There’s not much you need to buy if you plan to breastfeed your baby. The basic equipment is obviously already there! But in the early days there are a few breastfeeding products that I found made my life a bit easier and more comfortable.

My 5 favourite breastfeeding products

Lansinoh HPA nipple cream

This cream was a lifesaver for me. It’s a little pricey at £10.49 for quite a small tube, but it will be the best tenner you ever spend. And it lasts for ages—I actually still have two half tubes left. I had some nipple damage from a bad latch in the first week of feeding and this really helped it heal and prevented any more happening. After the first 6-8 weeks I didn’t really need it every day, but it was occasionally useful again if Jacob started feeding frequently during a growth spurt. It’s also a great lip balm!

Medela Swing breast pump

I previously wrote a more detailed blog post on the medela swing breast pump. There are loads of breast pumps on the market. Some are cheaper, but I do think this is one thing it’s not worth scrimping on. I’m usually all for saving money, but breast pumping is time-consuming and the last thing you want to do it spend more time doing it because you wanted to save a few quid. It’s just not worth it.

If you aren’t sure whether you’ll need one before birth, don’t buy one. You can always do next day delivery on one after the baby is born if you are desperate. Although, having said that, I did use mine a lot in the first year.

Lansinoh Therapearl

The Lansinoh Therapearl 3 in 1 breast therapy was a lifesaver when my milk first came in and I had engorgement. I’d frozen them in advance and the relief when I put them on was amazing. They can also be heated in the microwave for relief from mastitis and blocked ducts, and can also be used when pumping to warm the breast and increase milk flow. I didn’t need to use them often, but when I did need them they were brilliant. I’ve also used them since as a first aid item as a cold compress! Multi-use!

Nursing bra

Not everyone agrees with this, and I know lots of people just fold down their normal bras, but—particularly at first—I found a nursing bra so much more convenient. The last thing you want when you are trying to get the baby to latch correctly is to have to fuss around with your bra. Hot Milk have a great selection of pretty and comfortable bras.

Breast pads

These Lansinoh breast pads are the best ones I found. I tried various brands, supermarket cheap ones and these, and although they were more expensive, they didn’t soak through like others. Definitely worth splashing out on.

*This post contains some affiliate links. I receive a small amount of commission for purchases made through them, but this doesn’t cost you any more.

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Welcome back to the 5th instalment of my breastfeeding guest series. This week Mini Mummi Blogger shares her painful initial experiences of breastfeeding little J, and how she sorted out the problem.

Mini Mummy Blogger’s breastfeeding experiences

Even before becoming pregnant, I just assumed that I would breastfeed my baby. For me, that seemed like the natural choice. Not once did I consider the alternatives of formula or exclusively expressing breastmilk (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those), although I did have plans to express for emergencies. That is, until after little J was born and I actually started breastfeeding.

At first, he had trouble latching, so the midwives helped me express colostrum to feed to him using a syringe. (It’s amazing how practically your entire body is poked and prodded during pregnancy and in those days following the birth, without a second thought.) He didn’t have a tongue tie or anything that would physically prevent him from latching; so the first couple of times, he was given colostrum with the syringe, until he more or less worked it out. I fed him on demand, unless three hours had gone by and the nurses brought him in to wake up and feed. It seemed like our feeding rhythm was improving by the time I went home five days later.

By the time I’d been home for a fortnight, it had started to hurt when I breastfed. A lot. And it only got worse. It wasn’t just that he was feeding every 1.5-2 hours all of a sudden; something just didn’t feel right. I knew beforehand that breastfeeding was supposed to be painful at first, as the nipples take a while to get used to it. But as the weeks went by, it hurt more and more, to the point that I’d cry from the pain every time he fed. My family would wince along with me each time he latched. Whenever I fed J in the middle of the night or early morning, Christian would hear me crying and wake up to comfort me. His support boosted my determination to continue breastfeeding despite the pain.

I’d started off using a nipple shield in the hospital, just to help J latch on better in the early days, and this helped him get the hang of things. However, it didn’t dull the pain at all, as the midwives said it would. When the child health nurse came around to our house to measure and weigh him, we talked about expressing as an option. I’d already planned to start storing expressed breastmilk for emergencies, but she agreed that giving J a bottle once a day might give me some relief. So I started expressing just before the final feed of the day and giving it to him in a bottle instead. This brought a huge improvement in my experience, as the last feed of the day was always the most painful. As I got used to breastfeeding, I also started expressing before his first feed of the day and using the bottle for the last feed of the day, as I produced more milk overnight than I could express before going to sleep. This kept him full overnight, so he started to sleep longer (which was great, since he’s not much of a day-napper!).

Still, the pain persisted. I used balm to soothe the raw skin; I used heat packs to help open up the blood vessels before feeding. In combination, these things had a small impact, but it felt like lots of effort for very little relief. I went to see a lactation specialist, and this is where the experience really started to improve. She helped me find a better way to hold J when I was feeding him, so that it was easier for him to get a better latch. She also suspected I might suffer from vasospasm (https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/vasospasm) (where blood vessels spasm and prevent the blood from flowing properly), and recommended I get special breast pads designed for alleviating the pain. This also helped a bit.

Finally, after weeks of trying this and that, I started to feel genuine relief. Today, seven months on, breastfeeding is virtually painless. Except when my little man decides to chomp down while he’s feeding, that is! I am so grateful to everyone who offered sympathy or advice that contributed to me continuing to breastfeed. More than once I felt like throwing in the towel – I couldn’t see how I could possibly continue resisting the pain for a year (my planned breastfeeding timeframe). But I am so happy that I persevered. Overall, it has been a positive experience. I have learned a lot about myself and what I will go through for the benefit of my son. And, the physical closeness required for breastfeeding has helped strengthen our bond. I still express for convenience when we have a longer car trip or to make it easier for me to get errands done without having to find somewhere I feel comfortable feeding him. But I’m happy that I don’t have to express. I know J prefers to breastfeed – it gives him comfort as well as nourishment. But when he drinks from his bottle, it delights me to see him holding it himself, like a little boss!

*****

Thanks so much for sharing this. I think it highlights just how important proper support is, and also knowing when to ask for help. Sometimes seeing a specialist is the best thing you can do! I was also a big fan of giving a bottle of expressed milk before bed after a while—it’s good to have a bit of a break.

 You can follow Mini Mummi Blogger’s blog and social media accounts by clicking the links below.

Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!

Blog: http://minimummiblogger.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minimummiblogger/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/minimummiblog

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/minimummiblogger/

If you’d like to contribute to this guest series comment below or send me an email andjacobmakesthree@gmail.com.

 

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As you may know, Jacob started nursery several weeks ago. As I’d been told by many people, we all got ill. So, so ill. Colds, stomach bugs and, most recently, CHICKENPOX. The horror. So I’ve had to come up with my nursery survival kit—a box of tricks that help us, and Jacob, feel better when the lurgy strikes. Chemist.co.uk kindly gave me a voucher so I could pick the things I wanted to show you in this post*.

Nursery survival kit for baby

Calpol Vapour Plug and Nightlight. This plug-in product releases vapours that help baby to breathe through the heaviest cold. It also has a handy night-light which gives off a blue light. Each plug comes with 5 refills.

Calpol Saline nasal drops. These drops help clear out little blocked noses, which can help with sleeping. As they just contain saline, they are suitable from birth, unlike a lot of other cold products for babies.

Snufflebabe vapour rub. Another cold product. Are you seeing a theme here?! We’ve had a few colds in this household lately. This vapour rub is like Vicks for babies. It’s a mild decongestant that helps baby breathe through a cold. You can rub it onto their chest or put some on a tissue or hanky left near their cot. The rub contains eucalyptus oil, menthol and thyme oil.

Calpol. The classic medicine that a mum (or dad) is never without. Helps baby through fevers and pain. This is my absolute must have (don’t forget to read the leaflet before use).

Braun thermoscan 7. This didn’t come from Chemist.co.uk, I already had it, but no illness survival kit is complete without a thermometer. Useful for assessing whether medicine, or a trip to the doctor, is needed, but mostly just essential for peace of mind.

Nursery survival kit for mummy and daddy

Berocca. When I feel a cold coming on I crack out the Berocca. I like to get my vitamins from food, but when illness strikes or I’m feeling a bit rundown it’s always worth topping up!

Milton Antibacterial Surface Wipes. When Jacob has a cold I like to give things the occasional wipe down with these to try to prevent the spread of the illness. Doesn’t always seem to work for us, but I figure it’s worth a try! They are also really useful for the changing bag if your baby, like mine, tends to drop things when you’re out and about.

Mum & Me hand gel. A hand gel when you’ve got an ill baby is a must! Again, doesn’t always work, but worth a try!

First Defence. I was skeptical about this, but as it was recommended to me by a health professional I thought it was worth a go. I actually think it has worked for me. First Defence is a nasal spray that is meant to trap the viruses that cause colds, meaning they can’t infect you. If taken at the first sign of a cold it should prevent it, or at least reduce the chances of it turning into a full-blown cold. Game changer. I just need to remember to take it!

Olbas Oil. When I do get a cold, I love using a few drops of this on a tissue to help unblock my nose. It’s also really nice to put a tissue with some on inside your pillowcase.

*Chemist.co.uk kindly provided a voucher so I could select these products to show you, but all the choices were my own.

 

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These yogurt pancakes with fresh fruit make a brilliant healthy breakfast that babies and toddlers love. They are easy to make, nutritious and a great finger food. Best of all they are suitable for the whole family—just double up the quantities to make a big batch.

Yogurt pancake recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 100ml full fat greek yogurt (I use greek yogurt because it has a higher protein content)
  • 200ml full fat milk
  • 150g self raising flour
  • Coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)
  • Fresh fruit (blueberries are Jacob’s favourite, but they’d work with any fruit—bananas and strawberries in particular)
  • Honey or maple syrup for serving (NB: don’t use honey for babies under a year!)

Method

  1. Crack the egg in a bowl and gently whisk.
  2. Add the yogurt and milk and mix. The greek yogurt is quite thick so mix until well combined.
  3. Then add the flour and mix until you have a smooth batter.
  4. Heat a spoonful of coconut oil in a frying pan.
  5. Once the oil is hot add tablespoons of batter. Be careful they don’t bleed into each other. You want them to stay separate.
  6. Cook for 1-2 minutes until light brown, then turn over and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
  7. Serve with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and the fruit on top.

This recipe makes about 12 small pancakes (depending on the size of your dollops of batter!). They can be frozen to eat later.

For more inspiration take a look at my Finger foods for babies list.

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