Breastfeeding is really hard in the early days, so anything that makes that journey a little bit easier is very welcome in my book. These are 7 of the most useful things I’ve come across, so whether you’re a breastfeeding mum, or intending to breastfeed, I hope they’ll be useful for you.
Lansinoh HPA Lanolin
In the early days breastfeeding is so difficult and so often painful. It’s difficult to get the latch right, and just one bad latch can cause a lot of damage to your sensitive nipples. Add in something like tongue tie, and you can be experiencing an awful lot of soreness. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin is what I credit with getting me through breastfeeding the first time around, and this time I went to the hospital armed with it in my hospital bag. I’ve gone through lots of it again this time around as my baby had a tongue tie, which caused a lot of pain for me, and it does a wonderful job to sooth, protect and heal the cracked skin.
MeeMooBaby MeeLight Night Light
When you wake up at night to feed your baby, you want to ensure that you ‘wake up’ as little as possible. For me, that’s a huge part of the appeal of breastfeeding – no trekking downstairs to get bottles, you can feed lying down, and the disruption to your sleep is minimal. One thing that really does help is making the light as low as possible – the minute I put on a bedside light I’m pretty much properly awake. The MeeMooBaby MeeLight Night Light is one of the simplest, but most effective items I’ve come across when it comes to breastfeeding. It’s a really small nightlight, that you can clip to your clothing, and gives off a really soft golden glow that just illuminates the area immediately around it. Although you’ll probably want more light in the early days when you’re struggling with getting the right latch, it’s perfect once feeding is established and really does help you feel like you’ve had a better night. You can read my full review of it here.
In the early days you’ll no doubt go through a tonne of breast pads to save any embarrassing leaking through your clothes. I’ve found that no breast pad is perfect, but the best of the disposables is definitely Lansinoh. They’re slim but super absorbent and I’ve not had any problems at all with leaking. If you prefer non-disposable pads, I love the Close Pop-in Reusable Breast Pads. They’re really soft and the tear shaped design manages to make them slip about far less than other reusables.
Medela Swing Pump
I have a love-hate relationship with pumping. The whirr of my pump came to annoy me, and I always struggled to express much milk, but if you’re going to be breastfeeding for any length of time, there are bound to be occasions when you need to express milk. I’ve used the Medela Swing electric breast pump to feed two babies now, and I love that it allows me a bit of freedom to go out occasionally but leave their normal milk behind. In the early days, I suffered from such a lot of pain when feeding that expressing was essential for some of the feeds, and that really got me through to continue breastfeeding.
Milk storage bags
If you’re planning on expressing, whether for a night out, or a return to work, you’ll need somewhere to store your milk. Lansinoh’s milk storage bags are pre-sterilised and seal tight. The markings show the volume of milk, and you can write on the date to ensure you use it within the right timeframe.
Back when I had Max, co-sleeping was still a dirty word. But since then so many safe co-sleeping options have appeared on the market. We love our Snuzpod – it makes the night feed far more bearable when you can simply reach over and feed your baby without having to set a foot out of bed. It just attaches right to your bed and you can keep the side down so that it feels like your baby is in bed with you, without any of the associated risks.
Feeding friendly clothes
One of the biggest shocks to me first time around was the fact that I needed a completely new wardrobe to allow me to feed my baby. Brands like JoJo Maman Bebe and Seraphine do some lovely nursing clothing, and the Facebook group Can I Breastfeed In It UK is an absolute mine of information and ideas for feeding friendly clothes that you can find on the high street – anything with buttons down the front, or wrap dresses that can be pulled to the side are ideal.
Disclosure: I was sent some of these items, but was under no obligation to include them in this post – I just really love them and want to let you all know about them!