The clothes and accessories that helped me breastfeed
Among the many things that make me wince when I remember the first days of motherhood (the pain of recovery! Lack of sleep! The fear of killing the baby!), The difficulties of early breastfeeding are certainly at the top of the list. list. The memories come back in a sequence of phantasmagoria, each more intimidating than the next. There was the locking learning curve, resulting in weeks of sore, bruised nipples with a texture similar to a piece of rubber. There was the situation of missing colostrum, which was alleviated by an emergency visit to the pediatrician, who handed us a bottle of formula and a tip to relax. (I always supplement with formula – no shame in this game.) There were the first experiences of breastfeeding in public, which resulted in me crouching under a diaper in the middle of the Santa Monica boardwalk. with tears of exhaustion streaming down my face. I can go on, but we could be here all day.
Eight months later, I’m happy to report that my daughter and I are now a seasoned breastfeeding duo who can easily get the job done anywhere we need it, whether it’s in a restaurant, on a plane, or in the middle of the world. the street. (In fact, I recently found myself in Santa Monica breastfeeding standing in the middle of the parking lot with no qualms.) My breasts, the object of a love-hate relationship for nearly two decades, are now on display. proudly from half of the state of California to see.
And yet, I still sometimes think back to those first few weeks and wonder what could have made it all a little easier. Are there any clothes I should have invested in to prepare for weeks to feel like a stranger in my newly changed body? Any practical or emotional advice that I could have benefited from during this massive transition? I decided to survey a few fellow moms to see what helped them get through those first few months of breastfeeding and what lessons they learned along the way.
The first thing I learned was that my experience was not unique. Most breastfeeding mothers find the initiation period of breastfeeding to be an extremely difficult time, filled with tears, hormones, and a constant desire to pull the trigger and undo it all. “I think most women start out with big aspirations, imagining that breastfeeding will come naturally, when in reality it’s a learned skill with many variables,” says Elizabeth Myer, whose barriers to breastfeeding early breastfeeding inspired her to get started. Swehl, a breastfeeding subscription kit that combines expert-led video content and a supportive community. “It hurts a lot more than the movies suggest, at least at first,” said plus-size model Maxey Green, adding that it took her time and patience to get into a breastfeeding rhythm. with her baby. “I feel really lucky to be able to have this bond with my son, but it is the longest, most exhausting and complete thing I have ever had to do.”
Given the pitfalls of the first few weeks, having the right accessories is an imperative starting point. “I think some things are true about those early days: Accessories really come in handy, and new breastfeeding moms will do just about anything to make breastfeeding work,” Myer says, recalling her days when she didn’t. never left home without her nursing pillow. (On Swehl’s program for 2022: a Latch kit which fits in your hospital bag and includes a colostrum collector and self-inflating breastfeeding pad!) collects milk early without worrying about the many parts of the pump. Speaking of pumping, a hospital grade pump such as the Medela or the Specters are essential for establishing milk production, while a portable pump such as a Elvie is a great option for a mom who works on the go.
The nursing bra (or lack thereof)
If the bra fits you … it sure won’t be anytime soon. (In fact, I remember waking up two weeks after giving birth and waking my fiancé to proudly show him my brand new D cup.) While my own nursing bra is the bralette of Maternity Lively, Myer swears by Negative Underwear for all things postpartum. “Their particular nursing bra is so soft, well-designed and honestly simple,” she says, correctly noting that the overly technical equipment only exacerbates the fact that you don’t feel like you. -even in those early days.