Ah….breastfeeding. It’s a heady mixture of extreme pain, leaky boobs, nip-lash, boob access everything, along with the best snuggles you could ever imagine. Ya’ll know it’s no walk in the park, but there are definitely things that make it easier. This is my list of a few things I found made breastfeeding life more manageable. I’m not being paid to endorse any of this, it’s my personal opinion, born out of experience feeding my two boys. If you are pregnant with your first child, I apologise for the #realchat about the realities of breastfeeding life.
I was gifted ten or so cloth nappies before I had O Boy, with the giver saying “trust me, these will come in handy”. And yes, they certainly did! Not only are they great as a burp cloth for catching those unwanted spews, but I also used them to soak up excess milk (if you haven’t had your baby yet, keep reading). Especially in those early days, it is not uncommon for whichever breast you are not feeding on to leak for almost the entire feed. In the middle of the night I didn’t bother to use my haakaa (more on that below) so I would just use an old cloth nappy over my boob to soak all the excess milk up. These little beauties are inexpensive, can be chucked in a normal wash, they are quite soft, and very absorbent. My tip – get a lot (ten plus) as you will go through them! And keep one everywhere - couch, nappy bag, bedroom, car...you get the idea.
You can get these at the Baby Factory
The haakaa silicone pumps are seriously amazing, especially in the early days. They are fully portable, comfortable, not clunky and make you feel less like a cow being milked. During the day I used my pump to catch the letdown (and the rest) on the breast I wasn’t feeding on, which meant I could build up a little stash of milk (for all those bottles Baby H won’t take….)
Click here to visit the Haakaa website
With both my boys, even when they were in the room with us, I took them into their room to feed and change them. With Baby H we invested in a lazyboy which is in his room (I actually got an older model, which had been recovered, from TradeMe). I will be honest, it is not the most stylish chair out, but it is super comfortable and the ability to rock, or recline has been a life saver on many occasion. In addition, I found a pillow - I use a tri-pillow - super helpful. When baby is little you need to keep them nice and close so pillows take the pressure off your arms, shoulders and back. I still use a pillow if I feed Baby H in the night. It means I can really relax but he is still supported.
I invested in five breastfeeding singlets when O Boy was born and I still wear them daily. I know they don’t provide enough support for some people but my breasts only grow to a size C-D cup, so they work well for me. I prefer the ones with some padding as they stop milky patches showing and provide a bit of extra support. The reason I like the singlets – they keep my tummy covered, and, if I wear a t-shirt over the singlet then my whole boob isn’t exposed either. I’m all for breastfeeding in public but, personally, I like to keep as covered as I can. I’ve found there is a lack of really nice breastfeeding singlets but you can get some good plain ones from Kmart. Bonds do a good one too but, in my experience, they are a smaller sizing so it might pay to size up.
In between having O Boy and Baby H, I started to do a lot more exercise. I continued to exercise once Baby H was born, and the maternity and breastfeeding friendly sports bras from Candenshae where a life saver. They meant I could easily feed Baby H at the gym, or as soon as I got home.Cadenshae breastfeeding sports bra
Of course, I’m going to include one of these on my list! But in all seriousness, they are so handy. Ask any breastfeeding mum and she will have some way of telling which breast she needs to start with at the next feed – be it a hairtie which is switched from wrist to wrist, an app on her phone, or the good ol’ grab and shake method to see which feels the fullest. If you are yet to have a baby, trust me when I say it’s important to alternate the side you start on, and very easy to forget to do. The Moikeu bracelet not only provides a visual aid which will help you in remembering to alternate the breast you start with each feed, but they are beautiful, style centered and can be personalised. As mums we give up so much, and a lot of what you have to do as a breastfeeding mum isn’t very glamorous - you only have to read through the above to realise that. These bracelets bring a little slice of beauty, at a time when you may not feel at your most beautiful.