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When you discover you are expecting, it is an exciting time! If you are a first-time mother, or you already have children at home, there are a lot of things that go through your mind. A lot of times creating a baby registry is the exciting and fun part of pregnancy. Picking out all the cute baby swings, bedding, clothes, high chairs, strollers, is fun, but also making sure you add breastfeeding necessities to your list is important.
Every mother should make a decision whether they will want to breastfeed or attempt to breastfeed early on in their pregnancy so they can begin preparing for breastfeeding. There are several different items to add to your baby registry, classes you may want to take, create a resource list, and research support groups in your area to help you prepare for breastfeeding.
If you are a first-time mom you may be thinking, “what more do I need then my breast and the baby?” Luckily, in our day and age there are several tools and supplies that can help and guide you in a successful breastfeeding relationship. Adding these items to your baby registry, so your loved ones can purchase them for you, is a great way to prepare for breastfeeding.
Nipple Cream – When you begin nursing and when your baby is a newborn, there will be a lot of frequent and long feedings. Your nipples may become sore and cracked. This is a common reason many women end their breastfeeding relationship. My personal favorite nipple cream is Natural Nipple Butter from Earth Mama, Baby Angel. This specific nipple cream contains no preservatives or additives and it does not need to be removed before breastfeeding. It is completely safe for your baby.
Nursing pads – As a breastfeeding mother, leaking nipples is very common. It is also even more common at the beginning of breastfeeding as your body is still getting used to a cycle and rhythm of breastfeeding with your newborn. To help contain leaking breast milk, using nursing pads are recommended. There are several different varieties available and there are also ways you can make your own!
Breast pump – If you are planning on going back to work or even being away for the baby a few hours or days at a time, investing in a breast pump is important. There are several different types of breast pumps available. A very popular breast pump is the Medela. Most health insurances cover the purchase of a breast pump or give you a credit to use towards a breast pump. You can also rent a breast pump too. Make sure you contact your health insurance early on in your pregnancy so you can make sure you have it before the baby arrives!
Breast pump shield – If you are purchasing or renting a breast pump, you will need to get some breast pump shields. These are what hook up to the breast pump tubes and cover your nipples as it suctions breast milk out of your breasts. There are different sizes available and it depends on how big your breasts are. Purchasing these before the baby arrives may be a bit difficult, but you may be able to gage what size you need.
Bottles – Yes you are planning to breastfeed, but if you know you will need to pump then you will need to purchase bottles to pump in to. I recommend buying bottles that are the same brand as your pump. For example, if you purchase/rent a Medela pump, purchase Medela bottles and caps. You will know they will fit properly. These do not need to be the bottles you feed your baby with. Once the baby arrives you can figure out which bottle and nipple to use. Sometimes it takes several to determine what your baby will like.
Breastfeeding cover – As a new mother, it may an awkward and little uncomfortable to breastfeed in public. Adding a breastfeeding cover to your registry is a great idea and will help you feel comfortable when breastfeeding in public. They have lots of fun prints and come in all different sizes.
Nipple shields – There are a lot of products on the market such as nipple shields that are used to help with a baby’s latch. I highly recommend to NOT purchase these items. Some of these products can really cause issues with breastfeeding. If there is an issue, contacting a lactation consultant is recommended. Your lactation consultant may recommend one for you at that time and set-up a plan on how to use it.
Check out this wonderful Breastfeeding Essentials Bundle, you can add to your registry list!
Classes & Lactation Consultants
Alright, so you have some of the necessities prepared for breastfeeding, but it is also extremely important to learn about breastfeeding and meet/introduce yourself to someone who will be available to help, if there are issues.
A lot of local hospitals offer basic breastfeeding classes that discuss the anatomy of the breast, stages of breastfeeding, when your breast milk will come in, the types of breast milk, how your baby has an effect on your breast milk, cues to look for when breastfeeding your baby, and much more. There is a lot of information and having a little background will help you feel a bit more comfortable when you behind this journey with your newborn.
Introducing and meeting a lactation consultant is also important or even just having their contact information. A lactation consultant is a trained professional with lots of education and hours of experience in breastfeeding. If there are any issues or questions at all, contacting this individual will help you tremendously. A lot of lactation consultants will even make home visits.
A lot of communities have breastfeeding support groups available. Do your research and find out what support groups are available in your community and the dates and times they meet. Breastfeeding support groups, such a La Leche League, is not only a place to ask questions about breastfeeding, but is also a great place to socialize and meet other mothers traveling the same breastfeeding journey as you.
There are lots of aspects to preparing for a baby when you discover you are pregnant, but preparing for breastfeeding is extremely important too! Make sure you do your research and be prepared before your new bundle of joy arrives.
If you are located in Central Iowa, check our local Business Directory for lactation consultants, breastfeeding groups, where to rent and/or buy a breast pump and more!