Breastfeeding and Pumping Must Haves
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Hey y’all! I’m talking breastfeeding and pumping today!
While I was pregnant, I didn’t do much research on breastfeeding and pumping, because well, I thought it was pretty self-explanatory. Don’t get me wrong, I knew it would be tough, but with all of the other things I needed to research (car seats, bathtubs, carriers, everything under the sun), I didn’t think pumping and nursing were priorities. When baby H arrived, it was clear that I should have done my research. Just to give you an idea-I had an electric pump, two pump bottles, and two bottles. In my head this was more than enough; I mean I probably wouldn’t even need two bottles because I was BREASTFEEDING (insert face palm emoji x30). I was clearly unaware of the items necessary to make breastfeeding and pumping as easy as possible (and who doesn’t like easy; am I right?). So here’s a list of my must haves to help you out!
Go figure-I knew I needed these. Why did I know I needed these, but was so clueless about other items, you ask? Movies. In movies women’s breasts always leak in public and they are mortified. It’s not very often that movies depict the truth, but this is one of those times where the movies are right. Stock up on these (at least for the first couple months).
From my experience, MOST women get dry, cracked, itchy, or sore nipples at one point or another in their breastfeeding journey (fun!). In my case, it was before I even left the hospital. One of my saints (nurses) saw my nipples and immediately gave me the “Triple Threat.” The “Triple Threat” as she called it, is clotrimazole cream, hydrocortisone cream, and triple antibiotic ointment. I believe this has to be prescribed to you, however, I am not certain on that. This combination is for severely “damaged” nipples. Had I used Lanolin after every feeding, I could have probably avoided the “Triple Threat” concoction.
*I should note that obviously I am not a medical professional and my experience is my own. Please consult your doctor if you feel you need a prescription cream.
*I received the pump only, not what is pictured
I feel like this one is a no brainer. I got my pump through insurance. I do use it, but to be honest, it isn’t my favorite (which saddens me a bit because I LOVE all other Medela products I’ve used!). Pumps, of course, help with maintaining or building milk supply, and are also necessary if you plan on returning to work.
Speaking of using my pump a million different places-these wipes and spray are a life saver! I’m able to quickly clean and sanitize my pump whenever, wherever, which is a huge deal for someone who has a slight hygiene obsession (me, I’m talking about me). The wipes can be used on items other than your pump too, like high chairs, tables, etc.
Your pump(s) will most likely come with two bottles, but from my experience it is beneficial to buy WAY more. I have about ten. Breastmilk stays “good” in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. I usually keep all of my pumped milk in these bottles until 3-5 days pass and then I move what is left into the freezer using the freezer bags below. Having a lot of pump bottles makes it easier/faster to make bottles for baby H if necessary, and beats washing them all of the time!
If you are returning to work or wanting to build a freezer stash of milk for occasions (wine, woo!) or emergencies, then you are going to want to invest in some of these bags!
So, for whatever reason, I truly thought I would only need bottles if breastfeeding didn’t work out for me. Please hold your laughter because that is 100 percent the truth. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking much about pumping, and I did not understand how common pumping is. The day we came home from baby H’s first doctor’s appointment I was instructed to pump after every feeding to provide him with more milk and to build up my milk supply. Cue bottle right then and there; add in when you aren’t comfortable breastfeeding somewhere, when you leave baby for even a short time (like to go to the grocery store alone for once), etc. YOU WILL NEED BOTTLES. And don’t be like me, get more than two!
*Tip: Do not buy more than a bottle or two until you find out which bottle babe likes! We tried so many bottles, mainly because baby H didn’t like the nipples. We ended up with these bottles, but with a different AVENT nipple! AVENT bottles are great because most of their bottle parts are interchangeable.
And there you have it-my Breastfeeding and Pumping Must Haves! What products do you recommend?