boots ones are shit and use the Lanisoh ones which have two sticky pads so they stay put better. They soak up a lot of milk too.
I also have a Philips Avent breast pump, steriliser and various bottles. I pump sporadically when I need some milk for Marto to feed Pip if I need to be away from her for a while. I think I waited a few weeks (3 perhaps) to make sure the milk flow was established before I started messing around with pumping as well but I know others that started sooner. I had it in mind I would pump every day but realised I wasn’t really a fan of spending twice as much time feeding.
The steriliser is quick and efficient and lives in the microwave. I got one free bottle joining the Boots parenting club, one joining the Philips Avent parenting club and the third came in the steriliser. My sister in law gave me some tops so they convert to storage bottles and I bought a bottle brush to clean them all with. It doesn’t seem to affect the production of milk to pump sporadically. If my breasts feel full, or, for example, I find them leaking milk after a shower, I might pump then, but generally speaking I’ve found that whenever Pip needs to eat, there’s milk. Now that she’s sleeping longer at night, I occasionally find I feel quite full in the morning, but then she’s often very hungry when she wakes up, which relieves the problem.
Hope this helps someone. If anyone has any questions, please leave me a comment. I am by no means an expert and am no fan of unsolicited advice, but I do remember some agonising over decisions and trawling the internet for answers, so if it helps, ask away.