|If only we could all get beauty treatments while breast feeding…ahh to be Giselle! (PICT: Instagram)|
There is so much negative press surrounding breast-feeding – be it mothers doing it in shops and being asked to leave, whether you do it or not, what age you feed your baby too and so on. If I’m honest I find it all quite boring.
Your baby needs feeding – so you feed them (Be that breast milk, formula or a combination). Motherhood in the first few months is hard without the added criticism on how you choose to nourish your new born. That’s why I think its great that this week Mothercare are hosting a Breastfeeding Awareness Week (until Sunday 23rd May). An in-store event where health professionals, midwives and advisers are on hand to offer support and information.
My hospital actively encouraged feeding on demand – so that’s what I did. I didn’t follow schedules or timings. I literally feed Miss Marnie whenever she wanted to be fed. I think maybe I was lucky – I had a good experience. I believe because I ended up being in hospital for a week I had a lot of hands-on encouragement, support and tips from the midwives. This meant Miss Marnie and I ‘learnt’ how to do it the best way for us.
Which is just as well as I ended up nursing for over 13 months – much longer than I had hoped I could, planned too or even wanted to do. Because, Miss Marnie had a formula intolerance and refused to take a bottle – ever! It was hard work. But, it was quite wonderful (at times) too.
If you are planning to breast feed, or currently learning along the way here are a few items that helped me – and will ensure you look and feel your best too:
My Breast Feeding Essentials were:
CUSHION: This nursing pillow was the second one I tried and the one I would recommend. It’s firm and sits snugly around your waist meaning it doesn’t move about. ‘Widgey’ donut nursing pillow £29.95 John Lewis
NIPPLE CREAM: This Nipple Cream £9.99 Lansinoh is one of the only ones that doesn’t need to be wiped off before feeding. Believe me in the middle of the night you won’t remember to do this. Plus, I started rubbing this on in the last few weeks of pregnancy… prevention is better than cure.
WATER: Before you sit down to feed be sure to have a jug and glass to hand – you get so thirsty.
FEEDING COVER: Make feeding in public easy with this brilliant Nursing cover £27.50 Bebe Au Lait – the rigid neckline not only holds the cover in place it means you can maintain eye contact with your baby too. As well as allowing for ventilation. It rolls up easily, washes well and has towelling corner pockets on the inside for fast clean-ups.
PADS: I tried several different breast pads brands – cheap ones and expensive ones and the only ones I liked were these Disposable Nursing Pads £5.49 for 60 Lansinoh. They come in individual sealed packs (meaning they stay clean in your baby bag), stay in place, didn’t ever leak, are slim and discreet and most importantly didn’t show up under clothing. Worth the extra money.
NURSING BRAS: The most comfortable nursing bras I had were from good old M&S – no contest. Non-wired bras £29.50 for pack of 2 Marks & Spencer
My Breast Feeding Add-ons:
HEATED/COOLING PADS: I brought these Oscar + Dehn Breast Nurse £13.29 Boots just in case I suffered from blocked ducts, mastitis or engorgement. Luckilly, I didn’t but I felt glad I had them near by as they can be heated or chilled and slipped inside your bra.
BREAST PUMP: I was recommended this great Electric Swing Pump £134.99 Medela – and it also seems to be the first choice for most mamas. It’s expensive but it sure makes light work of pumping. Miss Marnie never took a bottle so I didn’t use this as much as I hoped. But, I used it to pump milk for use when weaning (on cereal/in cooking) I also had some of the Pump and Save Freeze bags bags £9.99 for 20 Medela to hand.
NURSING OIL: I discovered this towards the end of my pregnancy (as you can use for my 38 weeks) but I didn’t use it very often (mainly because I forgot) – used for light massage it can help stimulate milk flow. Am sure its would be handy to have to hand in case you feel uncomfortable or blocked. Nursing Oil £7.99 for 50ml Weleda
NIPPLE SHIELDS: I never needed these Contact nipple shields (with case) £8.99 Medela but had them anyway (Miss Marnie just wouldn’t use them). Noticing a pattern here? I liked the fact they came in a travel case meaning you could keep them in your bag and are great if you are having any pain/soreness.
VITAMINS: I took these vitamins throughout most of my pregnancy and while breast feeding. I’m not sure if they helped but I figured they could do no harm – I brought them when they were on 3 for 2 in Boots too as they aren’t cheap – each box lasts a month. Pregnacare Plus – Pregnancy vitamins £13.25 for 56 tablets/capsules Pregnacare