The Little Things
Did you know August is breastfeeding awareness month? Since it feels like all I do these days is nurse my one month old I figured I'd theme this week's "little things" post on breastfeeding! These are my sanity savers as a breastfeeding mom. (If you don't breastfeed please feel free to skip to the last paragraph, there's something here for you too!)
Don't stress over the nursing bra. I know, blasphemy! I honestly feel about nursing bras the same way I do about maternity clothing: they're overpriced and rarely comfortable. I hate those plastic clips, they always dig into me and they never seem to fit right or look flattering. My go-to option is actually just a basic padded, wireless bra from Victoria's Secret or the Aerie bralette from American Eagle. Unless you really struggle with nursing and need the added accessibility of a nursing bra, I just don't think they're worth it unless you shell out an arm and a leg.
Sprout Baby App: Seriously, mom-brain is a real thing and you will forget everything. I can walk out of the house with everyone fed, dressed, with shoes on and not realize I'm wearing yesterday's makeup and house slippers. This app lets you track sleeping and eating. IF YOU USE IT, it is awesome. If you use it inconsistently, it's sort of worthless. It lets you track sleep schedules and which side you've nursed on. I love it because I can never remember unless I keep track.
Nursing Cover: Now this is totally to-each-their-own, but I like nursing covers. My babies were always too distracted in foriegn environments to nurse unless under the cover. Nursing mom's room at church used to be so bad: the lights would be up, the sound on the TV would be blaring, and somebody's baby would be screaming. My kids COULD NOT focus and nurse in that room without a cover. I also know some babies are super weird about nursing covers and rip them off and won't nurse with them on. So you do you mama. But here are some of my faves: amazon // covered goods // milk snob
Lanolin: lets me real...so often I see nursing portrayed on social media as this amazing beautiful, bonding, gift that is the most amazing thing you'll ever experience as a mother. While that may be true, it is also not-so-fun sometimes. Actually for a lot of women it can be painful, especially at first. Even if you get lucky and it's just ouchy in the beginning when your milk first comes in (which, omg talk about traumatic for first time moms!!!) you'll want to have this on hand...and again at 3 months and 6 months and 9 months when they go through growth spurts and you feel like you have to re-learn nursing all over again ;) It's safe for baby to ingest and it definitely gives relief!
My final "little thing" is not actually a thing but a state of mind: don't stress. This is literally the best advice I can give any mom on breastfeeding. Staying calm is the best way to help you and your baby nurse well. Accepting that it's okay if things don't go the way you expect will help you so much. Mom-guilt is tough and no fun at all. I want to take this moment to say; nursing doesn't happen for everyone and breastfeeding or not breastfeeding doesn't make you a worse or better mother. I've had a friend who wasn't able to nurse at all; a friend who had to pump for a month while their baby was in the NICU; a friend had to pump and mix with thickener because their baby had a gagging issue; a friend who pumped in the bathroom on her work breaks while her husband gave the baby formula at home; a friend whose baby was BORN WITH A TOOTH and after being bitten dozens of times in the first six months finally let herself off the guilt-hook and switched to formula. These are all good moms who love their babies!!
I would just like to encourage all of us to be on each other's team. Motherhood is tough enough without feeling judged by other moms. Let's look out for each other and encourage one another instead.