Mooove Over Milkman!

Clearly an inside joke, but one I’m sure any mom who has breast-fed can relate to… I introduce “The Sherrill Dairy” (aka: Diane Rose)operating around the clock, 24 hours daily. It’s times like these you really feel for the cows… or, maybe you just feel like a cow, I’m not exactly sure.

I will not tell you my opinion on whether you should or should not breast feed your child, I don’t even know that I have an opinion. I will tell you that I, a formula fed baby, have found breastfeeding my son to be both rewarding and relatively easy (thank goodness).

Our beginnings were frustrating, as my colostrum didn’t come in. For the first 5-6 days we were forced to supplement with formula, via syringe at the nipple, as we watched Beckett’s weight plummet 10oz in a few days. The two-man job was hard, but my husband and I got through it. I worried that this setback could mean my dreams of breastfeeding may also be devastated, but alas when the milk came in, boy did it ever C-O-M-E I-N!! I’ll never forget waking up on the first or second day home from the hospital with my brand new set of rock-hard tah-tahs…. OUCH!! Just one more thing you can not be prepared for!

Beckett took to the breast easily, takes a bottle with no repercussion, and nurses on one side per feeding for a maximum of 15 minutes, every three hours (I know I’m lucky). He is growing like a weed and I couldn’t be more proud of my body and the nutrients it is providing for my boy. I love breastfeeding and our special minutes we get to spend together. It is truly (in my humble opinion) a miracle and I thank God for this amazing experience (and money-saving opportunity).

There are several things I have found useful in this journey, here are my suggestions.

#1. Breast Pump… Yes, you need one! I would suggest renting a hospital grade pump for a couple of weeks, even if you already own a double electric pump (I know you just spent $300 on one, but trust me, there’s a difference). My delivery hospital had a Medela Symphony (retails for over $1500. Yes, there’s a difference!!) that was much better at emptying my breasts, than my Medela Pump-in-Style I’m using now, especially helpful when they are extra full the first few weeks.

Hospital grade pump if you’re ballin’:

Home-use pump I bought:

#2. Milk Storage… Get some freezer bags (5oz, box of 50) and extra storage containers (2.5oz or larger, box of 6-12) for the fridge. I stock piled around thirty 5oz freezer bags in the first 2 weeks home. If your breasts produce like mine, you’ll be glad you have these!! I pumped after almost every feeding and am so thankful I did because my supply has slowed, making just what Beckett needs. It’s nice knowing I have extra milk in the freezer when I feel like having a cocktail or when I’m away from the boy (at work or otherwise).

Freezer bags I use:

Fridge storage containers I use:

#3. Nursing Bras… I’m still figuring this out. I definitely appreciated having some on hand for when I got home from the hospital. The basic “sports bra” or sleep bra type is best until you know what size your breasts will settle into. I found Target carries a brand called Basics by Bravado! that I like a lot. Get 4 or 5, I leaked and Beckett got milk all over me those first few weeks while we were figuring everything out and you’ll want enough to last you through your laundry cycle. I have bought a couple more that give me some shape for when I wear something other than pj’s and sweat suits. I followed suit and bought some by the brand Bravado! Designs. Last, but not least, get a hands free pumping bra.

Sports bra type I like:

For more shape:

Hands free bra I like:

#4. Nursing tops… I decided against these because nursing tanks aren’t flattering. They’re short and tight around the middle, when all I wanted was room for my new belly and length to cover it. I know the work that needs to be done, I don’t need to be reminded of it every time I look down at it (thank you very much). Instead, I opted for cotton camisoles that you could just move over to nurse. They are cute and comfy and I live in pj’s around the house (my husband is a lucky man, ha ha). I feel like my normal wardrobe works just fine outside the house, as long as I can pull it up or down.

Cami’s I bought were this brand: (they have a better selection in the store)

#5. Nursing Pads… I use a reusable, washable kind and I really love them. Definitely get something, because you’ll leak. My breasts filled up fast for the first month or so, I opted for day-use ones (thin) and evening-use ones (thick).

My favorites:

#6. Breast Care… Gel soothies were a life saver for my sore nipples. I put them in the fridge while I nursed and by the time I was done, they would be nice and cold, and really helped alleviate the soreness. I tried many brands but liked Ameda the best. Lanolin cream was also helpful in this department. No need to stock pile these items though, as you may only need them for a couple of weeks. Have a few packs of soothies (they last for up to a week) and a single tube of lanolin. My boy hasn’t started teething yet and we didn’t have any latch problems, so take that piece of advice with a grain of salt, I am a new mom after all. Oh, and ask for both at the hospital, they will give you some for free!!

My favorite soothies:

#7. Nursing Support… get My Breast Friend Nursing Pillow, even if you already have a Boppy (which seems to be the nursing standard). I have both, the Boppy in the living room for occasional use (while watching TV or for propping up Becks) and The Breast Friend in the nursery for the majority of use. The reason, The Breast Friend attaches around your waist and has lumbar support. It’s great to be able to clip it around your middle, then pick up the baby and sit down, instead of trying to get the pillow right while holding the baby and getting comfortable. Trust me, sleep deprivation and getting used carrying a squirming sack of potatoes is hard, and your back will be aching.

I have this one:
#8. Burp Rags… Aden and Anais Birpy Bibs are awesome and can also be used as bibs. I love all their products actually (swaddles, sleep sacks, etc.), they wash well, are soft and super cute!

Love these:

#9. Bottles… We didn’t have any latch problems so I let Matt feed Becks once a day (male bonding, you know). My lactation consultant suggested a couple that we have really liked with slow nipple flow.

Just a suggestion: and:

#10. Mommy Entertainment… You will spend the majority of your day breastfeeding, or at least it will feel that way. Start recording your favorite shows or pick up a new series on DVD that you’ve been told about. If you don’t have a TV in the nursery or wherever you’ll be breastfeeding (like me) I would suggest an iPhone or iPad for apps, games, etc.

Me: “That about covers it folks. I still can’t believe how many things one little person requires.”

Beckett (if he could talk): “Don’t have a cow, mom!” (rolling eyes)

Me: “You’re right, son. Every little thing helps!” (grinning from ear to ear)