Week 1 Breastfeeding Essentials

Happy World Breastfeeding Week 2020! I’m now 10 days into my breastfeeding journey with my second baby. It’s been different this time round and I am feeling more confident; that’s not to say it’s been an easy ride. There have been tears over spilt breast milk, exhaustion and pain. One thing I have found helpful is having the right tools around me from the get go. Hopefully you find this list handy to get yourself all setup if you’re hoping to give breastfeeding a go with your Little.

1) Patience

…and the support of someone who will be your cheerleader when things get tough! This time round my breastfeeding journey in week 1 has been different. That said, I still found the day 2/3 feeding frenzy nights tricky to stay positive. Mr E was on hand to give me the encouragement to keep going, the reassurance that my milk was enough for the Littlest Little and the patience to correct the latch as many times as I needed.

Mr E has been my cheerleader from day one. Find yours!

2) Nipple Cream

I didn’t use this much first time round with Miss EEE but boy have I been grateful for discovering it this time! I actually purchased it before baby 2’s arrival when I was having some pain after hand expressing colostrum. Since the arrival of Littlest Little I’ve been whacking it on religiously and it really has cleared up any soreness super quick. I had the fear that it might change his latch or put him off but that definitely hasn’t been the case!

Lanolin is natural and safe for both Mama and Baby

I love the above brand because it’s safe for baby too. If you don’t have any to hand then you can use a little bit of hand expressed colostrum or milk to soothe any cracked or painful nipples in the meantime.

3) Maternity Pads

This is probably too much information for some but I wish someone had warned me first time round so I’m just going to put it out there… stock up on maternity pads. When you breastfeed your uterus contracts and for some mamas this can cause some after pains alongside some quite heavy bleeding. If you’re worried about the amount you’re bleeding always check in with a healthcare professional but a certain amount is normal for several weeks. Don’t make the mistake I did the first time round of buying normal sanitary pads. The big chunky maternity pads are softer, more absorbent and provide some much needed cushioning. See below for what you are looking for. You need to change them at least every 2 hours if not more so stock up in advance!

I always keep a ready supply of the big chunky maternity pads in the bathroom.

4) A Comfy Position

Make yourself a cushion fort, rest up in your fave spot on the sofa or hunt out a second hand feeding chair like mine. A comfy spot to feed your little can make all the difference to your mindset and your letdown of milk.

I wouldn’t be without my second hand feeding chair and ready supply of cushions to bolster

5) Water

Stay hydrated

Just drink, drink, drink! I make sure I have a glass to hand everytime Littlest Little sets in for a feed. Staying hydrated is so important to keep things flowing and keep you well Mama.

6) Breast Pads

When your milk comes in between day 2 and 3 you can suddenly have quite leaky boobs. Don’t be caught out. Keep a couple of breast pads in your bra to save any embarrassing wet patches when you’re out and about.

Breast pads to catch leaks

7) Haakaa Breast Pump

This is a new discovery for me on this breastfeeding journey. The Haakaa is a silicone, single piece breast pump. It suctions onto your other boob while you feed. First time around me and my electric breast pump were not friends. I just couldn’t get a let down, would get stressed and that just compounded the issue. Miss EEE was a bottle refuser and I ended up having next to no time for myself. I felt a huge pressure as she was solely dependent on my boobs. This definitely contributed to my deterioration in mental health postpartum. This time the Haakaa has been a revelation. I collect around 20-60ml of milk every feed. This would otherwise be leaked into a breast pad so it makes total sense to me to collect it! The thing I love the most about the Haakaa is the lack of faffing about – no wires, no batteries, easy to clean, small, discreet and noise free. I would highly recommend you give it a go. It’s under £20 so you can’t really go wrong!

I love my Haakaa

8) Muslin Squares

You don’t need posh ones but you do need loads of them! Every washing load (of which there are about a million a day) contains several Muslins. Great for mopping up baby, Mama and Daddy after messy winding sessions!

Always have a Muslin to hand

9) Painkillers

You may or may not need/ want them, but I’ve been so grateful for my stash of ibroprufen to help me cope with after pains. Always consult a healthcare professional about whether it’s appropriate for you to take them and dosage though.

Some Mamas might need pain relief to ease the after pains while feeding

10) Happy Items

This was my husbands suggestion for baby 2. In the side pocket of my feeding chair I’ve kept a stash of photos that bring back happy memories and give me the warm fuzzies.

Photos of special memories

When I look at these I get a rush of love (oxytocin) which can only help with calmness and let down! I printed a load of pics off for the birth but didn’t actually have time to look at them. I’m so happy to have found a use for them now. They were particularly useful when my milk was coming in and I was feeling particularly emotional. They kept me going and reminded me how loved I am by my precious amazing family. I guess you could use any items which bring on that joyous feeling for you. Maybe a certain smell, a favourite cuddly toy of an older child, have a playlist of cheery tunes to hand. Let me know what other ideas you have!

Take care Mamas xxx

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Author: Charlotte Earwicker

A mentally illuminated mum writing a mental health blog.

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