It’s hard but it gets easier.
It’s worth the time and effort.
It’s okay if you decide differently for you and your baby.
1. Take a class! Especially with the first one. And insist your husband go along. My husband who was totally reticent to take any classes said the breastfeeding one was the most helpful and he’d suggest it to anyone. You need his support, the second set of ears, and it really can help you all bond.
2. Ask to speak with, and speak with, and speak with a lactation consultant at the hospital.
While they are at your disposal, utilize them.
3. Ask for any supplies you might need.
4. Don’t be afraid to feed your baby.
You don’t have to hind under a cover. But you can if you want to.
You don’t have to leave the room. But you can if it’s easier.
You don’t have to worry. But it’s okay if you do.
5. Breastfeeding is natural but for most it doesn’t come naturally. It’s not the same thing.
6. Like most parts of parenting it gets easier, and harder, and you wonder and ask questions and just have to do what’s best for you and your baby. Go with your gut.
7. Talk to a friend who’s been successful. Ask them about what was hard, or tell them what is challenging you.
My favorite supplies….
My favorite cover up was an infinity scarf by InfinityMom.
My favorite disposable nursing pads were by Lansinoh.
My favorite reusable nursing pads were by Udder Covers online.
I used a nipple shield by Medela for weeks and slowly weaned my boys off. I kept it in my cleavage between feedings (thanks Kara for the tip) so that I didn’t loose it. I got one at the hospital and a second from Target. Have an extra if you baby needs them so you don’t end up without one when you really need it.
I love Target nursing tanks (I own 2 of each color – white, black, gray, and a striped). I use these 24 hours a day for several months.
Later I went to a nursing bra with a thin tank top over it. (I got several inexpensively in multiple colors from Forever21). I like them better so I look less saggy and feel more supported but use the tank top to keep my midriff covered. Then I can pull my main shirt up and the neck line of the tank down and not expose much of my body. This allows me to nurse anywhere without even really needing a cover. I stay modest but can easily feed my baby.
I do not like nursing bras in which there is a cut out for your nipple. I prefer ones in which the whole cup comes down exposing your whole breast. There is then less fabric to get wet, the baby can latch more easily and I feel like it requires less maneuvering.