Breastfeeding basics: the necessities for nursing
For something that’s natural, breastfeeding doesn’t come easily for everyone. For starters, it takes most moms and babies a while to get the hang of it; 92 percent of new moms surveyed at UC Davis Medical Center three days after giving birth said they were having problems breastfeeding. Add in difficulties with latching, supply issues, and other individual problems, and you wind up with only 36 percent of American moms nursing by 6 months.
One way or another, babies need to be fed, and we support all feeding choices, but we want to make sure that moms who choose breastfeeding have all of the equipment they need to help them get the job done! That’s why we offer a selection of the very best breastfeeding gear to make nursing and pumping simpler, to save you some stress and help you enjoy the early months of motherhood.
A quality nursing pillow offers the following benefits:
- It supports the baby so you have your hands free to get both your breast and the baby in the right position, and so you can sit up straight, the stress off of your arms, back, neck, shoulders, and wrists. It will also help the baby to get a correct latch. During the first months of your baby’s life, you may find yourself spending 5-8 hours a day nursing, so it’s worth it to make sure you’re comfortable!
- It can also be used to help prop up babies who have reflux, colic, and other tummy issues.
- You can use your nursing pillow for back support during the last trimester of your pregnancy.
- If you have a C-section, the right pillow will help to position the baby away from the incision site and make it more comfortable for you.
- When your baby is learning to sit up (at 4-6 months), you can use your nursing pillow as a support.
We offer three great choices with three levels of firmness for you to choose from:
- Boppy Nursing Pillow, $32.99: For over 25 years, the classic Boppy has been a huge favorite. It offers medium-to-light firmness, and has plenty of options for machine-washable covers.
- Ergobaby Natural Curve Nursing Pillow, $70.00: This pillow is designed to angle the baby towards your breast. It’s very firm, and does a great job helping you sit up straight.
- Nook Niche Nursing Pillow, $100.00: This medium-firmness pillow offers maximum coziness and premium materials, including organic cotton, eucalyptus, and organic Kapok. It’s terrific for extended nursing, since it will fit a bigger child, and also makes an awesome body pillow.
Anyone who thinks it’s inappropriate to breastfeed in public is firmly in the wrong – babies need to eat! – but that doesn’t mean that every mom is going to feel comfortable feeding her baby anywhere she goes, especially in the beginning. You may find that once you’ve been breastfeeding for a while, you don’t care so much, but in the meantime, we’ve got you covered!
The most traditional cover in our assortment is the Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover, which moms love because of their rigid neckline: it holds the fabric away from your neck so you and your baby can see each other, making it easier to get the baby positioned correctly. Bebe Au Lait also offers a cotton muslin “infinity scarf” style cover, which doubles as a stylish accessory when you’re not nursing!
If you’re going the accessory route, the NüRoo Nursing Scarf takes it to the next level: it can be worn as a scarf, a shrug, a tunic, or a vest, and a series of snaps let you create custom coverage. This thing is COOL.
A nursing bra is designed to give your baby easy access with cups that open up. Since one way or another, during your pregnancy, your breasts are almost certainly bigger than they were before, you may need to start wearing your nursing bra before your baby is even born: Tracey at Cake Lingerie recommends getting professionally fitted for your nursing bra at about 8 months of pregnancy. She also recommends sticking with a seamless nursing bra for the first few weeks while your breasts are adjusting to milk production. We also love nursing tanks, which Chelsea lauded in this blog for their versatility!
…AND SPEAKING OF MEDELA
In addition to the pumping bustier, Medela makes virtually everything else you’ll need to pump and feed breast milk: top-quality breast pumps and a zillion accessories, including spare breast pump parts kits, extra tubing, freezer bags, quick-clean wipes, and more. We’ve partnered with Acelleron Medical Products to make it easier for moms to get their free breast pumps through the Affordable Care Act, and Acelleron will almost certainly provide you with a Medela pump: you can find everything else for successful pumping here at Magic Beans! (And, we’ve tried Acelleron ourselves – check out this rave review from one of our sales associates!)
Of course, determining which of all of these items is best for your lifestyle may still require some work – so let us do the work for you! Schedule a free consultation with one of our baby gear experts or just visit your nearest Magic Beans store, and we’ll set you on the right path towards a successful breastfeeding journey!