Being a new mum can be so overwhelming with so much information out there, it can be so hard to know what is and isn't helpful information, let alone learn how to breastfeed your baby. So here is a breakdown of my top 10 items that any new mum needs in her breastfeeding journey.
1. Breastfeeding friendly clothes: Pulling up your shirt in front of strangers and exposing your most pudgy area doesn't seem like the best confidence booster for a new mum. Specialised breastfeeding clothes allow you to breastfeed discreetly anywhere and any time. There are a few places to buy specialised breastfeeding clothing. We currently stock a range of t-shirts and casual breastfeeding dresses for mothers.
2. Water bottle: Breastfeeding is thirsty work. On average, your baby will be drinking up to 800ml of milk a day! Which means you need to replace that PLUS ensure you get your 8 glasses in too! I always carry around a 1L bottle of water to ensure I hydrate enough and never get caught out.
3. Breast pump: Pumping can be tiresome for new mums. I preferred a manual breast pump that allowed me to catch my let down when feeding and therefore never required an electric pump (although once your milk has settled in you may need an electric pump on one boob and a manual pump on the other). Haakaa has a Gen 3 model which you are able to use breastfeeding and beyond.
4. Nipple shield (optional): Nipple shields are thin flexible silicone covers that are great for mum's that require a little help for sore, cracked nipples, preemie babies, or have inverted nipples. They come in a couple of sizes and can be used throughout the first few weeks/months of breastfeeding. You can purchase these at any chemist or online. It is advisable to check with a lactation specialist if you require one and ensure you obtain the right size.
5. Lactation biscuits: Lactation biscuits are not only yummy but help maintain milk supply and/ or boost supply for any breastfeeding mum. Made with a variety of milk boosting ingredients such as brewers yeast, flax seeds, oats etc, these will help you if your supply drops. This usually happens if you or bubs get sick which can be so unpredictable. There are recipes out there to make some yourself, but who has time with a new baby at home! Grab some of the best selling Franjo's Kitchen Lactation Biscuits for the times where you are in desperate need for some more milk or just a delicious afternoon snack!
6. Breast pads: Some lucky ladies have leaky boobs, particularly in the first 3 months when your milk is getting established. There are a few specific times where you will need these: hearing a baby cry (even in a movie, on TV or at the shops. It doesn't necessarily need to be yours), at night when you don't feed as often as during the day and when you are feeding you may have let down on the other boob. There are two types of breast pads you can buy: reusable and disposable. Both are very easy to use. With the reusable you are able to wash them with your clothes and with the disposable you can throw them away once they are soaked.
7. Hydrogel discs/cold pack: Every new mum experiences swollen nipples at the start of their breastfeeding journey. The best way to manage the swelling and engorgement is to apply something refreshing on the nipple area such as Hydrogel discs or a cold pack. Hydrogel discs can be cut in half to make them last longer and be sure to wash your nipple after use as you don't want your baby to be consuming the gel. Also a handy tip is to pour 100ml of water onto two nappies and freeze them. These provide instant relief for any sore nipple/breast as well as provide a soft exterior so there isn't any need for a towel.
8. Terry cotton nappy: Terry cotton nappies are a new mums most valuable accessory! Best for cleaning up spilt milk, vomit, poo-plosions and more! Need I go on!
9. Nipple cream: Lanolin nipple cream also helps soothe sore nipples int he first weeks, however can leave oil marks on your clothes and can get very messy in the heat of summer. Another alternative is using your own breast milk. Once finished feeding, squirt a little on your nipple and let it dry. It wont stain anything and no need to wash it off between feeds.
10. Maternity bra: Invest in some maternity bra's for convenience. It makes the world of difference when having to feed your baby over and over again. Less hassle and comfortable while your body changes.
Good luck in your breastfeeding journey and please reach out to us if you have any questions. :)