The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous, both for you and for baby. Besides saving around $5 daily in formula costs, you will burn about 500 calories while providing baby with sustenance packed with more than 300 ingredients that boost your child’s immune system and soothe his stomach.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding your baby breast milk exclusively for the first six months, and supplementing with healthy foods from twelve months and beyond. According to Diane Wessinger, author of “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” nursing for a year will typically decrease your child’s need for dental work and nursing past one year will ensure fewer visits to his doctor due to increased health.
Although you’re already built with everything you need to nourish your child, an arsenal of tools can increase your level of comfort and efficiency when doing so.
According to lactation consultant Leigh Anne O’Connor, IBCLC around-the-waist items like the Boppy pillow can be ill-fitting and even cause added back strain for breastfeeding moms.
The versatile and affordably-priced Baby Brezza Cuddle Cradle was ergonomically designed so Mom or Dad can use it when breast or bottle feeding, and for providing extra body and neck support when holding the baby. At just 4.5 ounces, it’s lightweight and its fuzzy fabric (available in blue, gray or pink) doesn’t require an extra cover. It’s suitable for use from newborn to five months, or up to 24″ long.
The Bliss Feeding Pillow by Born Free was developed with lactation consultants and offers both comfort and longevity – three positions help you achieve the best position for breastfeeding as your baby grows from newborn to infant and beyond six months. A deluxe 2-piece cotton slipcover is an optional accessory that adds flair and function, protecting your pillow from stains with quilted comfort, and is easily removable for machine washings.
San Diego Bebe Eco-Nursing Pillows are made with non-toxic, hypo-allergenic and fully-recyclable Eco*Loft Fiber and comes in two sizes, for moms of single babies and of twins. It has a breathable built-in privacy cover so you can use it on the go, providing the utmost comfort and discretion no matter where you are.
Using a breast pump can help moms returning to work soon after birth ensure the availability of breast milk continues round-the-clock when she’s on the clock. It’s also gives both parents an opportunity to bond with baby through bottle feeding using mother’s milk.
According to the Mayo Clinic, mothers with a well-established milk supply who are only occasionally away from baby may only need a simple hand pump. On the other hand, if obligations keep you away from baby more than a few hours a day, an electric pump may be best. A double pump enables you to pump both breasts simultaneously – stimulating milk production while cutting pumping time in half.
The Evenflo Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump provides slouch-free pumping comfort at 32 different speed and suction settings with a three-size flange system to help you find the perfect fit. Your purchase includes access to educational programming that will ensure you are successful with breastfeeding and pumping.
NUK’s Expressive Double Electric Breast Pump, also with 32 suction and speed settings, has a memory feature that remembers which setting you used last when powering it back on. Its pair of breast shields are made of soft silicone and had wide openings for optimum comfort. With minimal parts, it’s easy to assemble and clean – even in the dishwasher on the top rack.
While nursing your baby, it’s not uncommon for your other breast to leak. Rather than losing liquid onto your shirt or a nursing pad, preserve it with the Milkies Milk-Saver, available online at Fairhaven Health.
Disposable nursing pads from NUK are available in three levels of absorbency, from ultra-thin offering discreet, moderate protection to night dry that keeps you comfortable for up to eight hours overnight.
Cracked, sore and swollen nipples are par for the course when breastfeeding but nipple balm can bring some comfort and relief. The 2 ounce jar of Zoe Organics Nipple Balm, available online at Rodales, contains 100 percent organic ingredients that needn’t be washed off before your next nursing session.
In a convenient single-ounce stick, The Spoiled Mama Fix That Sucker Nipstick provides relief with a 100 percent natural formula that can be used to soothe baby’s bum when diaper rashes strike.
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