if you’ve followed me for a while, you know that i had an extremely hard time breastfeeding everett. it wasn’t for lack of trying – it just did not work out for us. instead, i decided to exclusively pump for a year, which – again – was quite an experience in and of itself. you can read all about that journey here.
with eleanor, it came more naturally to me. i researched, i took classes, and i asked question after question. and i felt more comfortable with all of it.
for this post, i just wanted to share some of the essentials that i have found to be useful this time around.
1 // copper pearl nursing cover
a friend got this for me as a gift when i had elea and it has been amazing. not only is it a nice, snug carseat cover but it the best nursing cover i’ve ever used. i didn’t use a nursing cover in the traditional sense with rett, but i did use one often when pumping. the covers from copper pearl are made of breathable knit, they stretch, and cover your front & back. they have the most adorable prints and wash so well! a definite must.
2 // medela pumps + shields
i say that as a plural because i actually use two. i work full-time so in order to keep my supply going, i have to pump when i’m not with eleanor. typically, i use the pump in-style double electric. but when i’m out and about, i will use my manual pump (easy, just as quick, and no electric!). love them both. i used medela with everett and never had any issues; however, this time around i received some different shields for a gift and they are amazing! the are angled down and have a better fit against the breast. if you have some discomfort while pumping, give these a try.
3 // fenugreek + milkflow
my supply was minimal with rett. i have changed my approach with eleanor. mostly, i’ve relaxed with it all (stress doesn’t help the situation) and really watched my water intake (i drink about a gallon of water per day). apart from that, there are some things you can do to help keep your supply established. for me, i found a daily fenugreek supplement to be helpful. again, for me, it keeps my supply regular allowing me to avoid major dips. i also use milkflow occasionally (chocolate is the best!). it is a shake and has the same principle as the fenugreek supplement. mothers have used it to jump their supplies, help get the supply back, or help get through growth spurts.
4 // guide to breastfeeding by ina may gaskin
this book is everything. it provided so much information BEFORE having eleanor (which made my decisions in the hospital easier to make) and it has been a great resource ever since. definitely something to keep on your nightstand for quick reference.
5 // flexibility
obviously this isn’t a product. this is something that i have learned overtime. and i’m not saying it’s always rainbows and butterflies. being a mom is hard. trying to figure out what a new baby needs is tough! but, listen: YOU are the mother. you have a natural connection with your baby. you know what’s best. it took me a long time to get this. i was so hell-bent on schedules and timing my feeds and filled with worry that i think i was my worse enemy with everett. this time i just go with the flow. i feed eleanor when she is hungry (when i’m with her). i don’t stress about how much she’s taking in (unless she isn’t having wet and poopy diapers). i don’t time her feeds. if she eats off of only one side during a feeding and has had enough – okay. i’ll just feed her on the other side next time. YOU were made to do this. it is natural for us. if something isn’t right, i ask or research or contact a certified lactation consultant. asking for help doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it means you care.
if you have questions, i’m here. if you need to vent, i’m here. being a mom is the best and most rewarding job i have ever known, but also the toughest. we are all in this together!