Nursing. It's different with every child.
My first son never quite got the hang of it. I was young, I was a first time mom - and honestly? I threw in the towel after 4 weeks. He was frustrated. I was frustrated. So, we weaned to formula. With my daughter I was incredibly determined to make it work however, with her pre-term labor (she made her debut 5 weeks early), her low birth weight and a heart condition (SVT - which has since corrected), the choice of supplementation was pretty much made for us. She wasn't gaining quickly enough, so we supplemented. I nursed and supplemented her for 6 months before weaning her to formula completely. Now, with our 3rd child - I have made it my all-out mission to nurse exclusively for 1 year.
I won't lie. It was a rough start. The all day/night cluster feedings almost got the better of me. But now, 8 weeks in - we seem to have found a rhythm that works. So, finger's crossed.
Our top 10 Nursing Essentials include:
1. Undercover Mama Basic Essentials Nursing Shirt: This tank is super comfy and creates the perfect guise for breastfeeding moms - say goodbye to exposed skin while feeding your little one! Undercover Mama nursing shirts work with your existing nursing bra by clipping on to the hooks/loops of your nursing bra (there isn't a built-in nursing bra/support in this nursing tank). When your ready to feed your little one - the shirt simply folds down when you un-hook your nursing bra - for discrete feeding. The Basic Essentials Nursing shirt also offers generous length to ensure great coverage and they come in a variety of fashionable colors to mix-and-match with your existing wardrobe. These nursing tanks are simply GENIUS and are modestly priced at $24.99. You can find the Undercover Mama Basic Essentials Nursing Shirt at select retailers nationwide and online at www.undercovermama.com .
2. Evenflo Double Electric Breast Pump: Whether you are a working (outside of the home) mom or a stay-at- home mom, a good (double) electric breast pump is an essential (+time saving). I absolutely LOVE the Evenflo Double Electric Breast pump and for more than one reason. This pump comes boxed with the double electric pump (equipped with 30+ settings), two collection bottles, two sets of flanges (offering a size choice for the users comfort) a storage pouch for the flanges/additional parts - and is available at a more than reasonable price point in comparison to various competitors. This pump offers up major bang for your buck! Great quality + included accessories (with no additional purchases required for use) make the Evenflo Double Electric Breast pump our #1 pick in breastpumps.
3.Kiinde Gift Set: This set truly simplifies the process of collecting and storing breast milk! We love this gift set for it's amazing design and because it's all-inclusive. You pump, store (with the included Keeper Storage Bag holder) and feed all from the same pouch! The innovative design of the collection pouch and universal pump adapters (compatible with all breast pump brands!) allow you to pump directly into the pouch and seal them off with the included twist caps for storage. When you are ready to feed your baby, simply warm the milk in the storage pouch using the KOZI breast milk warmer (also included in the set). Once warm, simply twist the cap off of the breastmilk storage pouch and twist it into the Squeeze Natural Feeding Bottle (2 are included in this set). The Kiinde system helps to maintain all of the nutritional value of breastmilk from the time that it is pumped by eliminating the transfer from bottle (at the time of pumping) to storage pouch and back to bottle (for feeding). In our opinion, the Kiinde system is currently the best breastmilk storage and feeding system currently available on the market.We highly recommend this all-inclusive gift set ( currently available for $99.99) or you can also purchase components of the set individually. Available at select retailer's nationwide and online at www.kiinde.com
4. Thyme Maternity Nursing Bra with Lace: (available in black or white color choice) Practical and pretty. The Thyme Maternity Nursing Bra with lace is available in two color choices and offers up great support without sacrificing on appearance. The pretty lace accents and more than affordable price point make this our #1 pick in nursing bra's. We love the Thyme Maternity Nursing Line (keep an eye out for their sales, you can snag some pretty great deals!) Available at both www.ThymeMaternity.com and www.BabiesRUs.com . Also available at select Babies 'R Us retail locations nationwide.
5. GlamourMom Nursing Bra Tummy Control Long Tank: This tank? It's simply AMAZING! With a full built-in nursing bra, it also offers up two layers! The under layer provides extra control in the midsection to help new moms regain their shape quickly postpartum. It also provides extra support for the lower back - which is essential while breastfeeding.The length of the outer layer of the tank is generously sized to provide maximum coverage and is perfect for layering with sweaters and blouses. You can find the Glamourmom Nursing Bra Tummy Control Long Tank at www.glamourmom.com
6. My Breast Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow: Every nursing mother could benefit from the My Breast Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow. It's as simple as that. It's the best that we've tried to date and is unlike other breastfeeding pillows/supports currently available on the market. The adjustable strap (Velcro adjustment) wraps around your waist and secures at one side with a clasp closure. The strap not only secures the pillow, it also offers optimal back support which is essential for a comfortable (successful ) nursing experience. The stable surface coupled with the height of the pillow (when positioned correctly) allow baby to nurse in comfort, without straining moms neck/back. They also offer up a ton of fun and stylish color/pattern choices. Also be sure to check out the My Brest Friend travel pillow - it's a must have for on- the-go nursing moms and it is inflatable, so it packs flat for travel. The My Brest Friend Deluxe Nursing Pillow is available at select retailer's nationwide and online at www.mybrestfriend.com
7. Philips Avent Thermal Gel Pads: Those first few weeks of breastfeeding can be rough! Even the most seasoned breastfeeding moms need relief every now and then from soreness. We think that the Philips Avent Thermal Gel Pads provide the perfect (affordable) solution. You can warm the thermal gel pads to assist with milk production or you can refrigerate them to provide soothing relief. You can find the Avent Thermal Gel Pads at select retailer's nationwide.
8. Bamboobies Nursing Pads: Bamboobies offer up superior protection from leaks, are washable and are quite possibly the softest nursing pads currently available on the market. Soft and soothing - Bamboobies provide excellent coverage with their "milk proof" backing. The design of these nursing pads allow you to wear them discreetly and confidently. You can find Bamboobies Nursing Pads at select retailers nationwide and online at : www.buybamboobies.com
9.Bebe Au Lait Nursing Gift Set: These gorgeous nursing gift sets provide the essentials for nursing moms that are on-the-go. Each set includes a fashionable nursing cover and 3 matching burp clothes (available in several fashionable color/print options). We absolutely adore the unique design of these nursing covers! They provide fabulous coverage while also allowing you to maintain a clear view of your baby. With Bebe Au Lait's unique design, you can maintain clear view of your child while nursing without sacrificing on coverage while out and about. These beautiful gift sets also make the perfect shower present for expectant mothers. You can find Bebe Au Lait Nursing Gift Sets and products at select retailer's nationwide and online at: http://www.bebeaulait.com/ while your there - be sure to check out Bebe au Lait's newest muslin nursing covers - perfect lightweight coverage for the warmer temperatures during those warm Summer months!
10. Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter: Those first few weeks of nursing can be rough! This all natural nipple cream provides much needed relief and doesn't stain clothing. Lanolin-free, zero toxins and Organic - this formula is safe for both baby and mom. You can find Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter at select retailer's nationwide (Motherhood Maternity stores carry it) and online at http://www.earthmamaangelbaby.com
For lactation support and for additional information visit Le Leche League International at:
*Disclosure: Samples were received. All opinions expressed are our own.