I’m a little late with this post but I’ve been seeing a lot of websites showing their support and providing education on nursing and I thought I would add my two cents.
When I was pregnant with Molly it was always my plan and hope that we would be able to breastfeed. I anticipated struggles but really had no idea how challenging those first weeks would be. So I thought I would share some of the things that I think helped us to be successful and still nursing almost a year later.
A Support System – I think this hands down is the most important thing. Mike knew that I really wanted to be successful and was such a support. He didn’t always know what to do or how to make it better but he was always there reminding me of what I wanted. I was also fortunate that our St. Louis pediatrician had a lactation consultant on staff. We had an appointment with her early on and she was always just a phone call away when I had questions. It also helped that Molly’s doctor was so supportive of our choice. Having a core group of friends that successfully nursed their kids and know my mom breastfed her kids was invaluable. Just knowing I could call on them was huge.
Nursing Tank Tops (and nursing bras) – I’m guessing this seems silly and insignificant but really the last thing you want to do is have to fiddle with your shirt. Your hands are already all tied up trying to keep baby happy, eating and latched on. I have a couple of larger tank tops that I still sleep in. And then some smaller ones that I layer under my regular tops. I also recently got a tank top with the bra built in and it is awesome. Early on I also had some nursing specific tips and while they aren’t the cutest they gave really good easy access to the boobs which for me really helped me be comfortable nursing in public.
Boppy Pillow – I know some people that didn’t have the best of luck with these so I think body type plays a role ie. doesn’t always work well with long torsos but for me it was awesome. Molly and I had our nursing spot in her room, sitting in the glider, feet up on the ottoman, Boppy pillow around my lap and Molly nuzzled in. It’s great because the pillow supports the baby’s body so you just have a free hand, which in the early days when you are nursing all the time for what feels like forever that free hand is so needed to eat a snack or drink some water.
Being Comfortable Nursing in Public – This was a challenge for me initially I was so comfortable nursing in Molly’s room and I was a little scared to try and do it somewhere else. But I didn’t want to be tied to my house to be able to feed Molly every couple of hours. After getting some tips from my mom friends I decided to try nursing during a new moms support group. The great thing about this was it was a totally safe space. I wasn’t worried about being super discreet or if Molly fussed. We just went for it and it was so liberating. Suddenly I was free to do stuff during the day and not be so focused on the clock if Molly got hungry I would feed her regardless I where we were.
Nursing Cover – I definitely don’t think you have to be covered up when nursing in public but I am more comfortable with a cover so having a nursing specific one is nice.
A Quality Electric Breast Pump – Similar to not wanting to be tied to the house to nurse having a breast pump made it possible to be away from Molly for more than a couple of hours and not have to stress about the timing of her feedings. Sometimes you just need a little time away from baby and being able to pump makes this possible.
I’m beyond thrilled that Molly is still nursing at almost 11 months old. Right now it is working really well and she is happy to nurse. I don’t have any plans of stopping I’m sure Molly will let me know when she doesn’t need it anymore.