Thursday, October 18, 2012

Breastfeeding {The Basics}

Read my breastfeeding story here.

Let's be real ... Breastfeeding is not easy!

The first few days are the hardest but it does get easier every day! Since I am only 7 weeks in to this amazing breastfeeding journey I thought I would share what has helped me get through the rough days.

Cabbage: This was wonderful during my days {and nights} after my milk came in. I kept the head of cabbage in the fridge and when I was started to get engorged I would tear off a leaf, crumple it, and stick it directly in my bra. It gave me such wonderful relief.

Hot Shower: If the cold cabbage leaves were not helping relieve the engorgement quick enough for my liking I would jump in a hot shower. This would relieve the pressure and worked wonders. Once I got out of the shower I would just allow my breasts to leak for awhile which softened my breasts enough for Little Miss to latch on.

Infant Diapers: If you do not have time to jump into a hot shower fill two newborn diapers with hot water and place them directly on your breasts. This will also relieve engorgement and allow your breasts to leak without telling them to make more milk. The diapers are so absorbent that they will catch the milk while still holding the water you poured in them.

Boppy Pillow: What a great invention!! I use my boppy pillow every time I nurse. {Sometimes I feel like a little kid carrying this pillow around with me everywhere I go} The pillow allows your arms to position the baby with out having to hold the baby up. The pillow does all the work for you.

Lanolin: This sticky ointment goes directly on your sore nipples. It helps heal them and eases the cracks nursing a hungry baby gives you. Just coat your nipples after every feeding.

Coconut Oil: When lanolin is just too sticky to put on your nipples try coconut oil. This oil will melt when it hits your skin and does provide soothing relief. Use just like you would the lanolin and place it on your nipples after every feeding.

Nursing pads: Your breasts will leak and you don't want to have to change your shirt and bra every time they do. The nursing pads will catch any leaking breast milk just make sure to change them often.

Nursing Tank Top: While your breasts are still engorged your boobs look like bowling balls. You won't really want to have any constricting on them like a bra. A nursing tank top will also cover your not so pretty and still swollen stomach. The nursing tank top has a flap that will come down when you are ready to feed your baby.

Nursing Bra: Once the engorgement goes away {for the most part} you will want to start wearing a bra again. {I wear mine all the time ... morning, noon, and night}. It  makes breastfeeding easier to have a flap fold down rather than taking your bra off completely every time the baby is hungry.

Water: Drink lots and lot of water. This will help your body make milk and you will constantly be thirsty. I fill a reusable cup with a lid all day long and drink as much water as possible.

Advil: I take 3 advil in the morning and this helps with any pain that breastfeeding has caused. I love my Advil.

Cell Phone: After having a new baby friends and family members will call you {a lot} to check on how you and baby are doing. It can be very frustrating to be nursing your baby and your cell phone is going off across the room. Just bring it with you before you start nursing.

TV Remote: While you are nursing and you are still in pain it does help to be distracted. Just put on some nonsense and get lost in what you are watching. Once it gets easier you will find it easier to look into your babies eyes and enjoy the moment.

A list of people who support you in breastfeeding: Breastfeeding isn't easy but it is so important to find people who encourage you to continue. {Honestly there were several days I wanted to throw in the towel.} A lactation consultant or friend who has breastfeed her babies will be great resources to help you in your journey.

Tomorrow I will give you a list of don'ts when it comes to breastfeeding.

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