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Have you read part 1 yet? If not, please take a moment to read it here. If you’ve already read it – THANK YOU for coming back to read part 2! I hope you find these tips useful.
5. Pumping to help get through the pain.
Are you nursing your little one and have tried the Hydrogel pads, have checked your latch, but are still hurting? I remember at about two weeks I was bleeding and hurting so much that I would instantly start crying when he latched. It turned out my latch was fine but because we were learning and because his jaw was a bit slanted at that time, it hurt extra bad. I wasn’t ready to introduce formula because I was afraid it would be too much of a crutch.
So…I started pumping. I took 24 hours off from nursing and instead pumped for those 24 hours and then fed him the breast milk in a bottle. Surprisingly, the pumping didn’t hurt at all even though the baby latching did. This let me still provide breast milk AND let me heal so that I could return to nursing. After just 24 hours of pumping, I was able to return to nursing with almost no discomfort. If you find yourself in a similar situation, and you just can’t bear to let the baby latch, maybe try to pump for 24 hours and then try again.
This may be a bit controversial because many people will say you shouldn’t start pumping at two or three weeks postpartum, but in my case I had to pump in order to get through that two week hump. I didn’t get engorged, the baby didn’t get used to the bottle instead of the breast, and I was able to (almost) I exclusively nurse for 12 months (with the exception of maybe 6 oz of formula) and we had a great nursing relationship. I’m not a doctor and I can’t guarantee that you’ll have the same results, but this might be something to consider or speak to your doctor about if you find yourself in a similar situation to me.
Be sure to also check on the baby’s latch and try to identify the cause of the discomfort. It might be nothing, and it might just be the result of the two of you learning… but it could also be the result of a bad latch or tongue tie. So do what you need to do to get past that 2 or 3 week hump, but also try to find the underlying cause. Good luck!
6. Nursette Bottles are your friend until your comfortable nursing in public.
I’ll admit that when I first started nursing, I had trouble nursing in public, and let’s face it… those nursing covers are the worst! For me, the best part of nursing was seeing my little one’s adoring eyes when we nursed. I loved seeing his peaceful face, so why would I want to cover it up? I hated using a cover and it really didn’t matter which cover I tried… I just didn’t like it. I have some tricks on how to be discrete while nursing without a cover, and I’ll try to address that another time. But.. until then… Nursette bottles are your friend!
Yes… they are filled with formula, and yes I understand that many mothers want to use 100% breast milk, I did too, but… there were times when that wasn’t an option. Either, little one was hungry at a time when I was outside and couldn’t nurse him, or I couldn’t warm up the pumped milk I had, or he was with daddy outside etc. Those times occur, and it was comforting to know that I had some milk for him no matter where I was or who he was with. I bought a pack and kept them with me… and honestly, I barely ever used them!
I MAYBE used 3 or 4 bottles (2oz each). Just knowing that I had them, though, was comforting and a lifesaver when I did need them. Even if you never use them, I do recommend keeping them in your diaper bag just in case! (and let me repeat… I too wanted to exclusively nurse, but at the end of the day, I wanted him to be fed more).
If you haven’t seen these “Nursette” bottles before or want to purchase a pack, you can use this link below:
7. A Hands-Free Pumping Solution is KEY!
These can be super expensive, and I don’t like to spend more than I have to… So i went with the LactaMed Simplicity Hands-Free Pumping Bra Kit which costs just under $10 with free shipping if you have Amazon Prime! This pump “holder” was so amazing and helpful! First, it works with all pumps – so if you happen to have more than one, or one breaks and you replace it with a different one, you’re able to still use it. It’s also tiny so you can store it easily – it takes so little space! It’s super easy to put on and even though it’s cheap, it held up for the year I pumped! I couldn’t have been happier with it – I actually ended up buying two so that I’d have a backup! If you decide to try it out, you can use the link above or click on the picture below and it will take you to the amazon page. It can take a few minutes of practice to learn how to put it on but you can always email me if you need any help!
8. Don’t stock up on bottles before your little one is born or you start using a bottle!
Babies, especially babies who primarily nurse, can be very picky when it comes to bottles and bottle nipples. My first had gastro issues and would spit up if I used anything but the Avent bottle systems (and we tried just about everything before we got to Avent). My second, on the other hand, did just fine with the standard Medela bottles and nipples. I didn’t need anything special with him. I’ve heard the same from many others to. So if I have one piece of advice for bottles – especially if you’re going to be primarily nursing (or nursing until they get to daycare), it’s to buy just a couple at first until you’re sure that it works well for your little one!
9. Stick to the “Level 1” or “Slow Flow” Bottle Nipples.
With my second, since I nursed him and he rarely used bottles until he got to daycare, I thought the Medela Calma Bottle System would be best. I was worried he’d like the bottle nipple better than me, so I was willing to pay a bit extra to ensure our nursing relationship had the best chance of succeeding. I REALLY didn’t like the Calma nipples! REALLY… really didn’t like them because the baby got frustrated and they leaked really badly! Instead, I used the regular Medela bottle nipples, and just didn’t move up from the stage 1s. That way, he still had to work harder like he did with nursing, and didn’t prefer them over the breast. If you find you need to use bottles occasionally, or for daycare, maybe try staying with the level 1 or level 2 nipples and don’t go higher than that. It might work for you too!
Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now! I plan to write a post with tips for how to pump at work soon too. If you’re interested, please subscribe or check back for that! I hope you find these tips useful! If you have any other tips, or tried these out and it worked… please comment below!
Are you worried about your milk supply? If so, you might like my recipe for Lactation Cookies!