In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we wanted to share a few tricks and tips, as well as a couple of our favorite must-have items, to help you form the very best breastfeeding relationship possible with your little one.

 If it hurts, something isn’t right.

If it hurts, something isn’t right. Sore nipples is one thing, but pain is something entirely different. If you’re in pain, call a lactation consultant. A good latch is the gatekeeper to breastfeeding success, and most issues can be resolved with early intervention. Oftentimes, you can find a lactation consultant who is also a postpartum doula, and having that extra layer of support AND eyes only out for you during those first few weeks at home is a very good thing. They can help lead you to postpartum and breastfeeding support groups, too. Plus, depending on your insurance coverage, you might be able to submit for reimbursement. So many pros, and not a lot of cons in exploring this option. If you need a referral in your area, just ask us! (Huge shout out to Lisa Zimmermann with Maternal Child Connections in Chicago, thank you for being a lifeline for Kimmie & Quinn!)

Practice makes perfect.

Some mamas are all good to whip out the ladies anywhere, without fear of who may get a little peep show. If that’s you, hooray, and thank you for your hand at normalizing breastfeeding for all of us! But for you mamas who are a little more modest, take a trial run at home. Get dressed in your nursing gear and take those duds for a spin! Practice your nursing holds as if you were in public, and if you have boob-slippage, at least it’s in your living room. Once you get the hang of it, the more confident you will feel, and the more you’ll want to tackle those first few breastfeeds out and about… and before you know it, you’ll be a public breastfeeding pro!

Breast pumps.

Two ideas on how you can get a pump without wasting the space on your registry!

Free option: You can typically get a breast pump covered by insurance through different third party distributors. Our favorite provider is Ashland Health. They are AH-MAZING and take virtually all of the work out of the process for you. Once you contact, they can obtain the prescription from your OB, determine your device options for you to choose from, and submit everything on the back end for you. Once the order is submitted, it’s delivered to you within days. They offer text and email support, which is SO helpful for busy moms and moms-to-be on the go. They also have a wonderful prenatal and postpartum email outreach campaign and support for breastfeeding mamas. Just wonderful all around.

Rental option: If you plan to exclusively pump or just want the BEST of the best and want to make the most of your time at the pump, you might want to consider renting a hospital grade pump for a few months. Check with your OB and insurance provider — if you can obtain a prescription, it could be covered by insurance in some cases. Most hospitals have this option, as well as most big box retailers.

Lastly, wardrobe staples.

Nursing clothes tend to be a little pricier, but you can absolutely get away with just a few staples and work your regular wardrobe around it. (Kind of like maternity, amirite??) Layering is the name of the game. For shirts, think about having a top and a bottom layer. Pull up the top layer for a little extra coverage, while the bottom layer pulls down under the breast and shields your tummy.

Must-haves:

Bras: You will without a doubt need a good nursing bra, or two. Find a maternity boutique or department store in your area and have a proper fitting as your cup size, and potentially your band length, will have most likely changed since pre-pregnancy days. Third Love and Cake are both great brands.

Tanks: Layering tanks will be your very best friend. H&M and Old Navy both have a great nursing line for mamas on a budget.

Sleepwear: Waking up in a milk soaked tee shirt sucks. And let’s face it, feeling sexy postpartum is probably the furthest thing from your brain. BUT, this staple is two-fold. Grab yourself a cute little nursing nightie with a built-in structured top, slip in a breast pad, and — boom — you’re waking up dry. If you can find one that also makes you feel pretty? Double boom.

Cover: There are different styles of covers, explore to see what feels right for you. Milk Snob and Copper Pearl make covers that also act as a car seat cover (win/win) in a million adorable patterns. Or check out fun scarves that you can absolutely wear as a regular scarf, post-breastfeeding. We are all about multi-purpose items, both of these styles hit that mark!

Please share some of your favorite gear and tricks with us, we’d love to hear them!

Happy Breastfeeding!

Cheers,

Your Milk Shoppe

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