Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, it’s what our bodies were designed to do, and so it should just come easy, right? Well, yes and no! Whilst women have been breastfeeding their babies as long as the human race has existed, our modern lives are demanding in ways that can make it challenging to find the time and space sit down and feed on demand. There are all sorts of great products to support you and help you to fit breastfeeding into your new life as a busy parent.
Here’s our definitive guide to all the kit that can support you to express milk and feed your baby…
Milk storage bags
Many women choose to pump milk and feed it to their baby at a later time. This might be because their baby spends some time in the hospital, they might wish to share feeding duty with their partner, they could be returning to work or going away, they might choose to mixed feed or they might just feel more comfortable having an emergency stash in the freezer just in case. Having a good supply of specially designed milk storage bags will allow you to express milk and hygienically store it in the fridge or freezer for baby to drink later.
It might seem counterintuitive to buy storage bottles if you’re planning to breastfeed, but if you find yourself with spare precious milk you definitely don’t want to pour that priceless stuff down the sink! Having a few bottles on hand so that you are able to feed it to your baby will save you from wasting it. Partners, grandparents and friends can also share the feeding by giving your breastmilk to baby in a bottle.
A manual or electric breast pump can help to relieve engorged breasts, help you to build up your supply, or create a stash of milk for later use. The Fraupow Wearable Breast Pump lets you pump and go as it sits neatly inside your bra with no trailing wires, tubes or clunky power unit. Whilst you multitask and get on with whatever else you need to do, the Fraupow pump collects your milk in its integrated storage pod. With 12 different intensity levels to choose from it’s comfortable and efficient - it’s so simple to use you’ll forget you’re wearing it.
Whilst a good latch should help to fend off sore nipples, once they are sore it’s hard to let them heal when your baby needs to feed up to ten times a day. Using nipple balm can help to prevent and heal sore, cracked nipples. Make sure you use a proper nipple balm rather than a general skin healing cream, so that it is safe to go in babies mouth.
When you begin breastfeeding you may find it quite awkward and uncomfortable to remain in position, supporting your baby and holding them to the breast for long periods. As you and your baby find your positions and relax into it, that marvellous milk will work its magic and your baby will grow - did you know that the average six month old baby weighs the same as the heaviest bowling ball?! A good, firm breastfeeding pillow that is ergonomically shaped to fit around your
body will support you throughout all those day and night feeds, protecting your back and shoulders and helping to keep baby in the optimum position for feeding.
Whilst you can definitely breastfeed in many ‘normal’ clothes, it’s a good idea to stock up on a few tops or vests designed specifically for breastfeeding to wear whilst you are getting to grips with it all. When you have a crying, hungry baby in the middle of a shopping centre the last thing you want is to be struggling to access your boob. Tops and bras designed for breastfeeding will allow you to quickly and easily bring your baby to the breast, making it easier for you to feed
whenever and wherever they need it.
Breasts aren’t like a tap that can be turned on and off when you need milk. You may be surprised and frustrated to find that although it can sometimes feel like you’re hardly producing any milk when your baby feeds, your boobs suddenly spring into life and start leaking milk at random moments - such as when you hear a totally different baby cry on the bus! It is also common to find that whilst feeding on one boob, the other boob lets out anything from a few drops to a full flow of milk. To keep things dry and comfortable wear nursing pads in your bra between feeds. Fraupow’s lovely soft, washable reusable breast ads are gentle and soothing on
sore nipples and better for the environment than disposables. One last top tip - if your nips are particularly sore keep your nursing pads in the fridge!