If you’re a new mom then you’ve probably heard that “breast is best” – and with good reason. Breastfeeding not only has significant nutritional benefits, but it also helps ensure that baby is getting all of the vitamins and antibodies that he needs to combat viruses and disease. So whether you have just started, or are planning on nursing in the future, this list of breastfeeding must-haves will get you started on your way.
There are many herbal teas out there to help with your supply including some of our favorite brands like Yogi Tea, Traditional Medicinals and Earth Mama Angel Baby. These teas contain proprietary blends of herbs that increase breast milk production. Sit back and enjoy a pleasantly aromatic balance of sweet, spicy and slightly bitter tastes. For a full infusion steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
If you’re looking to increase your milk supply, most lactation consultants will recommend taking Fenugreek. This herb has been used since ancient times and is one of the most well-known galactagogues (any food and medication that increases your supply.) Remember that herbal remedies can affect everyone differently, so if it works for you expect to see a change in supply within 24-72 hours. It’s recommended to take two or three capsules 3x/day to improve milk production.
Those first couple of weeks when your baby is feeding “on demand” can cause dry, cracked and sore nipples. Toss in a healthy dose of sleep deprivation and it’s easy to see why the first weeks post-birth can send even the most hardened breastfeeding supporters scrambling for formula. However, a really good nipple cream can restore and ease the pain so you can continue nursing. Look for a cream that’s safe for ingestion and contains only natural ingredients.
Manual Breast Pump
A manual breast pump can be a more affordable option, especially for moms who only need to pump on occasion. You control the suction and the speed and since it doesn’t require batteries or an outlet it frees you to pump just about anywhere. These easy to operate one-handed pumps make for a good back-up in case your electric pump goes on the fritz, and are lightweight and small enough to fit in most diaper bags.
Did you know that just thinking about you baby can stimulate the release of the hormone oxytocin which tells your breast to release the milk? A sudden release of milk is called a “let down” and without a nursing pad in place it could lead to an embarrassing moment. We recommend this super soft brand made from 100% organic cotton.
For additional information and breastfeeding support, visit La Leche League’s website to find a group near you.