So I’m back on track with my breastfeeding career (part deux). And this time round, I’m much more confident when it comes to feeding times. So yes, it does get better the more you do it.
Here are the essentials that all breast-feeding mummies should arm themselves with, in my humble opinion 😛
Medela breast pump – Yes, it has got to be a Medela (And no, I’m not being paid to advertise for them). I’m using the Pump-in-Style Advanced, which has served me well since my first was born in 2009. It’s a tad bulkier than the Freestyle, which I hear is excellent too. Yes, it’s the most expensive brand in the market, but the payoffs are well worth it. Oh yes, remember to get a separate angled flange to attach to your pump, and you’ll be good to go. I used this flange from Pumpin Pal, which is available on local shopping websites such as Mumsfairy.
Breast-feeding pillow – This just helps to lift baby to the right height so that it’s easier on your arms. Unless you really want to work those muscles, hehe…
Pigeon breast pads – They are comfortable to wear and help to absorb milk leaks. Pigeon offers two types, a premium one which is silky soft to touch and a luxury to use, and a normal one which functions well day-to-day. Forget about washable breastpads, unless you have a happy and efficient maid and you’re extremely eco-friendly. And dump those sticky silicone types that stick to you. They’re just…eew.
Nursing cover – To protect your modesty when you’re outdoors, baby is wailing his head off, and there’s no nursing room in sight. It’s nice to have something colourful and fashionable, but if you want discreet, then buy something that’s neutral in colour.
Papaya fish soup & other magical foods – This magically enhances your milk supply. (Secretly though, I think all soups and liquids help, so bring on the water, red dates drink, milo, or whatever your poison.) Apparently, certain kinds of nuts and oats are meant to help too. But don’t overload on such foods if your baby seems satisfied after every feed. You wouldn’t want to end up with oversupply problems such as blocked ducts or worse, mastitis. Read up on lactogenic foods here.
Medela Purelan nipple cream – Yes, another Medela product…that works! A small tube can last you quite a long time. During the critical first 2-3 weeks, when your nipples are most sore, use the cream after every feed. It helps to soothe and keep them from cracking. When it gets better, you can use the cream as and when you need it.
Milk storage bags – It’s good practice in the first few months to express some (1 oz.) milk every morning (first feed) and evening (last feed), to freeze for future use. There are many brands available in the market, and here is where I think it’s practical to buy the less expensive ones, compared to the high-end ones like Medela. I tend to look out for bulk purchases in online forums, such as Singapore Motherhood.
Breast shields – They come in handy when you’re experiencing a lot of milk leaks. You can save the precious milk by transferring them into milk bags. They also help to air your nipples during those sensitive first few weeks.
Baby – This is like duh. But no wait, I’m serious, the baby is your most important tool to successful breastfeeding. By that, I mean latching your baby every 2-3 hours. Also, I’ve found that it’s crucial to master ‘the latch’ before you leave the hospital. Badger the lactation nurse if you have to, but make sure she teaches you the ropes before it’s time to be discharged.
Rest – That’s what everybody tells you to do, and there’s good reason why you shouldn’t be up and about doing housework, or cleaning that dirty pan. Even when I can’t sleep, I find it helpful to just lie in bed when the baby is napping. So, rest rest rest, and don’t stress.
There! I hope new mummies find these tips useful. All in all, despite the tiredness or frustrations that may come your way, remember to enjoy each moment when you’re feeding and holding your baby close. They are priceless!
Hmm, any other essentials that I’ve missed? 🙂