Melanie Kissell

Breastfeeding Essential Supplies – Preparing For Nursing

In Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding supplies on February 20, 2012 at 11:06 am

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No need to mortgage your home to prepare for breastfeeding a new baby! Breastfeeding does not require a large quantity of supplies and high-tech equipment. Your body prepares for breastfeeding naturally, leaving only a few convenient essentials for the new mother to have on hand.

Hopefully your pregnancy pillow is one that can double as a nursing pillow, which will save you a few dollars right from the start.  One that is machine washable is best since new babies can be a bit messy.  It’s a good idea to pick up a couple of slip covers that will fit your pillow snugly.

For sore nipples:  lanolin cream, olive oil, tea bags, and cold green cabbage leaves (yes, you read that correctly) can provide soothing relief.  Olive oil can work miracles but it’s very thick so don’t forget to wash it off before baby’s next feeding.  The biggest favor you can do your nipples is to air them out in between feedings.  Air drying helps to toughen them up and keep them in good condition.

A breast pump, nursing pad inserts, nursing bras, and burp cloths are absolute staples in a nursing mom’s life.  You have the choice of manual, battery-operated, and electric pumps.  Every mom has her favorite.  Nursing pads come in disposable varieties and those that can be laundered and used over and over again.  Decide on which one fits your budget.  A cloth diaper can easily serve as a burp cloth.

Nothing can be as bothersome as an ill-fitting nursing bra.  One area to splurge a little extra on is the bra department.  As you lose your pregnancy weight, a bra with adjustable cups is an excellent choice.

Melanie Kissell

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Breastfeeding Tips for the First Six Weeks

In Breastfeeding on January 17, 2012 at 11:08 am

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Breastfeeding is a gift that lasts a lifetime and a gift that only a mother can give her baby. The first six weeks will be both a glorious adventure and a time for learning.

Breast milk is a complete food source, containing all the nutrients your baby needs – at least 400 of them to be exact, including hormones and disease-fighting compounds. The nutritional makeup of breast milk will adjust to your baby’s needs as he or she grows and develops.

Aside from the brain-building, infection-fighting benefits of breast milk, nursing will also help to build an extraordinary bond between you and your baby.  When nursing, your child thrives on the secure comfort of your contact, cuddling, and holding.

Since breastfeeding sessions can take up to 40 minutes or more, pick a cozy spot and atmosphere where you won’t get easily distracted by noise.  Turn on some soothing music if you live on a busy street, in a lively apartment complex, or there’s construction going on nearby.

Hold your baby in a position that won’t leave your arms, neck, or back sore.  A nursing pillow can sometimes be a big help.  Some moms prefer to sit upright in a glider rocker or comfortable chair while other moms love to nurse lying down.  Like any other new skill, breastfeeding will take practice.  While some moms adjust to breastfeeding easily, other moms feel more challenged.

If you feel discouraged at times, know that you aren’t alone.  Always take it one feeding at a time and give yourself as much time as you need until it becomes second nature.

Pay attention to how your breasts feel when you baby first latches on.  The initial attachment can be somewhat uncomfortable at times, but try to be patient.  The discomfort usually subsides in about 60 to 90 seconds.  If not, then break your baby’s latch and begin again.

The more you breast feed, the more you’ll learn.  Keep in mind that any problems are temporary, and you’ll be nursing like a pro by your six-week postpartum check up!

Melanie Kissell

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Okay, It’s Time To Pump! How To Use A Breast Pump

In Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding supplies, Pumping on February 28, 2013 at 8:19 pm

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Just like first learning to breastfeed, pumping is a skill – I might even say it’s an art!    When first trying a breast pump, most mothers are only able to express a few drops of milk.  That’s okay.  Don’t get discouraged.  With the proper practice and knowledge, you will become a pro at pumping.

Preparing your breast pump

1. Read all the instructions in the kit very carefully.

2. Check to see if any parts need to be sterilized before usage — most likely not — but be sure to check.

3. After use, all the parts of the pump will need to be washed in warm soapy water, then rinsed with hot water and drained on a clean towel.  The  plastic tubing doesn’t need to be cleaned unless you get milk stuck into it.  If you do wash it, it should be hung up to allow time to drain and dry thoroughly.

4. When you first start with an electric pump, the suction level should be set at the lowest

possible setting.  You can increase the amount of pressure, gradually, in small increments until you find the setting that’s absolutely perfect for you.

Let’s get started!

  • Warm compresses, gentle massages of the breast and gentle nipple stimulation will help  to stimulate a quick let down.
  • You should always relax while doing breast massages during pumping.  Some mothers prefer to close their eyes then think about nursing the baby, imagining the baby in their arms. The more relaxed a mother is, the better let down she’ll have and the more milk will be dispensed.
  • Your first attempts at pumping should be considered practice sessions with learning to use the breast pump as the goal, not how much milk is actually dispensed.
  • When you use a hand pump, quick, short pumps at the start is stimulating and will imitate more closely the way a baby breast feeds.  Once the let down occurs and milk starts to flow freely, long, steadier strokes are more effective and less tiring.
  • When you learn to pump, you should practice for 5 minutes on each side at least once or twice a day.  Always pick the least stressful part of your day for pumping.

Relaxing and realizing that the pump is your friend is the single most important thing that a mother can do.  There are several things that a mother can do to help herself relax – putting a picture of the baby on the pump, playing cards or a game with friends, watching television, read books, or talk on the phone.  Simply watching the collection bottle is not helpful and will probably put more stress on you than you actually need.

Stay positive.  Some moms pump out 4 or 5 ounces on their very first attempt!

Melanie Kissell

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