Breastfeeding: A guide for moms-to-be

If you are currently pregnant and plan on breastfeeding, there is a lot of information that you need to know. Initially, breastfeeding seemed like this huge unknown abyss. I didn’t know how it would work, what supplies I needed, if my milk would come in, would Cubby be able to latch and could I do it in public. I knew that I wanted to try breastfeeding. It seemed natural after all and I knew it had immense benefits for the baby for their immune system and for bonding with the mother.

The first thing I did was research the different types of positions and holds for breastfeeding. I had attended prenatal classes, which were really great, and our instructor covered breastfeeding. She actually showed us the different positions using a doll so it all made sense.

The second thing that I did was speak to people about the needed supplies. I have to admit that I was still confused if I would need everything that they suggested. In the end, I needed it all and more!

So here is the low down on breastfeeding and what I needed:

1/ Breastfeeding pillow: A nursing pillow such as a boomerang pillow or U-shaped pillow. I got two different sizes by Jolly Jumper. One of my friend’s swore by the pillow, my Breast Friend (clever eh?) that you can clip around your waist.

2/ A breast pump: This was complete drama for me. I ended up using 3 different pumps. I had bought an electric single pump by Medela. I ended up renting an electric hospital grade double pump by Medela. And lastly, I bought an electric double pump by Ameda. I would STRONGLY suggest buying an electric double pump to begin with. It will save you time and money. The ones you can rent from the hospital are great, but it’s nice to have your own as I am still pumping and Cubby is 9 months old.

3/ Nursing bras: I was trying to cheap out and initially bought 4 nursing bras (2 for nights and 2 for days). Let me just tell you that when your milk comes in and your supply is crazy in the beginning, those bras will get wet and soiled and dirty! You need back ups. I currently own probably about 8 to 10 nursing bras (2 night ones, 4 comfy day ones, 2 discreet ones that I can wear if I go out, and 2 sports bra ones for exercising). You can get them anywhere at Thyme Maternity or Motherhood.

4/ Nursing tops: Again, I initially tried not to spend any money buying nursing tops; however, if you are doing activities, it’s so much more discreet to have a nursing top and bra then having to pull up your shirt from the bottom and in turn, reveal your muffin tops or post pregnancy belly fat!

5/ Nursing cover: I got mine on Kijiji as it was $50, but I got it for $25 gently used. It is by Bebe Au Lait and I have used it every day multiple times for the past 9 months.

6/ Breast pads: I bought the disposable kind and the washable kind and found that the disposable ones irritated my skin as they were more “scratchy”. I liked the washable ones.

7/ Nipple cream: I had purchased a natural one by Aleva, but found that I didn’t really need to use it. Perhaps only for a week in the beginning. You can decide if you do need it. If for some reason, there are issues or soreness or infection, your doctor may recommend Dr. Newman’s nipple ointment that is prepared by a pharmacist.

8/ Storage bottles or breast milk bags and a cooler bag: I purchased an electric double pump kit and it came with 6 storage bottles and caps and a cooler bag. You can also buy breast milk storage bags and be sure to label the date that you pumped!

9/ Bottle drying rack: I have the Boon Grass. You need somewhere to dry your bottles and breast phalanges ( preferably upside down).

10/ Sterilizer: I have a microwave steam sterilizer that I put my bottles and breast phalanges in to sterilize. Apparently someone had told me that you don’t need to sterilize them as breast milk is considered sterile, but I did anyway!

Breastfeeding can be really difficult in the beginning so make sure you know the resources that are available to you such as lactation consultants, La Leche League, midwives, nurses, and The Newman Clinic in Toronto.  It may be frustrating at first, but if you keep at it, it will likely come. It took Cubby and I 3 months to get the hang of it!

Message me if you have any private concerns or need advice. Perhaps I could help.

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About newmom78

I am a mother to 2 beautiful girls with a degree in Occupational Therapy. After suffering a miscarriage of my second child at 5.5 months pregnant, I have decided to change and simplify my life. This blog is about the chronicles of my daily life with my daughters as well as the laughter and frustration that goes along with trying to be "super mom" and play numerous roles; wife, mother, daughter, employee, friend, and student.
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