It has been a crazy week in the Marsh household! Between hubs and I working our normal jobs this week my part time job has gained a little steam! Working for VIPKID can be exhausting but the extra income is sure nice. Aside from the extra cash it is super gratifying for me to teach! However, this mama has burning both ends so I have landed up with a dreaded upper respiratory infection. Which means breastfeeding non stop to prevent Savie from getting it! Ahh the magic of that liquid gold! This brings me to today’s post, An Honest Mama’s List of Breastfeeding Essentials!
This journey has been different in that we are not only pumping (like with CK) but also breastfeeding! Therefore my go-to items have a changed a bit this time around to accommodate the different methods of getting baby girl her milk (though some have remained crucial for both journeys)! I am also doing a giveaway at the end of the post so make sure you follow the instructions!
- A Nursing Pillow– We started our journey using a Mombo that I had from CK but I honestly didn’t feel like it gave Savie enough height to help bring her to the breast after our C-section. So we went back to the Boppy Nursing Pillow and have been happy campers since! I love that it can be used for tummy time and assistance with sitting when the time comes so we get longer use out of it. We are about to by a second cover since Savie loves to cover it in drool during tummy time and the prints/soft fabrics are great for babes to learn new textures. Ours can be seen below with a milk drunk Sav out for a nap!
- Nursing Tanks/Bras– This is an area where I struggled to find what I wanted in an affordable price range in my size. As a breastfeeding mama I typically end up in a 40F or 38G and I absolutely hate underwire because it causes me to get clogged ducts from the pressure. I also waited until we hit a month of breastfeeding because I did not want to spend the money if things did not work out. Until we hit a month I just used larger sports bras that were stretchy enough for me to pull down.
- Hanes Cozy Seamless Wire-Free Bra worked great in the hospital and I still sometimes wear them at night, plus you cannot beat the $5-$10 price tag. Ultimately after we passed a month I started looking online and found a few companies Ollie Gray (sadly does not carry my size), Dairy Fairy (currently about to order a Rose 2.0), and Motherhood Maternity.
- I went with Motherhood for the price-point and options I could physically try on since we have a store nearby. I ended up getting six of the Plus Size Seamless Clip Down Nursing Bras. I have three in XL that I use for work and three in 1X that I use for night time because I get more full and do not need as much support. They provide just the right amount of comfort and support with underwire and come with removable pads so you cannot see through them. I do have one underwire that I bought that is comfy for a few hours if I need to look/feel more lifted.
- I am ordering a Dairy Fairy Rose 2.0 soon and will have to fill you in on how I like it. It does work for pumping AND nursing which is super convenient.
- I use the Medela Slimming Nursing Cami’s in an XL because they hold my post baby pooch in and are great for doing the two shirt method while I am out and need to nurse. I have one in black and one in white.
- Stainless Steel Water Tumbler- Hubs got me mine for Mother’s Day and I LOVE it! Whenever I am nursing I am drinking water and though I do not want it super cold anymore, when we first came home the hormones were crazy high and I was hot all. the. darn. time. I love that it is stainless steel so it does not sweat and holds my water cold for HOURS. Fresh Apparel does not have the one I got anymore but they have one similar. Most of my mom tees come from FA and River Babe Threads and we love shopping small business so I was super happy when hubs said pick whichever one I want. It even travels to work with me now.
- A Sarah Wells Pumping Bag– This is something I tried to go cheap on in the beginning and ended up with huge regrets after returning to work. I bought a Banana Fish backpack style from Target that held my pump…but not much else. In addition, because I use a Spectra (a larger pump) it ended up tearing at the lining by the zipper which was the last straw for me. Then, I found Sarah Wells, queue the choir of angels! I waited and waited and researched and researched. I wanted to be sure about this purchase since it was going to be an investment. I finally decided to take the plunge and got the Sarah Wells Claire in Brown. Not only does it fit my Spectra S2 easily ( I can even leave the cord plugged in while its inside the bag) but it also fits everything I tossed into my purse PLUS my cooler PLUS all my paperwork PLUS all my pump accessories. Sarah truly thought of everything as there is a pocket for everything in this bag! My favorite part of this investment is that when I am no longer pumping the pump/cooler pockets snap down so I can use it as a weekender/diaper bag/purse- All about products that have multiple uses!
- Sarah Wells Pumparoo– This is something I never thought I would need until I realized how many Ziploc bags I was going through transporting parts. I found the Pumparoo mentioned on someone’s blog through Pinterest and looked it up. The “wet” part of the bag holds two sets ready for pumping (my flanges and bottle connected) and I keep lids and my tubes/connector sets in the “dry” section of the bag. The “staging mat” unsnaps so I can set up/take apart my pumping pieces on a clean area. I love that when I am done pumping I can use this for a wet/dry bag with clothes for my kids or going to the beach/pool! It folds up nicely when I am not using it too!
- My Spectra S2- My Spectra S2 speaks for herself! I have tried Medela Pump in Style Advanced/Symphony/Harmony/Freestyle/Swing and Lansinoh Smart Pump and it is absolutely my favorite. It is the most quiet of all the double electric pumps I have tried and has been quickest in milk removal for me personally. I wish I had upgraded to the S1 for the portability option but I was not sure how our pumping journey was going to go and it was an upgrade for my insurance (where the S2 was free through BCBS on Aeroflow’s website).
- Simple Wishes Hands-free Pumping Bra– I used the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Bra with CK and again this time around it is still my go to. It holds the pump close to me, is adjustable, and soft against my skin. The bra works with both Medela and Spectra flanges which was important for me. I bought the plus size version this time around but preferred to just use the S-XL on the largest setting.
- Huge Support System/See a Lactation Consultant– This was crucial for me. I needed my husband and kids to understand what I was doing was important. We showed the girls early on that mom pumping or feeding the baby meant things would have to wait. My husband has fed me more than once and brought Sav to me in the early weeks. The lactation clinic at St. John Main was my home more than once. Going to see an LC gave me reassurance that I was doing the right thing, fixed latch issues, and measured milk removal so I truly new what my supply was doing.
- Avent Naturals Bottles– We tried a few other bottles that are (breastfeeding friendly) at around three weeks but everything made her overly gas-y. I had bought the Avent Natural Bottles while pregnant but was worried about how she would do so we tried again around 8 weeks and she did SO much better. We did have to go down a nipple size because she needed a slower flow, something I did not realize is common so we only have a few of the nipples in the right size. Our caregiver was super open to learning how to pace feed and that helped tremendously. She has almost no gas pains now though she definitely does better on the weekends when it just mama, these are as close as we can come-which is the best I could ask for in a bottle.
- Bamboobies Nipple Pads– Personally, I leak SO darn much until around twelve weeks. The Bamboobies nipple pads SAVED our breastfeeding journey! For the first few weeks I had a terribly deep crack on my left side and these pads were the only ones that did not hurt. I still use my overnight ones over night since after five hours, I am a leaky mess. They are SO soft and I could never see them through my clothes.
- Coconut Oil/Newman’s Nipple Ointment– I use Newman’s, which is a prescription, for the first six weeks then switched to coconut oil. The Newman’s is awesome for the first few weeks while you’re tender and working on a good latch. The-coconut oil is great because its thinner, cheaper, does not need to be wiped off , and is anti-bacterial/fungal/viral.
- Milk Snob Cover– A mama’s breast-friend for covering up if she wants some privacy while out and for keeping a little peanut under-wraps in a car seat. I use my Milk Snob at work sometimes to cover up when nursing if we have visitors who do not know I am pumping and could walk in. The covers are SO darn soft and I absolutely love their prints! I have a feeling we will want more as Sav gets older and we need more privacy when she decides to play while eating.
- Legendairy Milk Supplements– I truly believe Legendairy Milk supplements are the only reason I have been able to breastfeed successfully and met the 1000oz freezer stash goal I had when I returned to work. With CK I had such a hard time maintaining any sort of supply so in addition to pumping I set about finding a supplement. I found Legendairy on accident while looking for Fenugreek free products (I do not stomach them well and neither do my babes). I started with Lechita (recommended for reflux babies) and loved it. It helps with Savie’s gas and my anxiety. Since then I have added Cash Cow (adds fat to my milk) and Sunflower Lecithin (makes clogs go away in less than a day for me). When I have to take allergy meds or feel my hormones messing with production I add Liquid Gold for a day or two.
One FREE bottle (60 caps) of Legendairy Milk CASH COW!
- Add me on Instagram (Anhonestmama2018)
- Like the Instagram picture about this blog post
- Giveaway ends at 8/5/18 at Midnight EST
- Winner announced Monday by 9am on Instagram
- Winner has 24 hours to respond to DM or I re-draw on Tuesday
May the odds be ever in your favor!
~An Honest Mama~