Breastfeeding survival kit

I don’t know what gave me the impression that breastfeeding would be a piece of cake but if you check out my 1st week of breastfeeding and mastitis posts you’ll see that it’s been rather a roller coaster for me and Mr Squish!

We’re still not there yet but I thought I’d share some of the essentials that have gotten us through these first  few weeks and some items that have been a bit of a waste:

breastfeeding

1- Microwaveable hottie
This was amazing for my back and neck ache and keeping me warm and snuggly in the winter months during pregnancy. Rested over my shoulder and on my boobs before a feed helped to start the milk flow making feeding slightly less painful while relieving tension in my neck and shoulders.

2 – Tommee Tippee nipple shields
Now these I don’t rate amazingly but I thought I’d put them in as they could benefit others. They’re to be placed over your nipples while feeding if they’re sensitive. I used them when I was having the initial stabby pains of Mastitis which didn’t help at all but maybe if I gave them a go while I had cracked and sore nipples they’d have helped.

3 – Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Breast Pump
When I had mastitis and my right boob became engorged I knew I had to get the milk out, but feeding was just too painful. I’d read up on different breast pumps and based on reviews from other mummies decided that an electric one would be best purely due to convenience. I only looked at the Kiddicare website, and decided on this one because it was reasonably priced at £65.99 and had good reviews.  It’s quite noisy but the relief it gave me was so worth it, I wouldn’t have cared if it sounded like a foghorn in my ear to be honest!

Using the pump meant that Pete could feed Rabbit, my boobs weren’t swollen rocks and my mastitis cleared quickly – definitely an essential!

4 – Flannel
I’m such a bath person, I had them constantly during pregnancy to relax and relieve my aches and pains. Laying in a hot bath with a hot flannel on my boobs did a similar job as the hottie while I got to relax and unwind for a while.

5 – Lansinoh Disposable Breast Pads
My boobs leaked a lot in the beginning, especially when my milk first came in. It was always when I was with someone and always when I didn’t have a muslin or spare top to hand! These breast pads are fab as they stick inside your bra and could stay in all day without needing to be changed. They never feel full but when I think of how much my boobs leak, I know they must be soaking up a lot!

The great thing is these ones don’t stick to your nipple which can be painful and at £5.49 for 60 from Kiddicare weren’t badly priced.

6 – Lansinoh TheraPearl  3-in-1 Hot or Cold Compress

 In a pack you get two compresses, they can be heated in the microwave or popped in the freezer to act as a cold or hot compress. Cold is great for numbing sore nipples and for relieving swelling while hot is great for starting the let down.

Now, I only use it as a cold compress after I overheated one in the microwave and it exploded! It only needs to go in for a matter of seconds but I prefer it to be warmer than recommended and ended up with a split compress. SO now I just keep one in the freezer until I need it, and use my hottie for let down.

7 – Lansinoh Lanolin nipple cream
During the second week of breastfeeding, after a lot of expressing, my nipples became blistered then cracked and eventually bled. This cream was a lifesaver, it didn’t necessarily soothe any pain but it got rid of the cracks and blisters really quickly. The great thing is it’s ok to leave on when feeding so you don’t have to member to wipe it off when you’ve got a hungry buba on your hands!

8 – Medication

Antibiotics, ibuprofen and paracetamol- it sounds like a bit of a cocktail but both the doctor and my midwife said it was fine for Rabbit and wow did it help. Every 6 hours I took one of each and by day 2 the symptoms of mastitis we’re gone!

 9 – Wide tooth comb

This was recommended by a few midwives and really helped when my boobs were so engorged! I’d drag the brush from my armpit to the nipple with as much pressure as I could handle and it helped the ducts to unblock. It was best after I’d used a hot compress. However I did find that my fingers did the job just as well.

 

Some other items that I found useful were the …

Baby Nursing Breastfeeding app
This allowed me to record each feed, the duration and which boob I used. It may sound simple but while we tried to establish a routine I often forgot which one I’d used last and over or under feeding on one is probably what led me to further problems. Not to mention at the beginning Jasper had to be woken for feeds as he was such a sleepy baby so being organised with feeds was a must!

Snoob scarf
Since losing all dignity during labour I’m actually not fussed about getting my boobs out. If I had to feed in public I probably wouldn’t feel too awkward just hoisting my top down for Jasper to latch on, it’s other people that I feel the need to cover for. Mainly since my brother said I scarred him for life after he walked in on me feeding and saw a boob! For that reason I’ve found the Snoob scarf to be fab! I’ll do a proper review of it later but its basically a snood for feeding – simple yet fab! Wrap twice for a stylish scarf and undo once to cover bambino! You can check out my brief review of it here.

Shower head

Standing in a hot shower with the water pressure on my boob was like heaven! Some kind of herbal essences advert went on in there! It helped to start let-down and gave me two free hands to massage the boob and hand express some spare milk!

Water

I don’t get particularly thirsty in the day but while feeding I find my mouth turns as dry as a camels arse! I’ve also noticed my skin looking quite dull and I have an ulcer in my mouth so I definitely need to be upping my liquid intake! They recommend breastfeeding mumas drink a glass more than the recommended 8 a day which I find tough but need to aim for!

These are my main breastfeeding lifesavers or ‘do with out’s’ and I’m sure I’ll come across a lot more on the way! There are things I haven’t tried like cabbage leaves in my bra but no doubt I’ll have a post about that soon!

 

What must-have’s would you recommend for breastfeeding?

Thanks for reading! xx

12 Comments

  • ERF Mama
    9th May 2014 at 9:04 pm Reply

    The breast feeding peer supporter in me is instantly drawn to the dos and don’ts in this post. hehe

    But more to the point, how awful that you had to experience mastitis! 🙁
    Was little bean checked for a tung tie by a proper IBCLC? They can some times be hard to catch if they are not that obvious, but your description of pain, sore nipples and mastitis leads me to believe that might be an issue. Breastfeeding should never be painful, it can be slightly uncomfortable as a first time breast feeder, but pain and especially misshaped nipples that crack and bleed are a good sign of a bad latch.
    There should really be more information on the *act* of breast feeding before we become mothers, as this is something most babies and mothers need to learn.
    There is a very very good book called “The womanly art of breast feeding” (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Womanly-Breastfeeding-Leche-League-International/dp/1905177402) that should really be given out for free at your first midwife appointment.
    A fabulous book, I can’t recommend it enough! 🙂

    Also I just have to point out that a healthy baby with no medical needs or weight problem does not need to be woken up for feeds during the night. This is old school midwife talk and I swear most sadly need an update. 🙂

    I hope your feeling better now and that bf is going easier! x Have a wonderful weekend. x

  • Merlinda Little (@pixiedusk)
    9th May 2014 at 9:27 pm Reply

    Thats my breast pump too! Not the best but does the work! I only have one working boobs then so its working hard that I need so much help. Pain reliever is the best. Paracetamol for me as its ok for breastfeeding moms =) #binkylinky

    • Jessica
      11th May 2014 at 4:41 pm Reply

      Yea it’s not the best but like you said – it works. Really helped me through Mastitis!

  • Zena's Suitcase (@zenas_suitcase)
    10th May 2014 at 9:53 pm Reply

    Pillows, pillows and more pillows! Being comfortable made such a difference to us that’s for sure. Hope your getting in the swing of BF now, it’s not always the easy natural thing to get of the ground people make it out to be. Good luck with it all

    • Jessica
      11th May 2014 at 4:38 pm Reply

      Ooh yes I forgot about that, 2 behind me and one under Rabbit. I did get a nursing pillow but it’s quite hard so I don’t use it. My body pillow is fab also!

  • littlepinkteacup
    11th May 2014 at 5:38 pm Reply

    This was great! I wish I’d read this before embarking on my first breastfeeding journey…went strait in, head first and did a lot of learning in the process!
    #binkylinky

    • Jessica
      15th May 2014 at 6:27 pm Reply

      It’s such a learning curve, I haven’t met one person yet who said it was easy from the get go! xx

  • EmilyTwin MummyandDaddy
    11th May 2014 at 7:40 pm Reply

    Lanisoh cream was a life saver for me! Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky

    • Jessica
      15th May 2014 at 6:25 pm Reply

      It really is fab isn’t it!?

  • BakedPotato Mummy
    14th May 2014 at 9:30 pm Reply

    I wish I’d read this when I was breast feeding Potato. I was lucky not to get mastitis, but I did have issues feeding him that almost had us readmitted to hospital at 1 week old. Some of these tips would have been really useful, especially the hot and cold things.
    Thanks for linking up with #BinkyLinky

    • Jessica
      15th May 2014 at 6:20 pm Reply

      Oh wow it must have been bad! I so didn’t realise how tough the whole thing would be, luckily I’m over the worst of it now 🙂

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Hi I’m Jess, Single Mum, Accredited Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and Beauty Business owner.

I chat about all thing female empowerment, spirituality and positivity

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