Breastfeeding is such an enjoyable experience when everything is going right, but when it’s not, it can be very frustrating. Luckily, there are many products out there that can help make breastfeeding more comfortable and convenient. If you are having trouble with breastfeeding, or you are feeling pain with feedings, please make an appointment with your local lactation consultant for a feeding observation.
If you are new to breastfeeding please know that your supply does not regulate fully until baby is about 6 weeks old. The first forty days will be the hardest, as you and baby get in a rhythm of good feedings. The TheraPearl therapy packs are great for when you are first starting out and dealing with multiple issues. The packs can be used either cold or hot. Use hot (microwaved) for plugged milk ducts, or to warm the breast prior to feedings to promote a let down. These can also be used hot prior to pumping to increase the amount of milk released. Just be sure to check the temperature of the packs prior to placing them on your skin to prevent burning. The skin on your breasts can be very sensitive. Use the packs cold (either refrigerated or frozen) for engorgement, swelling, or pain.
At times you may develop a crack or blister on your nipple. This is most likely caused by a poor latch, and if not corrected, will continue to cause damage. Please see a lactation consultant if you are unable to resolve this on your own. Soothies gel pads can be used to relieve this pain, and can even be placed in the refrigerator to cool them prior to placement. I always had two pair, so I could leave one in the fridge while I wore the other already cooled pair. I would switch them out as needed. They are great to prevent chafing against your clothing in those early days! Using Lanolin before and after feeds can also help prevent cracking. This is a great product to put on your nipples prior to showering to protect them from the water pressure. Lanolin is safe for feedings, so no need to remove prior to latching. Just don’t use Lanolin before putting the gel pads on. You can also express breastmilk and rub it on your nipples after feedings, then air dry. Breastmilk has wonderful healing properties that can used for MANY things.
If you need to return to work, or plan to pump, you are going to want a handsfree pumping bra. Pumping is time consuming, and will take at least 15-20 minutes of your time during each session. Having a handsfree pumping bra will allow you to multi task, even if it’s just reading your favorite blog on your phone 😉
The Haakaa and Brest Friend are two of my favorite breastfeeding products. The Haakaa is a silicone “pump” that uses suction to attach to your breast while you are nursing your babe on the opposite side. The Haakaa collects milk from the breast during a natural let down that would otherwise be wasted if not collected while baby is nursing. You can use this milk to feed to baby right then, or save it with your freezer stash. The Brest friend nursing pillow is an ergo friendly pillow that allows for baby to be as close as possible, and has a belt to keep it in place on your body. The washable cover is quite handy too, with an attached pocket to keep whatever you may need. I always kept lanolin and nail clippers in mine.
Lastly, washable nursing pads. Even though I tended to only leak during the night, I always felt more comfortable wearing these while I was at work just in case. Washable nursing pads are much more economical and eco-friendly than disposable pads, and do not have a plastic waterproof backing like disposables that can make noise during movement. I really liked being able to reuse them, and they are very absorbent and soft.
Keep an eye out for more awesome breastfeeding blogs and recommendations. Happy feeding!
Disclaimer: This website may contain links to products in which the author may receive a small compensation based on your purchase. These recommendations are not, however, influenced on the compensation received.
Welcome! I’m Brittany. I’m a mom of two toddlers living in Northwest Ohio with my husband, Chris, and our two cats, Simon and Oliver. I’m a labor and delivery nurse, and an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I love finding new ways that make parenting easier, while providing a fun learning atmosphere for my girls at the same time. In my blog you will find tips and tricks for dealing with pregnancy, labor, and parenthood. My favorite part about being a nurse (besides getting to welcome little miracles into the world, obviously) is being able to educate new Moms (and Dads) on how to care for their little ones at the very start. Parenthood is such a complex and exhausting journey that we need to have support from others who make us feel like we’re not alone. You are not alone here!