So you gave birth and now the child is laying on your chest and you are in bliss, every thing can relax now right? Sorry but you have some more work to do. In order to be the most successful with breast feeding it is best to get that kid on the boob within 30 minutes of giving birth. It will trigger your body to start making milk and it will also give the baby their first drops of "liquid gold" (Colostrum) which will start your baby's immune system protection.
Now that you have fed the first time, it is time to start protecting those nipples because if you don't you will have bloody cracked and painful nipples in the very near future which can lead to infections and mastitis. Bad Juju. So here is my routine.
First I wipe my nipple before feeding with these awesome wipes by first years.
Next I rub the nipple down with this awesome nipple cream by first years. It is creamier than other creams out there and it has milk proteins in it to help heal.
Then I latch on the baby offering one side first until the baby releases on their own then I offer the other side to see if they are still hungry. Always let the child feed until they either release or they stop swallowing. I wipe down my nipples with the same wipes then I place these on my nipples for the first 6 weeks instead of the normal breast pads. They are from Lansinoh and they are gel pads that stick to your nipples. These particular ones last 3 days and you get one set per package. They may seem a bit expensive but I would rather spend a bit more money instead of having bleeding nipples lol.
When the 6 weeks is up I switch to Lansinoh's disposable breast pads instead because the reusable ones really dry out my nipples.http://www.amazon.com/Lansinoh-20265-Disposable-Nursing-60-pack/dp/B0000BYAG0
The key to all of these items is to use them every single time you nurse or you could have cracked and bleeding nipples in your future. It takes about 3-6 weeks to get your nipples toughened up and not feel pain. Anyone who is having a tough time nursing I always advise to give it 6 weeks before 100% giving up. If you still hate it at your 6 week appointment then feel free but usually by that time, it gets 1000x easier.
Now that you have mastered nursing and the dreaded nipple pain the next things to deal with are pumping, nursing in public, and keeping that milk supply up.
Now total tmi, I have large nipples. It makes it hard to use a lot of pumps out there without spending an arm and a leg. However I have found an inexpensive pump that actually works for me. First Years MiPump is great. It can be on the go with batteries or plug in at home. It is easy to use and easy to put together and it is the only pump on the market that comes with a handle to put both pumps on so that you can use it one handed. It also comes with my bottles of choice First Years breastflow bottles which mimic the same sucking that an infant would use on the breast.
When it comes to nursing at home I like using the Brest Friend nursing pillow. It is big, it clips around your stomach so you can feasibly get up and walk around while still nursing, it has a pocket for things like your nipple cream and the remote, and it has bumps in the pillow to help support the baby's neck.
But,when I am out and about I prefer to cover. The best deal is to find one of the free nursing cover codes online and get yourself a free nursing cover from Udder Covers. All you have to pay is shipping and the cover is great with awesome patterns.
To keep my supply up I take fenugreek and eat oatmeal for breakfast. Both are natural ways to boost your supply.
I hope you enjoyed my selections. Of course these are not the only things out there but this list makes me actually enjoy nursing and if I could help someone else enjoy nursing with this list then it was all worth it. What are your favorite nursing products.