Frank was born a few weeks early and our doctors say it was the main cause of our breastfeeding challenges for the first week. After we brought him home I hired a lactation consultant to come to the house to address some of our issues. When babies are early they can be sleepier than usual making it difficult to nurse, but I also struggled with positioning and was always unsure of the latch. Our lactation consultant was an angel in disguise for us and aside from getting our nursing game strong she also taught us a lot for next time. One of the services she offered was a home visit before the baby arrives to help prepare and avoid any unnecessary challenges once the baby came.
I wished I had heard of this before and I strongly recommend that you find a local lactation consultant to do this if breastfeeding is as important to you as it was to us.
You can find lactation consultants through your local La Leche League or the International Lacatation Consultant Association. I found ours through another mom so be sure to ask around as well since personal recommendations are always the best.
Breastfeeding can sometimes be difficult and I am so thankful that I had someone to help me navigate those moments. Here are just a few things she taught me and some things that I figured out on my own to help you prepare. Keep in mind that the pumping items aren’t included here, but if you need your pump and supplies nearby be sure to set them up before the baby comes.
1. Nursing Stations
Designate where you will be most comfortable nursing when you come home. For me it was our living room and our bedroom. We didn’t really use the nursery until he was about 6 weeks old, but everyone’s sleeping situation is different! In those spots, you will want to set up everything you will need to last you through cluster feeding and late nights. I would grab a great basket or caddy. My favorite is the Felt Diaper Caddy from The Good Baby because it is large enough for everything, moves easily and isn’t an eye sore.
Here’s what you will want to pack up!
o Nipple Cream (LOVE the Motherlove Nipple Cream- the best there is)
o Nursing Pads
o Water Bottle
o Snacks- Energy bars, individually wrapped prunes (sorry, but you’ll thank me), jerky, dried fruit
o Phone Charger with Extra Long Cord
o Chapstick (My lips were so chapped postpartum)
o Hand Sanitizer/ Lotion
o Diapers & Wipes
o Burp Clothes
2. Nursing Pillows
There are lots of nursing pillows on the market. The most popular option is the Original Boppy Nursing Pillow, but those first weeks may require more support than it can offer. Keep extra pillows in the areas where you plan to nurse like the living room and bedroom so you can prop the baby up as needed. My biggest mistake was adjusting myself to get to the baby instead of adjusting the baby to me! It will save your back, trust me.
There are also some newer and highly rated nursing pillows that you might want to consider avoiding having to use so many pillows!
3. Nursing Apps
I’ll be honest, I am old school when it comes to baby tracking and tried using a notebook, but could never remember to take it with me so I quickly switched to using an app on my phone. You can track nursing time and which side as well as diapers and sleep. I loved looking at the charts every day, even the ones that showed the plentiful awake time at night! Ha! I surveyed all the moms I know for their favorite tracking apps.
4. For When It Hurts!
This is the best place to consult your doctor or lactation consultant, but there are a few products you might want to have on hand during those early and sometimes painful nursing sessions.
o Nursing Shields
o Nipple Cream
o Ice/Hot Packs
5. Nursing Wardrobe
Nursing bras and tanks will become a staple of your daily outfit. I would collect enough so you don’t have to do laundry every other day and can replace whenever they get too dirty with milk and spit up. My favorite nursing bras from Cake Maternity are high quality and beyond comfortable. Ingrid and Isabel makes a killer nursing tank that made everything feel smoother (thank goodness!).
Obviously, breastfeeding is not this simple and a quick blog post will not ensure your success, but with all the stress of a new baby it can be very helpful to get a step ahead!
Thanks for letting me stop by
and share with you!