Wednesday, November 5, 2008

baby gear 101...part 2


inspired by a dear friend (that would be you, jz), today i thought i would focus on the early days of breastfeeding. i am certainly no expert, so i'm just going to offer a little advice based on my own experiences and challenges.

if you choose to breastfeed, this is the very first activity that you will engage in with your child (beyond the cuddling upon your initial meeting!) many experts suggest that you attempt the first feed within the first hour after birth. hopefully you will have someone with you who can help make sure that the baby is latching on correctly. whether you are lucky enough to have someone to help you or not, i also recommend having dr. sears' breastfeeding book and the nursing mother's companion on hand.

in the first few days, it will seem like your baby is nursing all the time - because they are! they are not getting much at this point, but it is necessary for them to nurse so that they can get the hang of it and so that your milk will come in. (side note: i was told that a great way to help with milk production is to drink a dark beer a day for the first 2 weeks. um, yes please.) though this constant nursing is vital, it is not always the most pleasant experience for the new mama. this was my personal breastfeeding challenge - the pain. oh, the pain. there were times i was in tears even before putting my little one on, knowing how much it was going to hurt. my mom was with me, reassuring me that the pain would go away, that in six weeks it would magically disappear. six weeks?!?! there was no way i could fathom dealing with the pain for that long. i was convinced that something was wrong. i went to a la leche league meeting hoping they could 'cure' me but they said that everything looked perfect. perfect?!?

well, it turns out that my mom was right - in a month the pain was significantly better, in six weeks - totally gone. in fact, much like labor pain, i can't even remember what that pain was like now. but in the meantime, here are some products that really helped me:

soothies: these cooling gel pads are awesome. keep them on at all times except for when actively feeding your baby.

breast shells: i was so sore that even the slightest brush of my shirt killed. put these on as a barrier to protect those sensitive puppies.

lansinoh: apply this cream to help heal faster when you get cracked and blistered. and most importantly, go without a bra and shirt whenever possible. yes, that's right. walk around topless as much as you can. air drying is the best treatment.

once you get past the pain, breastfeeding is the most wonderful thing in the world. it is the ultimate bonding with your baby. in the first few months you will spend hours upon hours nursing your little one. i found that it was vital to have my nursing space prepared before settling in - sometimes you are there for 45 minutes or more! i got a little basket and kept it stocked with some snacks, water (you get very thirsty while nursing), soothies/lansinoh/breast shells, a magazine (US Weekly, please), a breastfeeding guide, my cell phone, and the remote. also essential in the early days is a nursing pillow to help support your baby and give your arms a rest. i had a lot of back pain from hunching over while i nursed, so try to prop yourself up with pillows to help with your posture.

another item that you're going to need is a good nursing bra or 2 - i had one for day and one for sleeping. you'll also want some nursing pads - both disposable and washable. after about 6 weeks, you can start using these amazing nursing pads which are awesome while wearing a swimsuit or a dress/shirt that you don't want to wear a bra with.

now relax and enjoy this precious experience!
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The Mom said...

I entered your contest at Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House. Thanks for the chance! ;)

kate spade said...

When you're expecting to have a baby, the whole family becomes excited for the little angel to arrive. By the time the baby is born, he or she will surely be showered with different gifts that include basic necessities like diaper, clothes, etc. Other than those items, you might also receive baby gears like strollers, baby carriers, baby tubs and other kind of baby gears.

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