Breastfeeding your child is one of the most amazing gifts of Mother Nature. It is not always a perfect journey and requires education, patience, support, and many other things to help you navigate your way through it successfully.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Baby Pavilion, a Tricare approved breast pump provider. However, all opinions are my own. 

I recently celebrated my one year milestone of breastfeeding my son. It was our goal to make it for a year and we did it! It would not have been possible without support and so many other items that improved the journey. In this blog post, I am happy to share more about my experience, along with a list of things that could help you too.

*Please note, I am not a certified lactation consultant and all opinions in this post are my own from my one year and still counting experience breastfeeding journey with my son.

Don’t Go At It Alone

Breastfeeding is not something that can be done solo. You MUST have support throughout this journey to cheer on your successes and to help you navigate through the rough patches. Lactation consultants are your best friend, as are other moms who are on the journey with you or mothers who have been there before and can offer experienced advice. Baby Pavilion also offers a 24/7 access line to a certified lactation consultant to help you all hours of the day and night. Simply call 1-800-616-7860 and request to speak with the LC.    

Milk Supply

What if your milk supply is low? Make sure you are eating plenty of calories every day, drink as much water as possible, and get as much rest as you can (I know that one is tricky with a newborn). These things and much more can truly can affect your milk supply. In addition, using a breast pump can help with your supply levels too.

As my way of reaching out a helping hand to you, I have put together a list of must haves that really helped me and could be beneficial to you too! Below are my ten must-haves that make breastfeeding much easier.

Ten Must-Haves:

1-Lactation Consultant-I put this number one for a reason. There is nothing more important than the support of a certified and knowledgeable professional.

2-Breast Pump & Breastfeeding Supplies-Most Insurances cover a breast pump and supplies. If you are a military spouse with Tricare insurance, Baby Pavilion is the best place to go to order your breast pump easily. 

3-Nursing Pads-These are sold at Wal-Mart and Target and will become an essential part of your breastfeeding journey. These disposable nursing pads are better than the reusable and washable ones because they retain the leaking milk better. Then, you will not end up wet overnight since the washable breast pads do not stay in place like the disposable ones do. 

4-Nursing Bras-You will need more than one. You will need a few that are workout style bras, a nice one that you can wear out, and a comfortable one for wearing at home. I highly suggest looking at Kindred Bravely.

5-Haakaa-This is the greatest thing ever invented for breastfeeding moms! It’s a silicone type cup that helps catch letdown as you are nursing. Basically, if you nursing on one breast, you would place the Haakaa on the other breast to catch the letdown. If you have a lot of let down like I did, the Haakaa can help save your breast milk, which fills bottles and saves time. 

6-Mom Groups-Nothing is more essential than having a few moms to help cheer you on and give you advice during your breastfeeding journey. You need a mom friend who is also nursing their baby at the same time and a few experienced moms who can help you through some of the snags in breastfeeding, as I am sure they have been there. The best way to connect with other moms during this Covid era, is in online Facebook groups, La Leche groups within your local community, and other mom gatherings within your area. 

7-Nipple Cream-I made the mistake of not stocking up on this prior to my baby arriving. It truly helps sore nipples and comes in handy. It’s nontoxic for your baby and gives you major relief. The Medela Tender Care Lanolin has been my go to cream this entire year. 

8-Nursing Covers-These are what you can use to cover you and your baby, while you are nursing in public places. When you first begin your breastfeeding journey, nursing in public is frightening. Covers can keep you and baby covered and give you privacy as well as comfort. 

9-Breast Therapy Packs-These are essential, most especially during the first six months of your breastfeeding journey. The Lansinoh Therapearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy packs are amazing! They can be heated up in the microwave and placed in the refrigerator to offer warm or cooling comfort to your breasts. 

10-Patience-Last but certainly not least, you have to be patient on your breastfeeding journey. Things don’t always go as planned, building up your milk supply takes time, and there are bumps in the road. Having patience will help take you through the ups and downs of breastfeeding. In the end, breastfeeding is truly the greatest, yet toughest, and most rewarding experience all wrapped up in one. 

If you are a new mom just starting your breastfeeding journey, I hope this list has been helpful for you. You can do this. Be patient, seek help when you need it, and equip yourself with the things I mentioned above. Enjoy your baby and the bonding that breastfeeding can foster. Lastly, if you are able to donate breast milk to moms and babies in need, do it. It’s rewarding being able to breastfeed your own child, but to be able to help others is truly a gift. 

© Strength 4 Spouses LLC, 2020.