August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month and since many of y’all have been reaching out with questions about breastfeeding, I thought that I would end this month by sharing with y’all, all the things breastfeeding: my journey, my favorite breastfeeding essentials, and some tips that I learned along the way.
I remember telling myself that I was going to breastfeed Mason until he was 1. Long story short, that didn’t go as planned, and I stopped breastfeeding when he was around 5 months old. For the first 4 months I was home with Mason on maternity leave and it felt like he was attached to my nipple for what felt like 24/7. He was constantly eating. At night, he would eat every hour and I became this milk making zombie.
Although breastfeeding seemed to go well those first few days in the hospital, it got extremely hard when we got home. I was exhausted, sleep-deprived and sore from breastfeeding. It literally felt like my cracked nipples were going to fall off the first two weeks. I pushed through the pain and exhaustion because my baby depended on me. I was determined to make it work.
It wasn’t until 3 months of breastfeeding that my journey got a little easier. We now had our schedule somewhat figured out, and I could get two hours in between feedings. That was also around the same time that I started looking into pumping. Pumping didn’t work out for me as I had hoped for since I could only pump enough milk for that day and sometimes only enough for 2-3 feedings. My milk flow was really good, and when Mason latched on it was like a milk fountain. When I latched on my breast pump, I dried up like the Sahara Desert. I could only really pump when Mason would feed.
By the time Mason was 5 months old, I was back at work and breastfeeding and pumping just got really hard. So I started breastfeeding less and started easing him into bottle feeding. That was really hard for me. I cried when Mason had his first bottle. I felt like a failure. I felt like I was betraying him. Mom guilt kicked in for weeks. But mama, remember that whether it comes from you breasts or a bottle, your baby is fed and that’s the most important.
My Favorite Breastfeeding Essentials:
Here are a list of all the things I found to be helpful with my breastfeeding journey. And as a full-time working mama, I know that there’s not enough time in the day to get everything we need to get done, so when it comes to shopping for baby essentials, Walmart is my savior. And because its August, Walmart is supporting National Breastfeeding Awareness. #sponsored
- Lanolin Cream– This is a must have for and I stocked up on these. I made sure to have one in my purse, diaper bag, next to my bed, next to the couch, and pretty much anywhere I found myself feeding Mason. Your nipples will crack and they will hurt. This cream is like the chapstick for your nipple. Also good for baby when their lips are chapped and super safe for them!
- Nursing Bras– This will make your life so much easier! They are super comfortable and another must have for me. The last thing you want to deal with are tight bras!
- Nursing Pads– So you’re going to lactate A LOT. Sometimes you’ll forget to put these in, or to change out your pads, but I always carried them in my diaper bag and purse because you will also have days where you will remember to put these in. But these work wonders and stay on!
- Manual Milk Collector– You will find that when your baby latches on one breast, your other breast will still leak out precious liquid gold. You know the phrase, “Don’t cry over spilled milk”, they’re most definitely not talking about breast milk. After using this a couple times, you’ll become a pro and have at least 6-8 ounces of extra breast milk!
- Breastfeeding Cover– Breastfeeding in public is no easy task but it is manageable. I can count on one hand how many times I went out with Mason those first few months not including doctor appts and when we went out it was usually to grab a bite to eat. I never want to offend anyone or be confronted while breastfeeding because I honestly don’t know if I could be the bigger person if I was put in that kind of situation so I always made sure to have a cover when we went out.
- Nursery Top– I wish I had known about these earlier but didn’t hear about them until towards the end of my breastfeeding journey. I would have bought so many of these tops in the beginning!
- Breast Pump– You have to do your research when finding the right pump! You can also talk to your doctor but what helped me the most was talking to the other mamas. This pump did everything I needed it to do and it was recommended to me by so many mamas.
- Manual Breast Pump– This was so good to have and I found that I got more milk from this sometimes than my pump. So easy to use, and really gets the job done.
- You will need bags to store your milk as well as bottles for feeding.
Shop the Post:
- Listen to your body!
- Make sure to drink plenty of water.
- Nurse frequently- I found this to be the most helpful when building supply.
- Offer both sides- this will ensure that your baby is full, helps with supply, and also decreases your chance of clogging your milk ducts.
- Try out different breastfeeding positions.
- Reach out to lactation nurses if you need help and support.
- People will always have something to say, so negative comments in one ear and out the other.
- Try to get sleep- stress affects your supply.
- Remember, fed baby is the best.
- You’ve got this mama.
I hope my journey and these tips are useful to you. I miss breastfeeding my bubba. It was such a beautiful moment and it is still so crazy that our bodies created this liquid gold.
Please let me know if you have any questions.