Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Nursing Must Haves: Breastfeeding Essentials Basket

Having a basket of necessities near your favorite nursing spot is not only nice, but essential. After all, moms only have two hands.  To get you started, here are 6 recommendations for building a breastfeeding basket of must-haves for yourself or as a gift.

1.  Breastfeeding Book
Let's face it. Moms have questions and a Lactation Consultant is not always available to answer those questions especially at 3 am.  We recommend books endorsed by La Leche League and Lactation Consultants such as The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Weisinger, West and Pitman. 

2. Water Bottle
Although the amount of water you drink does not translate directly into the amount of milk you make, your body functions better when it is hydrated.  

3.  Nursing Pads
Your breast milk lets down bilaterally, which means especially in the early weeks of breastfeeding, when you are nursing on one side, you are leaking on the other.  When you finish nursing is the optimal time to change into a 100% cotton breathable nursing pad for your breast health.  Pads with water proof linings tend to harbor yeast so instead of waterproof, you need a good absorbent nursing pad.  A good quality pad like the Amamante 100% Cotton Nursing Pads not only keep your clothes dry, they help prevent yeast infections.

4.  Nipple Cream
Purified lanolin has been used effectively for moist wound healing for decades.  Acclaimed author of The Nursing Mother's Companion, Kathleen Huggins states "Purified lanolin creates an air-permeable temporary skin barrier, and has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, skin-protecting, and barrier repair properties.  The down-side to lanolin is that it is sometimes hard to apply and there is currently no organic option. Many mothers prefer using coconut oil for tender or injured nipples.  Coconut oil is believed to be a natural antimicrobial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory substance."  Always use clean hands when applying nipple cream.

5.  Burp Pads
Although breastfed babies get less air when they nurse, you should try to burp between breasts and after feeding.  Burp pads can also be used under the breast to give your breast the extra support it needs when reaching for your water.  Newborn babies cannot hold up the weight of their own heads, so support the breast with your hand or a rolled up burp cloth, so they don't also have to try to hold up the weight of your breast while feeding.

6.  Snacks for Milk Supply
Moms have little time for a shower, let alone to eat healthy all the time.  Snacks packed with milk boosting foods and herbs are a great go-to in your breastfeeding basket.  Choose snacks like Milkmakers Cookies which contain oats, brewers yeast and flax seed.  Most moms see results from these snacks after 5 days of eating one or two per day.  

Best wishes for building a breastfeeding basket for your little bundle!

Happy Nurturing!

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