It Worked for Me (Nursing Tips)

This week is WFMW Greatest Hits Edition. I'm supposed to re-run my favorite WFMW post.

I originally posted this a few weeks ago. Baby Girl is still a great littler eater. In fact, she is quite pudgy! But who can resist rolls of baby fat? Too cute! I wish the same could be said for the roll around my tummy. Oh well, here is the post:

As anyone who has a newborn knows, babies eat a lot. Right now, I spend quite a bit of my time feeding a my little one and I don't mind a bit. Well, occasionally those middle-of-the-night feedings are a bit taxing, but other than that, time spent nursing is some of my favorite time of the day.

Since I've spent the past four years either pregnant or nursing, it dawned on me, I just might have a bit of knowledge to share about nursing. I simply want to share what works for me when it comes to nursing. This isn't anything new, just the things I would have like shared with me.

I've prayed for each of my children before they were born. I even prayed that they would be good little eaters and that nursing would be a sweet time for both of us. I'm certain this is the most important thing I did to prepare for my little ones. I also took a one-time class at the hospital. Reading about nursing was also helpful. (I like What to Expect When You're Expecting, The Nursing Mother's Companion, and Baby 411.)

I had a friend, an experienced mom of four, who helped me. She answered questions and even came to the hospital to share her expertise. Lactation consultants helped, but nothing can replace a trusted friend.

I've stuck to the basics in this area. I stocked up on nursing supplies before the baby was born. This included nursing bras, nursing pads, and lanolin in case I got sore from nursing. I haven't been a big fan of the different nursing pillows, including the Boppy, but that is simply a personal preference. As for the other supplies, I've found Lansinoh nursing pads to be the best. I'm also a fan of Target's nursing tanks and bras. The prices and selection have been just right.

The only other nursing product I've used regularly has been my nursing cover. I love that I can secure it around my neck and not worry about it slipping down. This is especially important as babies become more active and therefore more prone to kicking off the blanket. Truly, this product has made nursing in public much easier.

I used the Avent Isis hand pump with my first two children. Neither of them consistently took a bottle. In fact, my son never took a bottle. I attribute this to the fact that I didn't pump regularly and therefore didn't give him a bottle regularly. My daughter also had a bit of an aversion to the bottle for the same reason. The pump worked just fine, but it wasn't convenient when giving a bottle several times a week. I've found that in order to get a baby to accept the bottle, she should initially get a bottle at least three times a week.

So far, Baby Girl is taking the bottle. This has been possible because I'm now using the Medela Pump in Style pump. I was fortunate enough to borrow one from a good friend. But, I can tell you that they are worth the price. Everything is so much more convenient. It is not a coincidence that Baby Girl takes a bottle. This is great as things come up that I'd like to do with my older children and it is nice that Daddy or someone else can feed Baby Girl. The book, The Nursing Mother's Companion, gives an excellent overview of the different types of pumps. It may be a tad dated, but I found it answered all of my questions.

I determined ahead of time the places I was going to nurse. For me it is a comfy chair in the family room or the rocker in the nursery. (And, you know, sometimes the van, park bench, corner at church, etc.) I made sure that I had a table nearby for water, a book, magazine, burp cloths, and anything else I found I needed while I nursed. It might be useful to have a basket containing all of these things and then any place could be your nursing spot.

If you have older children at home with you, it might be beneficial to make sure they have something fun to do while you nurse the baby. As both the baby and I have gotten better at nursing, I've found it nice to read aloud to Big Sister and Little Man as I nurse. Then, we all have time together and no one feels left out. But, I must confess, part of the reason I enjoy my nursing time, aside from holding my little one, is the fact that I get to read. I always read so much more when my children are young enough to nurse. After that, I'm too busy chasing them to read much more than the cover of a magazine.

These are the things that have worked for me. I truly feel blessed to be able to nourish my little ones. It is quite the privilege!

Be sure to visit Rocks in My Dryer for lots of helpful hints.


Anonymous said...

You offer straight-forward, positive tips. I've not taken the time to collect my thoughts as well as you've done. I'll have to remember to point friends who are new moms to them. Thanks for sharing.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

I'll be nursing my second in a few months. Thanks for the tips and encouragement!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the great tips. I will be nursing my third baby in a couple of weeks and I needed the reminders of what I will need.

Also, Amy Spangler's book on breastfeeding is very good. It's the one I used at my first breastfeeding class ten years ago.

Kate said...

Great post. I love the idea of having a dedicated spot at home for nursing, kind of like a little have for you and baby. I've been known to nurse while standing at the stove making dinner. LOL I'll try this next time!

Bonnie Way aka the Koala Mom said...

I'm in the middle of figuring out this breastfeeding thing with my two-and-a-half-week old. These are some great tips, so thanks for sharing! Another book with some great advice on breastfeeding is The Baby Book by Sears and Sears.

Brittani's Holding Little Hands said...

I loved this post because nurring my son was one of the biggest blessings I experienced with him as a baby (and even into toddlerhood). It was such a special time and it really helped me through all the life-changing reality a first baby brings. As his little eyes would peer up from me as he ate, I knew it was all worth it. The tips you gave were GREAT!

Miss Lisa said...

Awesome tips! I think nursing is a great thing for baby (and even toddler!).
None of my kids never took the bottle so I never really pumped unless I had a plugged duct.

Miss Lisa said...

You've been tagged...check my blog for the details!

GeonHui's Bakery said...

Great post and advice! I'm currently nursing my second. It's good to know you liked a nursing cover for when they get more wiggly, I'll have to look into one.


Superchikk said...

I am nursing my first, and he's always been a great eater. But as he's recently hit 7 months, we have hit a few snags. I'd love to hear how you deal with distractions, teething, and a little one that has decided they're 'done' even when you know they're still hungry.

Superchikk said...

Thanks so much for offering your advice, and so quickly! We are working through our rough patch, and we have days that are better than others. I started really asking other moms about it when I called the Ped's office and found out they no longer have a lactacian consultant and the nurse had no suggestions beyond what I'd already tried.

I didn't realize until just now that I've read your WFMW stuff before. Thanks for offering your wisdom.

Anonymous said...

After nursing three (2 were a joy, one a medical challenge), I found the lactation nurses through our local hospital. They were great at any point, and we could drop by for appointments as well - long after the birth - no charge. (This was only needed by my middle challenge.) I also happened to find that a friend was a helper for the La Leche League.

I loved the forced quiet time we had together. Grandma kept worrying about my welfare, but I knew that our our special nursing time might be a bigger gift to me than my child. 1 1/2 years with son1. Almost 2 years with son2. barely survived 8 months with the daughter in the middle - due to a VERY high palate - but glad we made it that far. Later we found that she had a few food allergies, so we were quite grateful for the extra boost she had as well.

There were some special friends from church who also offered to be on call if needed when I was starting out. They offered to receive calls "any time." Perhaps you have some friends who seem to be more established nursing that could be a local resource, or could share who their helpers were.

I was privileged to help a friend get on the road to some great nursing by being there during the "he's starving, but he won't eat" moment. God knew I was supposed to be on the meal delivery team that night. She was another happy nursing mom soon. It is great to be part of the support circle.