Are you pregnant and planning to breastfeed your baby? Or, did you just give birth to your newborn baby and are wondering what might help you with breastfeeding? Or, is your daughter / sister/ friend expecting a baby and you want to give her some gifts that will help her to have a successful nursing relationship? If so, here are some essentials for breastfeeding. I truly believe that I would not be breastfeeding my son right now if it were not for these products.
Breastfeeding Supply #1: Lecithin Supplements
I chose to list this first because most moms are aware of how Lecithin supplements can help nursing moms. It is a food additive that is commonly found naturally in many foods. Many breastfeeding mothers take it to help clear and prevent clogged milk ducts. I personally took it frequently when i began nursing, and now I only take it if I have a clogged duct to help clear it, however you can take a small dose everyday to help prevent clogged milk ducts. Read “Lecithin Treatment for Recurring Milk Ducts” on www.kellymom.com for more information. Lecithin supplements are very important to mothers who pump exclusively or very frequently. I have noticed on message boards for exclusively pumping moms, that Lecithin seems to work wonders for them, as it has for me.
Breastfeeding Supply #2: Boppy Pillow
I personally believe, that had it not been for the invention of the boppy pillow, I would not be successfuly nursing my five month old son. The boppy pillow is a u-shaped pillow where the baby can lay on it as he or she nurses. It is perfect for helping position your baby and to help him or her latch on. There is also a similar product called a “breast friend”. I have heard positive reviews about it as well, and I did purchase one before my baby was born. I have found the boppy pillow to work better for me.
Breastfeeding Supply #3: Water
In order for you to establish a good milk supply, it is crucial that you drink lots of water. It can be from the tap, or bottled water of course, but it is important to drink several glasses per day. I recommend at least 8 glasses of water. Here’s a write-up regarding water and breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Supply #4: Fenugreek
This is a good supplement to have on hand in the event you have a low supply. Fenugreek is recommended by lactation specialists to help increase milk supply. I took it when I began breastfeeding but didn’t need to take it long. Here’s some information on kellymom.com about fenugreek.
Breastfeeding Supply #5: Prenatal Vitamins / Fish Oil Supplements
This one is obvious, but the article would not be complete if I didn’t include it. It is imperative that you take your prenatal vitamins while pregnant for the sake of your health. I highly recommend that you take one that includes the fish oil (DHA) supplements. Or, you can buy your own DHA supplements to go with the prenatal vitamins. You could just continue on the prenatal vitamin prescription that your doctor gave you as well.
Breastfeeding Supply #6: Heating Pad
This is necessary to help with the milk flow and letdown. It is mostly needed during your first few weeks of nursing (I have not used mine in several weeks now.) There are some that are made specifically for nursing moms.
Breastfeeding Supply #7: Breastpump and Pumping Supplies
Okay, this isn’t a complete necessity, as there are many nursing moms who have never even seen a pump. However, I am listing it, because in my situation it helped. In the few days after my baby was born, I was so engorged, I couldn’t get him to latch on. Therefore I pumped to relieve the engorgement and I feel it helped tremendously.
Breastfeeding Supply #8: Lansiloh Cream / Soothies Pads
Lansiloh cream was a lifesaver for me during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. It will help soothe, treat and prevent cracked nipples. I highly encourage all nursing moms to purchase a tube before the baby is born. (You will probably get a free sample at the hospital. A similar product to try are Soothies pads, which are an adhesive pad that you place on your nipples to prevent and treat nipple problems. You can purchase them at maternity clothing stores, drug stores such as CVS and online.
Breastfeeding Supply #9: Computer and Internet
Yes, the internet can be a very valuable resource to breastfeeding moms. If you’re looking for tips on how to increase your supply, or needing help with latching issues, there are numerous web sites (some with videos) available for your help. Read “Top 5 Breastfeeding Web Sites and Forums” and “More of the Best Breastfeeding Forums” for suggestion.
Breastfeeding Supply 10: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
The final last supply that I encourage all nursing moms to have is the book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding”. I highly recommend reading this book if you plan to breastfeed. You can buy it online at half.com or amazon.com. If you attend a La Leche League meeting you can purchase it there as well.
For more advice on breastfeeding read, “How to Get Help and Support With Breastfeeding.”
Happy Bonding With Your Baby!