Multi-Mam Compresses: These are an absolute must have when you start breastfeeding. You don’t need to wash your nipples between feeds. They soothe the nipples, help the healing process if they’ve cracked or cut, and help prevent infections like the dreaded mastitis. Tip: Cut the compresses in two, one half for each nipple, to make them last longer.
Lanolin: No need to wash this off between feeds either. Let’s be realistic, there isn’t much time for messing around with nipple washing. It’s a lovely thick, soothing cream that will help soothe your nipples. Tip: Use from the very start. Don’t wait for your nipples to get sore.
Breast Pads: You need these to soak up leaking milk, protect your bra from the Lanolin cream (which can tend to stain) and keep your multi-mam compresses in place. Multi-functional! Find a brand you like because depending on how long you breastfeed for, you will be wearing A LOT of these. I actually really like the Johnson’s ones. They’ve a nice shape and have good soakage.
A Good, Supportive Nursing Bra: SO important! When feeding my first girl I went au-natural but a good nursing bra is so necessary. I thought I was being all ‘mother earth’ but all it meant was my cream was coming off, my compresses were getting lost and milk was staining everything. A good bra can really help if your boobs are sore and aching in the beginning.
Easy to Eat Snacks: You will be hungry and your hands will be full. Make sure you’ve fuel to keep going. And yes, it should be healthy…. I ate biscuits though…
Water: Lots and lots of water – whatever about hunger, the thirst you feel will be like no other. Drink water! Lots of it. It helps with the feeding. Tip: You will genuinely feel better if you down a tall glass of cold water while feeding.
A Supportive Partner: Someone to help, whether it’s a husband, wife, mother, sister, brother, neighbour, friend, basically anyone who can give you a break between feeds, even if it’s just to change a nappy – or twenty. It can make all the difference.