In case you haven’t heard, it’s World Breastfeeding Week! Yippee! It runs from the 1st to the 7th August and is celebrated all around the world. The purpose of World Breastfeeding Week is to encourage and support mums on their breastfeeding journey, and to improve the health of babies worldwide. In 1990, government policy makers signed the Innocenti Declaration to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
I’ve been breastfeeding Molly for just over 6 months now and I’ve absolutely loved our breastfeeding journey so far. Of course, there have been times in which I’ve found it hard and struggled. Particularly in the first six weeks. However, I never had the intention to use formula so for me it was just about pushing on and accepting those tough times. It’s a shame that we have the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the UK. I think a lot of this comes down to cultural norms in a western society. Anyway, to encourage and support mums on their breastfeeding journey, I have put together some of my recommended essentials!
Breast Pads, Nipple Cream & Storage Bags – Lansinoh
Lansinoh sell a range of products to support and encourage mums to breastfeed. I have to say, I’m not sure I would have survived the first few weeks without some of their products! They kindly sent me some products to promote successful breastfeeding as part of my post for World Breastfeeding Week. If you’re just starting your breastfeeding journey then you’ll definitely need:
1. Nipple ointment
3. Breastmilk storage bags
For me, you can’t put a price on blister-free nipples. Anyone who’s going through those first few weeks of cracked nips, I feel ya pain. My toes used to curl every time Molly latched on as it was like she was suckling out shards of glass! The Lansinoh nipple ointment works better than any other and you can rest assured it’s perfectly safe for your little bubba. Even midwives recommend using this and you’ll often get given a little free sample if you ask your midwife or health visitor. However, definitely stock up on a tube of this amazing stuff if you’re packing your hospital bag – you’ll thank me for it! It’s not the cheapest, but it’s honestly worth every penny.
Breastpads are a MUST. Especially in those early days when your boobs don’t know how to control themselves. You’ll wake up looking like Jodie Marsh when your milk comes in – instant boob job! The Lansinoh disposable pads are great for packing in your hospital bag or popping in your handbag when you’re out and about. Most of the time I use reusable breast pads as I find them more comfortable, but I used disposable pads in hospital and for the first few weeks when I needed to change them constantly. The last thing you want to do is loads of washing, so make your life as easy as possible for those first few weeks.
Breast milk storage bags are a great way of saving that liquid gold for those later months when you can occasionally give your baby milk from a bottle. So much breastmilk gets wasted as people tend to pump and dump their milk to relieve engorgement. However, it’s great to be able to store some in the freezer using these convenient bags. I hand express as I find it the easiest way of pumping, but I’ve heard great things about the HaaKaa pump.
Breastfeeding Pillow – Baby Fresh Boutique
Man, I wish I had found this earlier. Achy arms and shoulders are a common problem associated with breastfeeding unfortunately. I always made do and just used cushions from the sofa to prop my arm up. However, Molly always ended up with marks on her face where she’d been resting against my hard arm! I was sent a lovely breastfeeding pillow from Baby Fresh Boutique and it’s been so lovely to use. I didn’t realise how uncomfortable it was before! Now Molly can rest on the comfy pillow and my arm is at the perfect height for feeding.
They stock a wonderful range of cushions with beautiful designs. Additionally, they sell lovely little bloomers. Molly looks utterly adorable in her strawberry bloomers! I love the packaging for these too, they come in a cute cup with a straw – a lovely touch. Click here to check out all of their great products.
Breastfeeding vitamins – Pregnacare
I underestimated the importance of these to begin with, but you really do need the right nutrients when feeding a baby. Mainly for you, as a baby will take everything they need and leave you without! You’ll notice a loss of hair around 3 or 4 months post partum. This usually occurs due to a hormone imbalance from breastfeeding, but it can also be due to lack of certain vitamins and minerals. They aren’t cheap, but I definitely recommend getting the pregnacare breastfeeding vitamins as they will really help support your body throughout breastfeeding.
Most importantly you need a lot of support from the people around you. This is key to successful breastfeeding. If you don’t have very supportive friends or family then join a breastfeeding group. It’s so important to feel encouraged through the hard times, particularly in the early weeks. The first time you feed in public you’re likely to feel nervous, that’s normal. Just remember, you’re doing the most natural thing in the world and if anyone has a problem with it, it’s their problem, not yours. The more breastfeeding mums hide away, the more we feed into the stigma that exists here in the UK to do with public breastfeeding. Breastfeeding must be seen for it to become an accepeted norm in our society.
Lansinoh are currently running a campaign to encourage confidence with feeding in public. This is aimed to celebrate the people and places that support breastfeeding mums to have positive experiences. Lansinoh are asking people to nominate places that they feel go above and beyond to support breastfeeding mums and make them feel welcome. Everyone who votes will be in with a chance to win a mini break with luxury family hotels. Click here to enter!
*This post contains items which were sent to me for World Breastfeeding Week. However, as usual all opinions are my own.