I'm a chocolate-loving nutritionist, pre & postnatal coach, doula and let's face it- total birth nerd 🤓. I'm here to help you cut through mommy-marketing and pinterest perfection to confidently cultivate a pregnancy and postpartum experience you totally love.
Here’s the deal, nursing does NOT always come naturally. In fact, I’d argue it rarely does. Nursing requires a good deal of support, practice, and the stars to align just right for both lactating parent and baby. Whether you’re choosing to nurse on demand or pump exclusively or a number of any other combos, here are my postpartum nursing essentials to make this time just a bit easier.
Postpartum Nursing Essentials
Please don’t believe you have to go it alone or push through the pain. I highly recommend connecting with an IBCLC (international board certified lactation consultant) during pregnancy to help you feel supported on your nursing journey. Knowing you have someone to call when baby is struggling to latch, supply feels inadequate or if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort, is crucial to supporting a healthy feeding relationship. Lactation consultants can support you whether you choose to exclusively nurse, bottle feed, or need a combination.
Mobile Nursing Caddy
Some people love setting up a nursing station in the nursery with all their supplies, but I’ve found that more often than not we need to be prepared to nurse around the house. Putting together a mobile nursing caddy makes life a bit easier and less like you’re stuck in one spot.
The Haakaa has revolutionized my breastfeeding experience. I’ve been able to build a freezer stash without touching an electric pump. IT’S TRUE. The haakaa suctions onto your breast and catches any letdown, while you nurse on the other side. This is also a great tool to build supply and relieve engorged breasts. If you take away anything from this post– you need a haakaa. The haakaa is inexpensive (less than $20 y’all) and made with BPA free, food grade silicone.
Burp cloths and breast pads
Real talk: nursing is messy. Keeping a stash of cloths nearby to keep up with the mess.
Long locks and baby pincher grab is a less than ideal combo. Sweep that mane up into a top knot! I splurged on some super soft and amazing crochet scrunchies from local maker and fellow mama Radiant Beans. Check out her Etsy Shop for some amazing creations!
Even with the simplest latch, nursing takes a toll on your nipples. Soothe sore and chapped nipples with non-toxic nipple butter. I recommend the organic nipple butter from Earth Mama Organics or Motherlove. Both are safe to use while pumping and feeding.
Breastfeeding is one of the most nutritionally expensive times in a person’s life. In fact, during the fourth trimester, postpartum people need approximately 500 additional calories per day (compared to pre-pregnancy). Stock your fridge, freezer, and pantry with simple, one-handed healthy snacks – definitely an important addition in your nursing essentials toolkit.
If you’re making milk, you need to consume approximately 100oz of water per day. That’s a lot of water! In order to stay truly hydrated (and to mix it up!), pop an electrolyte tab in your water. This will give you essential minerals to stay energized and hydrated throughout the day. I like the tabs from NUUN. They are effervescent and free from fillers and artificial sweeteners.
Look. Nursing is magical, but also… time consuming. If you’re tired of scrolling the instagrams, I highly recommend grabbing a kindle or e-reader, or even audio book app and downloading some of your favorite novels. Check out Kindle Unlimited for lots of amazing reads.
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