As long as a baby is fed, then as a mama you are doing a fantastic job. I have no judgement towards anyone and the choices they make and I completely understand that breastfeeding just isn’t an option for some. I know that I have been very lucky in that both Ivy and Odette have latched well and made breastfeeding an option for me. Therefore I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding and I believe it to be the best option for me and my babas, plus it’s cheaper, I don’t have to get out of bed for night feeds and I can leave the house without having to prep bottles. That’s a win win situation in my books!
For anyone else who is currently breastfeeding or perhaps considering breastfeeding…here are my top 10 breastfeeding must haves, in no particular order…
- Nipple Cream– I like the Lansinoh one in the well known purple tube. The best thing about this cream, apart from the fact it massively helps ease your sore cracked nipples, is that it is completely safe for mum and baby. Which means there is no need to remove it before feeding. It should also be noted that they don’t stay sore for long and it definitely doesn’t feel so bad if you apply this stuff generously and often.
- Nursing Bra’s– To me, these are a must have! Although I do know some breastfeeding mum’s that prefer a bralette. The thing to remember, whatever your choice you make, is that you don’t want any wires or thick moulded cups. I opt for these ones from Marks & Spencers, they come as a pack of two in two different colour ways and the padding is removable. A nursing bra is quick and easy to unclip, giving instant access to the boob that is most likely needed immediately!
- Nursing Wear– Depending on your style and how comfortable you feel, you can nurse in anything really, but some items make it an awful lot easier. I have two small shops that I love for easy access nursing wear and I recommend them both highly. Both businesses are run by mothers, who have ‘been there, got the t-shirt’ so to speak.
- The Milky Tee Company have stylish tee’s with motherhood slogans on the front, or you can opt for plain if you’d prefer. These tee’s are beautifully made and come with two hidden zips running down either side, making it very easy to feed your little one discreetly and without having to wear loads of layers. You can use code ‘BLACKFRIDAY20’ today!
- Chico Jack’s sell a range of items and they are champions for normalising breastfeeding, encouraging and empowering women to feel comfortable when nursing out and about without judgement…unfortunately this is still a problem, yes even in 2018! I love the twinning sets they sell, these also have hidden zips, but this time across the front of your chest and opening at both ends. Check out their beautiful Christmas range, which is not to be missed, and they also have a Black Friday sale on today!
- Your Phone/TV Remote I think this one is self explanatory, but in the first few weeks in particular as you become accustomed to breastfeeding, you’re going to want these accessible. Once your sat down and the baba is latched on you could be there for a while, anything between 10-45mins. The last thing you want is to be sat there with nothing to do because you haven’t quite mastered the getting up and moving across the room with a baba attached to you yet, or perhaps it took you 10 mins to get them latched in the first place and you don’t dare move for fear of them popping off!
- Patience– with yourself, and your baba! It can take a little while to figure breastfeeding out. Often you hear women talking about how lovely and easy it is to breastfeed. Well, unfortunately this isn’t always the case and it certainly is never like that to start with- for anyone! To begin with, breastfeeding can be awkward, difficult and extremely painful. The silver lining is that all of those things ease as time goes on. You become more confident and sure of what you are doing and your baba’s immature latch improves the more they practice. So have patience, trust in your abilities and your choices. Then one day, you too will look back on your breastfeeding journey and tell others how lovely and empowering it is, forgetting those tough early days/weeks (months in some cases!)
- Water – When you have a baby, regardless of how you choose to feed them you will find yourself permanently thirsty. This is totally normal and if you choose to breastfeed as well, then this doesn’t go away quickly. You will find yourself constantly parched and also ravenous, so keep a water bottle close by and topped up, and maybe even some tasty treats too!
- Breast Pads– There are lots of different types available, I personally have opted for a re-usable option as part of trying to make more sustainable choices. I have these Curve pads from Lily & Ribbon Maternity which I cannot recommend more highly. They wash well, have great absorbency and they are comfortable to wear. You can also get a discount by using the code ‘CHERRYMAMA10’.
- Muslin cloths– These are great to have handy, and you’ll want them spread out all over your house for all those unexpected mishaps that always occur when babas are involved. These cloths can be used for pretty much anything, but in this circumstance, they are great for mopping up spilled milk, using as burp cloths, wiping up baby sick etc etc. I have some beautiful ones from Wilf & Wildlings, they are currently closed due to high demand, but when they re-open you can use ‘CHERRY10’ to bag yourself a discount.
- Flexibility– You will find, especially in the beginning as you are still learning your baba and their cries/cues, that you need to be flexible. Don’t get upset if you suddenly have to drop everything to feed your babe. Sometimes this may mean cancelling plans, or being a bit late…or maybe it will just mean you won’t get dressed that day. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter and it will be ok. If you start off with a flexible mindset, it will be easier to adjust your plans as you go.
- Nursing Pillow– Now this one is actually something I don’t use, however I know that most of my breastfeeding friends have relied very heavily on theirs. There are some absolutely stunning nursing pillows available to fit a whole range of budgets. I personally don’t use one because I have been very fortunate to have two very speedy feeders. Odette very rarely feeds for longer than 10 mins, but some babas take a lot longer and it can get quite uncomfortable holding your babe in the various feeding positions.
So there you have it. 10 breastfeeding must haves. I would also like to note again that breastfeeding is never easy in the beginning. Even when you have your second child, it still hurts every time they latch (we’re talking toe curling pain!), your nipples will still crack and sometimes bleed, you could even be unlucky enough to get mastitis or a blocked duct. All of the above will help to make breastfeeding a little easier as you find your feet and build confidence, but some women will find that it just isn’t for them…and that is absolutely OK. Fed is best!