It’s been 4 weeks since I had my lovely little bundle and I think that’s enough time to share my first post on products that I have grown to love and can’t live without. I’m using this blog for these posts and using my other blog for all things related to mummy fashion etc. I should really just join my blogs but I don’t have the time or patience for it right now. Sorry! Shall we?
Like so many other women out there, breastfeeding didn’t start out being the smoothest ride ever. I’ve alluded to it but I’ll say outright now that my baby is an IVF baby. One of the challenges this presented for me is not producing enough milk up front as needed to sustain my little one because of hormones. For me, this meant that he was very fussy my first night with him, and as a new mom, just wanting to comfort her new baby, I left him on the breast way longer than I should have. The result – nipples so raw they were not only sore but also bleeding. This, plus a miserable baby and no sleep led to sheer frustration. Not only for him but for me as well. Things have definitely improved since, thanks to lactation consultants and supplementing, and a few products I’ll mention below to help revive my broken nips.
- Medela Lanolin – this was the very first product I used and it was in the hospital. I’m aware there are lots of products out there, but this was given to me by a friend at my shower, and I also received a sample pack in the breastfeeding class I attended. It definitely helped relieve my nipples during those first hours with my newborn. I would advise you to always use this with a nursing pad as the oils tend to stain your clothing.
- Medela Tender Care Hydrogel Pads – I was given these at my first lactation appointment and told to give my worst nipple 24 hours off. After 24 hours with these pads and lanolin, I was able to nurse again. The instant cooling feeling made them worth every penny.
- Medela Nipple Shields – also another must have for sore or broken nipples. You place the shield over your nipple to allow baby to breastfeed and still have some protection. I was told if I end up using it for an extended period of time, I’d have to come back and learn how to wean baby off of the shield as latching my be a problem for them when it comes to your nipple.
- Medela Nursing Pads – I started off using the Lansinoh Ultra Soft nursing pads but I found these to be even more comfortable. It all boils down to personal preference but I will tell you, as was told to me before, the regular Lansinoh nursing pads feel almost like cardboard on sore nipples. You can always get samples of these things so try them out and see what works for you.
- Medela Hospital Pump – I used my insurance to get a breast pump but after my lactation appointment, I decided to try a hospital grade nursing pump. To all first time mothers, pumping hurts. However, after using my hospital pump for a few weeks, I decided to try my pump again (both are Medela) and I realized that the lowest speed was very high on the hospital pump. This meant that instead of being able to ease into a higher speed, you’re immediately starting on a very intense one that feels like it wants to rip your nips off. I’m easing back into mine though as I don’t plan on renting the hospital pump forever and it’s also very cumbersome. The hospital pump is also quieter. With that said, pay the money and try renting the hospital pump if you ever find you’re unable to handle your personal pump.
- Honest Co. Lactation Plus – When your milk isn’t enough to satisfy your baby, you’re advised to start looking into taking supplements. Fenugreek is the one that keeps coming up at every turn, but what isn’t followed by the name is how often you have to take it. 6 times a day?! NO THANK YOU! You mean I have to look after a newborn on no sleep as it is and remember to take 6 capsules a day?! PLUS my prenatal? My lazy self wasn’t doing that and furthermore I’m not a fan of taking that many tablets. Since I became a bit of an Honest Co. fanatic I decided to try their Lactation Plus capsules. The best part? I only had to take TWO a day! Even better? I saw results the next day. I try to pump at least 3 times a day and in between there I’m nursing baby to sleep several times. This helps because my body realizes that we still need to produce milk. I’m not saying I get 2oz a pump but it went from under 10ml/day from both breasts to 1.5-1.6oz/day from both. It’s still a work in progress and it’s only been 4 weeks. I just need him to have at least 1 oz a day to help him poo as the formula can make him constipated. I love that he still prefers nursing over his pacifier to get to sleep sometimes and I love that he still wants to nurse in general!
All of that is to say, so many women have problems breastfeeding, and so many other women will make you feel inadequate if you are unable to. My goal is to make sure my baby gets what he needs and do what is best for him. Not other moms. I’d take supplementing any day over a baby who is losing weight and becoming malnourished because I only want to breastfeed him. Put your baby first.
Other products I need to mention:
- Baby Brezza One Step Sterilizer Dryer – I was adamant about not getting a microwave sterilizer. I’m just not for them. I wanted an electric one and I couldn’t find one on Babies R Us and those other popular websites with enough good reviews to persuade me to get one. So I asked a friend and she recommended this one. It has been a lifesaver! I love that you have options for how long you want to use it for 30/45/60 minutes and you can sterilize only, dry only or do both. Definitely worth every penny! The only “con” is that you HAVE to use filtered water because anything else leaves a film/buildup on the inside.
- Dr. Brown’s Bottles w/ Preemie nipples – with a newborn, we started on the preemie nipples. These bottles definitely reduce gas and my baby feeds way better on their preemie nipples than on Avent level 1 nipples, which left him with ¼ of the formula on the bib/his clothes. It was recommended at my breastfeeding class just incase breastfeeding wasn’t going well or you started pumping so I only bought two. We ended up with 6 of the 2oz bottles now my little Chubba Wubba is on to the 4oz bottles. I still use the preemie nipples as he’s not ready for Level 1 and I use the 2oz bottles to give him milk that I’ve pumped.
There are a few products from this brand that I love besides the Lactation boost. Before I mention them, I’d like to suggest trying one or two of their trial boxes. It only costs $5.95 for shipping for 5 sample-sized products.
- Organic Belly Balm – I was using this from November last year and I just finished it last week. It is very oily and moisturizing. I loved it in the winter because it meant my stomach stay moisturized for the whole day. Towards the very end of my pregnancy I started to get stretch marks. My sister, who is a massage therapist, suggested I use Vitamin E oil 70,000IUs to help my skin. The oil was very thick and I wasn’t able to rub it smoothly onto my stomach, so I chose to mix a little of it with a little of the belly balm. I’ve been using both for a few weeks and even though I’m still waiting to get a better picture of how my stomach is going postpartum, I’m happy that it’s staying moisturized during the day. I started another jar and I’m going to keep this as a staple for my daily routine.
- Organic Healing Balm – I first received this in my trial box. I asked my friend about it and she said she likes it and mixed it with the Diaper Rash Cream whenever her daughter had a sore bum. When my baby had quite a day of #2s I mixed the two and within 24 hours I definitely noticed a change in his skin. It looked so much better! I hate Desitin and those other diaper creams leave a thick white coating on baby’s skin that is so hard to wash off. When you mix these two, and change a diaper, it just glides off. On an average day, I’d use only the healing balm. If things are picking up in the poo department, I double up. Also, when my son’s skin was peeling, my mother put it on his leg to get rid of some excess she’d taken out and it left his skin looking less dry and flaky. Even though there’s nothing you can do about the peeling, his skin did look better after using it.
- I will say I wasn’t buying into this stuff during my pregnancy and thought I’d always be practical and use whatever is easiest to purchase but I’ve grown to love her products and can’t help but use them. I also use the Dish soap in lavender for cleaning his bottles, the Multi-surface cleaner for cleaning out his tub after a bath, Stain remover for accidents on his clothes and the Oxy boost in his laundry.
I think that’s my list for today. I visited my dietician last week to get an idea of how to eat to help milk production but also get on track to losing baby weight. Everyone is different with their diets, but I can always share in another post the outline of my diet and give a few suggestions. I managed to do the majority of this post while pumping so I think I’ll dedicate pumping time to also writing for my blog.
Here’s a shot of my little pumpkin from his newborn photo shoot with Shih Photography. He’s changed so much since then 🙂
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments/suggestions below!