Breastfeeding is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your newborn baby. And although you may think it is the most natural thing in the world, it doesn't always come easily. Here are Sara's top 5 things to have on hand to make your breastfeeding experience a beautiful and enjoyable one.
(1) Mother's Milk tea by Traditional Medicinals. Inevitably there will come a time when you will think you're not producing enough milk. This tea helps better than anything else I've come across.
(2) Nursing tanks. Nursing bras are great but nursing tanks are so, so easy. Wear them alone or under a sweater or button-down shirt so you can simply lift or unbutton, then click it down and nurse. They're convenient and comfortable because the tank stays in place so your “love handles” aren't on display when you nurse in public. You'll know what I mean once you try it the other way.
(3) Cloth nursing pads. If you're planning to use nursing pads to prevent leakage, make sure they are as breathable as possible. I got thrush, an extremely painful yeast infection that affects your nipples and your baby’s mouth, and I'm sure it was due, at least in part, to the unbreathable pads I was using.
(4) MotherLove nipple cream. This stuff is natural and effective. I kept a jar by my bed, in the nursery, and another by my favorite chair in the living room. The first few weeks of breastfeeding can be painful and this salve will make it a little less so.
(5) A good, easy, adult sippy cup. I didn't want to use the bad plastic hospital cup that they sent me home with, but it's size and straw made it so convenient. I swapped it out for my trusty BPA-free camelbak. Pick a water bottle that you can drink from while nursing (the less tipping, the easier it will be) because your mouth will go dry as soon as you lift your shirt.
(bonus) A comfortable spot. Nursing is one of the most incredible gifts of motherhood. Choose a comfortable chair, blanket, book rest and dim lamp so you can snuggle in and embrace the long nursing sessions that will eat up most of your days and nights in the first few months. It all gets easier as you go, but there is no sense in rushing through a session. Gobble it up, savor it, and create a lasting bonds from it.