Breastfeeding for the Working Mom: The Nesting Phase

You’re pregnant! You’ve decided to breast feed. Congratulations- on BOTH counts!!! These are some things that you can actually do/purchase/prepare when you’re in this lovely energetic phase!

(Please read the first post in this series before reading any further. By reading the suggestions in the following posts you are agreeing that you understand that this is NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. This is a collaboration of mine a few others’ experiences. And again, not medical advice.)

  1. Get the nice double electric pump. If you’re a first-timer, this may sound extremely intimidating…and maybe kind of weird. But here is the deal. Eventually, you will be a pro, and sitting in front of a machine any longer than you have to is not exactly desirable. There will be mornings you wake up late. There will be lunch hours cut short. This is the most comfortable and time-efficient way to continue feeding your new bundle of joy. Hook it up. Make sure it works properly. Make sure you have all the parts. The last thing you need is to be scrounging for missing parts after baby comes!
  2. Gel pads. Everyone knows about lanolin. The first time I had tubes and tubes of it—and used them all. This time, I didn’t use it much. I found that wiping it off before nursing usually made the tenderness worse before baby even latched on…and any added tenderness was not going to help me stick with it. These gel pads are a way to get some relief that does not require wiping anything off. You can put them in the refrigerator, but I usually would just leave them out on the table for a minute or two and it still helped to tone down the soreness. I’m sure that there are multiple brands out there, but this is what I have used in the past.
  3. Nursing bras…are scary at first. You will go stand in the aisle with nursing bras and not even know where to start. Your breasts are changing sizes. You’ll pump and it will be too big. You had to wait to pump and you’ll be busting out. First, keep the faith. YOU WILL FIGURE OUT A SYSTEM. When you are first home, I recommend using the nighttime nursing bras that are more like sports bras. You don’t have to worry about whether you’re full or empty. It’s easy. And it’s oh so comfortable. Then after your supply is well established, you can go buy the right size. If you want to go anywhere in normal clothes early on, buy a “regular” one—but I would recommend buying one that is one cup size up and one that is 2 cup sizes up. You can return the one that doesn’t work (without using it, please…that’s gross).
  4. Breast pads. Ok. Here’s the reality. While you’re working on establishing a supply, you might leak. A lot. And often. Once you have a supply, you will still leak, though it will usually calm down some. Either way, I’ve done both the cloth breast pads and the throw-aways. I’m all for earth-saving. If you want to fight that battle, go for it! I did not have the capacity to do so. Also, if baby sleeps longer than normal, the cloth ones will leak through to leave you in a mess when you wake up. With the throw-aways, I didn’t have that problem because they have a plastic lining on the back.
  5. Tens unit. This trick was gold for me. I have to actually give props to my husband for it. For the first couple of weeks, I have abdominal cramping when breastfeeding. Not pleasant. Tens unit = awesome. I put it on my lower back pretty much every time I would nurse, and my pain level in every way was so much better this time. I’m sure there is some scientific nerve distraction that makes this work. I did not care why. I just know it did. Groupon has specials on these things all the time. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one.
  6. Milk storage bags (or really anything that has to do with baby). We used the expensive ones for the longest time. And then we bought an off-brand and actually preferred them. Don’t be scared to try an off-brand of something to save a couple of bucks. Because a couple of bucks a few times a month adds up fast! Some people suggest doing them in ice trays because then you have them an ounce at a time. Which…sure. But…we use more than a few ounces at time. We usually make enough bottles for at least 24 hours when we make them. As you can see, our storage system isn’t Pinterest organized or anything…but I will say they have some good ideas if you will plan ahead to get them done.
  7. Boppy’s/Breast Friends. Some people love them. Some people hate them. I am pretty indifferent at this point. It is nice to be able to get some things done when you nurse. It’s also nice to have an excuse to sit down and do nothing else when you nurse. I think this is just something you have to figure out for yourself on this one.

If anyone with experience would like to chime in here, I will probably be updating the post to make it better as I go!

Next up…when baby first arrives….