Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Breastfeeding Aids Roundup

I believe the fact that I have had some difficulty finding inpirational posts for this week is a bit of an indicator that breastfeeding could use more vocal support.  It's something that we all know is good for both baby and mom and that nearly all new mothers want to try to make successful.  Many mothers aren't able to nurse their babies for the length of time they intend for one reason or another.  I wanted to take this opportunity to share products that I have found to be helpful in the hopes that at least one nursing mom has a little bit easier time with this "natural" (in quotes because while natural, it's often not easy) process.

Here's where you'll be posting your creative entries - Mother Being Flickr GroupPlease note that this is a new pool for the nursing fashions you've created.  If you have any trouble getting your project uploaded, please feel free to send your photo and description to me at deshazer(dot)jennifer(at)gmail(dot)com

First off is the Boppy.  I know nothing new or earth-shattering here, but I would have had a much more difficult time nursing without my Boppy.  It became a huge crutch for me - I took it with me on at least two cross-country flights because the thought of trying to nurse without it was just too much.  They're also really versatile - tummy time for Baby, sitting aid, pillow for tired Mommy...

Yup, nipple shields.  Turns out that I have flat nipples and this made it really difficult for my daughter to latch.  I wasn't made aware of this until we were in the hospital after a few days for an unrelated problem and the hopital lactation consultant gave me one to try.  That little piece of silicone changed everything!  I used them for a couple of weeks and then gradually stopped using them as my tissue stretched and the nipple drew out.  They also helped me avoid any cracked or bleeding nipples, making my early breastfeeding nearly painless.  They can also be very helpful with incorrect latch, premature or ill babies, or a baby that refuses the breast.

Lansinoh lanolin.   If you put just a pea sized amount on each nipple after every nursing session, it can really help prevent cracks and chafing.

Bravado Nursing Tank.  Bravado also makes regular nursing bras and they're great, but I lived in these nursing tanks.  Wear it alone during the hot summer months, or under any shirt and you can just lift up the top shirt, unsnap the nursing hook and you're ready to go - with no postpartum belly peeking out for the world to see!

Mommy Necklaces.  These stylish and sturdy necklaces are great for moms in general, but they can be really great for nursing moms - baby can twiddle with your child-safe necklace while nursing to help keep their attention on the task longer.  I have two of these necklaces which come in a wide variety of styles and color combinations to meet anyone's tastes.  They make a really nice shower gift, too!

Milk Bands.  These inexpensive little bracelets can be a lifesaver for a sleep-deprived new mom.  Just flip the bracelet to indicate Right or Left and slide the little clip to indicate the time of last feeding and you don't have to worry about trying to remember which boob nursed on last or how long ago!  I can't tell you how many times I sat there squeezing my boobs trying to decide which one felt fuller since I couldn't remember which one my daughter nursed on last - until I got my Milk Band.  Dilemma solved for less than $8.

Hooter Hider.  Easy to stash in your diaper bag for coverage while you're out and about with your baby.  There are countless Etsy shops that sell variations on these, and I made one myself here to give as a shower gift using the tutorial from Sew Much Ado.  I also found mine really useful as a sun cover on the stroller or as an imprompto blanket for Arden to lay on.

Fenugreek.  This herb is helpful in increasing milk supply.  You can take capsules or there are teas with fenugreek as an ingredient.  Oatmeal is also supposed to help increase milk supply and a friend of mine swears by her oatmeal cookies for keeping her supply bountiful.  This website is a wealth of information and there are really helpful forums if you want a supportive sounding board. 

Well, there it is - my list of favorite breastfeeding aids.  I really hope something I've listed here helps someone, and if you have something you've found to be a great product please leave a comment saying so!


  1. Those nipple shields were a godsend for me. My mother recommended them to me, and doctors gave me fits for using them. But what do they know? My baby shut up instantly and ATE!

  2. I'm far past nursing my babies, but enjoyed the time when I did. I found La Leche League to be a great support when my kids were small. The leader was full of information and has become one of my best friends. I wish I had several of the items on your list when I was nursing, but the one thing that I did have was the lansinoh cream. That stuff is priceless! I still use it now on cuts/burns that the kids or I have. It heals them right up!

  3. Other great aides for milk supply are Old Fashioned Cracked Oats (Oatmeal) and hops in Beer (non-alcoholoc preferably). Also, Gerber has these cool packs that you can heat and freeze. I believe that they cost $12. They are wonderful if you get a clogged duct or bleeb, or for let down in general.

  4. Those were some great breast feeding tips! I nursed 2 babies, but only for a short period of time. Each time I stopped I developed mastitis and it was soooo painful! It takes a while to go away while on antibiotics. Do you know how to properly wean off or stop breastfeeding? I'm pregnant again and hope to breast feed for longer but most likely won't stick with it after too long.

  5. First, I want to say congrats for keeping trying. Maybe this time things will go differently and you will be able to stick with it for longer - keep a positive attitude. There are a few different ways to wean - I gradually dropped feedings/pumping sessions over a period of weeks. I never had any problems with engorgement, clogged ducts, or mastitis, but I breastfed for a little over a year and our routine was well-established. I checked KellyMom and the other techniques are:
    * Don't Offer, Don't Refuse - This is the most gradual, and seems mostly child-led weaning.
    * Distraction or Substitution - to delay or avoid a feeding.
    * Change in Routine - Plan an activity during a typical nursing session to distract your child.
    * Postponement - "Not now, later"
    * Shortening nursing sessions.
    Most of the women I know weaned by dropping feedings. I spent a lot of time reshuffling the routine to try to even out the time, but my body didn't need that much help - I could have just dropped one and it would have been fine. My daughter was ready to stop before I was - she had started biting me and had gone through a nursing strike and was refusing one breast (poor lefty!), etc. I was sad, but it was time.

  6. Thanks for info! I never had problems with milk supply. Honestly, I struggled with the constant night feedings and wanted my hubby to pitch in and formula feed a little so I could get a break sometimes. With little ones already I never really had the chance to "sleep when the baby sleeps." How nice it would be to save money on formula though. I know it's best for baby and I will really try to stick with it this time around. I'm such a baby....but I really struggle with the sleep deprivation. My husband and I moved out of state and we have no family help available.

  7. Great post! I loved my lanolin!

  8. Hi Jenn, just found your blog. Never heard of the Mommy necklace because they don't sell them in the UK I think, but as I'm expecting myself and having got quite a few pregnant friends I think I might stock up! Great idea for presents!


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