Best for breastfeeding

23 03 2009

This blog is the third in a series I am writing about baby gear. Over the last 5 years, Mark and I have spent thousands of dollars on strollers and car seats, cribs and bunk beds, cloth diapers and baby carriers – and so much more. Along the way we have learned what works for our family. I would like to share a little of the wisdom we’ve aquired through trial and error to hopefully save our friends who are new parents a few bucks.

Breastfeeding is hard work. I grew up watching my mom teach many other women how to breastfeed. She made it look easy. I was shocked when breastfeeding our oldest son, Asher, was much more difficult and painful than I anticipated. In the first few weeks after Asher was born, my nipples were cracked and bleeding. I developed mastitis. I wanted to scream for the first thirty seconds every time Asher latched on. We were making some of the mistakes that are common to new breastfeeding moms and babies.

Mark and I were on a tight budget and we were very hesitant to spend money on some of the products that make breastfeeding easier. When we realized that formula feeding could cost about $1000 for the first year, however, we decided it was worth it to buy a few things that make breastfeeding more comfortable and convenient. Many of these products are inexpensive and other can be bought used or borrowed.

With patience, time and determination, Asher and I eventually figured out breastfeeding. It was much easier to breastfeed both Micah and Zephan, even though they were born prematurely, in part because we understood that little things like soothies make a big difference. Including nursing bras, gear and supplies, Mark and I have probably spent around $500 on breastfeeding stuff over the last five years, much less than the roughly $3,000 we would have spent on formula.

Here are my favorite products that support breastfeeding:

1. Soothies protect sore nipples in the first days or weeks of breastfeeding.

2. Medela Tender Care Lanolin soothes dry and cracked nipples. Later, this stuff works great for chapped lips and other owies.

3. Lansinoh Disposible Nursing Pads absorb more milk leakage and are smoother under clothing than other brands I’ve tried.

4. Both the Boppy and My Brest Friend nursing pillows do a good job of supporting a newborn. When the baby is in the right position, it is easier for him to latch and breastfeed without getting tired. It is also easier on mom’s back!

5. Traditional Medicinals Organic Mother’s Milk Tea does a good job of supporting an abundant milk supply.

6. Nursing Bras can be expensive, but they are much less expensive than formula. It is a wise investment to find a few nursing bras that fit well. My favorite bras are made by Bella Materna here in Seattle ($40-75). These bras are beautifully made and look great. I also like the soft-cup nursing bras at Target for sleep ($10-15).

7. Nursing Tanks are also great to have on hand. Nursing tanks function as a nursing bra while also covering your belly to make breastfeeding easier in public. I have liked the Glamourmom Nursing Tanks, however there are a few more companies making these now. Bump Maternity at Bellevue Square sells the Yummie Tummie tank with a built-in control panel for the postpartum belly – brilliant!

8. Bebe au Lait or similar nursing cover – Nursing a newborn or a busy toddler in public is hard enough. These nursing covers look cute and make it easier. Enough said.

9. Medlea makes the best Breast Pumps. If you have a baby in the hospital and you need to stimulate your milk supply, you should rent a Medela Symphony from the hospital or speciality store. If you need to pump reguarly to have milk for returning to work or for other times you will be away from the baby, the Medela Pump in Style gets the job done quickly. I have tried several hand-held pumps and generally they are too difficult to use, especially if you have three little kids running around like we do.

10.  Dr. Browns BPA-Free Bottles and Milk Storage Bags – After trying a few other brands, Dr. Browns bottles and milk-storage bags are our favorite. These are now BPA-Free.



2 responses

24 03 2009

yeah!! perfect timing. i will direct kalle to your blog too since we were just talking about a lot of this today.

24 03 2009

I was thinking about you and a few other soon-to-be mommies when I wrote this.

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