Big Qs: What makes breastfeeding easier?

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Did you know that August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month? (Now you do!)

Everything about being a new mom is hard: breastfeeding is hard, bottle-feeding is hard.  When we were new parents, all we wanted to know was how our friends who’ve been through it made it easier.  

For Melissa, as a mom of twins, breastfeeding was particularly challenging.  She’d start feeding them both together, but one would fall asleep and want to nurse 30 minutes later — which meant that she wound up feeding someone 23 hours a day.  The pump became her best friend… fast.  Ally, on the other hand, hated her pump and avoided it at all costs, supplementing with formula when she went back to work.

All that matters, though, is that you find what works for you, your baby, and your family.  Send your list our way, and we’ll publish some favorites on Thursday (and send you a t-shirt and a surprise treat if we pick yours!). 

Melissa’s List:

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1. Hooter Hiders Nursing Cover: A lifesaver when you want a little privacy, either at home with guests or out and about.

2. Boppy Pillow: Whether you use it for supporting your baby while breastfeeding, as a place for your baby to rest, or even as a small pillow for elevating swollen feet, it’s a must-have.

3. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin: This cream is helpful for both before and after the baby comes. Your boobs will thank you later. I promise.

4. Medela Freestyle Breast Pump: This pump changed my life. I used a massive hospital grade one for 5 months and sat with it plugged into the wall. With this one you can walk, change a diaper, or even do the laundry (multi-tasking truly becomes second nature).

5. Medela Easy Expression Bustier: No one warns you that holding the parts to the pump with your hands is a nightmare. This bra makes pumping hands free. Game changer (see above note about multi-tasking).

6. Lansinoh Nursing Pads: People also don’t tell you your boobs may leak when you’re nursing. They do. It isn’t fun. These help A LOT.

7. Medela Nipple Shield: Though somewhat controversial, these helped me (and my girls) a ton when I started nursing. They also prevent chapping and make biting less painful.

8. Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags: These were the best brand I tried. They held the most milk and were easy to pour from.

Ally’s List:

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1. Organic Olive Oil: Yes, olive oil.  You won’t find a better “nipple cream.” And you won’t ever worry about whether it’s safe for your baby to eat…

2. My Brest Friend: The name is ridiculous, but the design is genius. Baby is always at exactly the right height, and you get good lower back support.

3. Elle Macpherson Maternelle: My first thought when I saw this was, What does Elle Macpherson know about nursing bras?  A lot, turns out!  Best underwire-free option out there.

4. Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover: I salute the women who are comfortable nursing anywhere, anytime, but I liked the privacy this gave me. The firm plastic band sewn in to the top is key (so you can peek in on baby), and I like that this brand has a terrycloth corner for wiping spit-up.

5. Medela Pump In Style: The little icepack and carry-bag that comes with this makes the work-home-work milk transition easy.

6.  Bamboobies: One word… vasospasms.  These are microwavable warm pads, and they’re the only thing that helped.

7. Medela Harmony Manual Pump: This was an emergency acquisition while on vacation without my pump, but I now am a believer every nursing mom should have one for in-a-pinch situations.

8. Medela Quick Clean Microsteam Bags: A lifesaver in the office.  You combine a couple ounces of water with all of your pump parts in one of these re-useable bags (up to 20 uses) and have sterilize pump parts in three minutes.

9. Fenugreek: The lactation consultant’s herbal remedy for low supply.  Also, incidentally, what is used to flavor artificial maple syrup!  So you’ll smell like pancakes if you’re taking the optimal dosage.

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