Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Other Breastfeeding Essentials

Today we have a guest post from blogger Kary of Always Painted Usually Chipped, with her recommendations for products that helped her along her breastfeeding journey.

My breastfeeding journey was a long but good 14 months. It started with an extremely anxious pregnant woman and ended with a happy & healthy toddler (and mama!) I’d love to come back to share more details with you, but today I want to share with you my non-traditional list of breastfeeding essentials. Sure, you need your Boppy (LOVE that thing), some burp cloths and of course an iphone to pass the time, but these were my other go to items for the past year (plus!).

1 – Forever 21 $10.81 JeansThese jeans saved me from a mini breakdown in the mall. After giving birth to my son I was elated to fit back in my prepregnancy jeans pretty quickly. It was so awesome…for about a week. Then I just kept losing more and more and more weight. My body could not keep up with the milk production. I didn’t want to buy all new clothes, but I HAVE to have jeans in my wardrobe. For a self-proclaimed jeans snob, I was shocked when these F21 jeans saved me. They are dirt cheap and fit perfectly. I am just about to outgrow them and get back to my regular jeans, thank goodness, but they were the perfect temporary jeans.

2 - Snacks!! -  In addition to new jeans I also had to buy and eat a TON of food. I like snacks, but the amount I had to eat to keep up with my son eating every two hours was ridiculous. I ate more while breastfeeding than while pregnant, times three. I went through bags of nuts and boxes of these Special K sandwiches, in addition to a ton of oatmeal, guacamole, hummus, string cheese, etc. I felt like I weaned off the snacks as I weaned my son off the breast.

3 – Button-Up Shirts – My personal favorite are from JCrew and JCrew Factory. They are just thick enough so you don’t have to worry about nipple coverage if you just slip on a nursing tank and just thin enough so that you are not sweating (because postpartum hot flashes are no joke!).

4 – Coobie Bras I wore these bras while pregnant and for a solid year after giving birth. I just put on a real bra for the first time and I feel like a pre-teen with the itch factor going on. These bras fit me from my size A to my full C milk boobs, and back to my size A after breastfeeding. I never found a nursing tank that I LOVED. Sure, there were some that I liked, but I didn’t love any of them like I loved these bras.

5 – Perry Mackin Diaper Bag – I tried quite a few diaper bags. If I’m telling the truth, I tried three. Okay, okay, six. I tried six. After all my trials though I can honestly say that this is the bag for me. I love it and haven’t been inclined to switch since I got it.  You may not think of a diaper bag as a breastfeeding essential, but my son nursed every 2 hours until he was about 8 months old and refused a bottle. If I wanted to leave the house, he was coming with me and that meant bringing diapers, a blanket for a cover, an outfit change, snacks and water for me, etc. Definitely an essential in my book.

6 – Gel Pads I keep wanting to remove these from my list because I really only used them for the first month, but I can still feel the love I had for these gel pads deep in my heart. The relief of getting one out and putting it on during that first, stress-inducing, nipple-hurting, “can I really do this?" month of breastfeeding keeps them on my list. To be fair, these are not the exact ones that I used since our hospital gave us some, but these seem to be the closest.

Kary is a stay at home mom to an energetic toddler and two cats. She is a military wife to an amazing man and she appreciates him very much for doing the cooking! You can find her over at Always Painted, Usually Chipped.

Thanks, Kary!

For more breastfeeding essentials, check out Christa's post, 5 Things You Really Need to Breastfeed.

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