It’s breastfeeding month! You know two years ago, it is very uncommon for mothers or mothers-to-be talk about breastfeeding. The most common conversation starters among them in the doctor’s waiting area would be, “What’s your baby’s milk?” It’s still common as it is the easiest one. However, I find that this is a conversation killer if one mom breastfeeds and the other one formula feeds. I’d normally answer that question with, “Breastmilk.” Seeing Jack Jack is almost a year old, they’d often respond in a “Wow!” or a “You’re so lucky. You have lots of milk!” Sometimes that is followed with a “even if you’re flat-chested.” This wouldn’t be a question anymore if only most mothers are breastfeeding. It was also a challenge finding the appropriate breastfeeding stuff locally. Most of them should be bought abroad. Thanks to online shopping. I think I got most stuff I need. Please note that you don’t need anything to be able to breastfeed. A mommy and a baby would do. However, in our generation, people have come up with inventions to make life easier. What works depends on the mother-baby-gadget relationship. Here are some of the tools I got:
- Nursing Bra. A must-have for every breastfeeding mother. We need good support for our breasts. Don’t blame it on breastfeeding. You’re going to need a couple pieces of this if you’re really serious about breastfeeding. I wish I did not stop wearing this at home when my housekeeper quit. Maybe Jack Jack never learned twiddling if only I had my nursing bra on. I stopped wearing nursing bras at home to lessen my laundry.
- Nursing Top. These tops are so cute nowadays. I’m thankful to have breastfed two years ago because if it was now, I would have bought a lot of the cute ones. I bought 3 nursing tops and the rest are just improvised nursing tops. I asked my mom to purchase tube tops from Baclaran. They’re worth Php55 a piece. Use them under your regular blouse/top/shirt and you’re good to go! I got this nursing top from Jen of Chronicles of a Nursing Mom.
- Pillows. Lots and lots of pillows for back and leg support. Some say that the boppy pillow works well for them but I haven’t tried.
- Breast Pads. During the first few months, I used the disposable breast pads because my breast would leak so much. Later on, when my body has established a pattern for milk production, I used the washable ones from Mothercare so it would be cheaper and safer for the environment.
- Nipple Cream. I used Pigeon Breast Care Gel. It was okay, I guess. My nipples grew the callouses it needs to numb it. Later, I found out that breastmilk is the best nipple cream of all. Why is this included in my top 10? I think the subject looks cooler when you say Top 10 instead of Top 9. Hehe!
- Breast Pump. I had three breast pumps. The first was a Playtex Manual Breast Pump. It did not hurt and I was able to express a lot of milk but my hands hurt after and I don’t like that. Then I bought the Medela Swing. Since I stay at home with Jack Jack anyways, I did not feel the need to have a double breast pump. However, when I started working at home, I needed to express milk faster, more efficient and with my hands free so I bought the Medela Freestyle. I think I could have gotten away without any because I could hand express anyways but I’m too lazy for all that.
- Internet. This kept me updated with breastfeeding. From resources to support group to schedules of free breastfeeding seminars. Most breastfeeding information, I learned from the internet. Head on over at Shari Criso’s website for a FREE streaming of Simply Breastfeeding DVD. This is available only during the World Breastfeeding Week so better watch it now! (UPDATE August 17 , 2010: Shari is still streaming her DVD on her website for FREE!!!)
- Breastfeeding Book. I wanted a breastfeeding resource even if I’m not online. I bought a book by La Leche League International “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” from Fully Booked.
- Slings/Nursing Bib. At the start, it was nice to wear my baby. But the weather here in Manila is just too hot and Jack Jack sweats a lot so I stopped using it. We used the nursing bib when we were out but when he reached 5 months, he doesn’t like to be covered. I did not use it that much, but I believe it helped me build my confidence nursing in public during the first few months.
- Freezer. This baby kept my milk stash fresh as well as my breast pump parts. Just make sure to put the milk in a bag/container then inside another air-tight container to prevent the milk from absorbing the smell. When I need to pump out of the house, I’d bring along my Fridge-to-Go. It works like a regular fridge and keeps expressed breast milk cool for 8 hours! Isn’t that great or what?
Image is from Fridge-to-Go.
So there, that’s my list. There are a hundred more breastfeeding stuff that is out there to conveniently help us lazy mamas nurse our babies. But keep in mind that they are just there to help us. Direct nursing, skin-to-skin contact with the baby and trusting what your body can do are still the key to breastfeeding longer.
- Why The Lazy Mama Breastfeeds (thelazymama.net)