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Gear to prepare before birth if planning to BF?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was just wondering what types of things you recommend I should prepare as a first-time mom planning to BF?

So far, these are things I've got or am borrowing:
-nursing bras (2 for starters, till I figure out my postpreg size)
-nursing pillow
-nursing pads
-tube of lansinoh
-a couple of nursing tops
-nursing nightgown (have one--how many do I need?)
-mother's milk tea

Am I forgetting anything? I thought I would rent the breast pump from the hospital at first, then decide what kind I might need in the future. Also, I'm planning to just buy or borrow a sampling of different bottles before deciding on which to use for expressed milk as a supplement to BFing.

Also, are two nursing nighties enough? Or do you find that you need to wash nightgowns more often than usual when you're breastfeeding?

Thanks in advance for any advice!!
post #2 of 16
i didn't wear nursing clothes to bed, just because in the early weeks, i had to turn a light on and totally sit up to get her on right, so it was easy to lift the shirt up. i will say that wearing a nursing top or pajamas to bed if it is cool is a smart idea, since then you only have to expose half your body instead of the whole torso!
the only other thing i can think of is a good breastfeeding information book and a contact person at la leche in case of any hurdles you need to clear.
post #3 of 16
Sounds great!! One of the great benefits of breastfeeding is that you need virtually nothing. 2 nighties should be enough. You can always just wear a t-shirt. I never used the jammies as I was more comfortable sleeping topless (just a bra). One less thing to fiddle with during those night feedings and we are naked sleepers anyway.:

Are you planning to use cloth diapers? If so prefolds are great as nursing pads when you are really leaky. I used to sleep on one and swap it during the night. I also tucked one in my bra when we were around the house. If you are not using cloth, you can pick up some of the gerber ones at Target or Babies R Us. They are fine for spit rags.

What about getting a copy of a good BF book like Womanly Art of Breastfeeding? It will give you something to refer to if you have questions.

It is nice if you can set up a nursing station. When it's time to nurse, you'll have evrything handy. Keep there: Your nursing pillow, stool, a burp rag, your bf book, remote control, extra nursing pads, phone numbers of a local LLL Leader, Lansinoh and a bottle of water.

Good luck to you.
post #4 of 16
I second the bottle of water, especially for beside your bed at night. A sports bottle might work best, so that you can down water without disturbing the baby if she is asleep on your arm.

The thirst you feel is astonishingly powerful!
post #5 of 16
oh yeah, the thirst is unreal. it's like eating ashes!
post #6 of 16


I'm so impressed!

I did not have a nursing nightie with me in the hospital, I wore a johnny and it was not ideal--very tough to nurse when you are sitting on the bottom of the gown and have to lift up the whole thing. now i wear a t-shirt and hike it up. I bought a BOOK to learn how to breastfeed, and I also took a class with a lactation consultant while still pregnant. Neither of those things really prepared me for nursing, because, as I discovered---

it takes two to tango.

Which is why the most valuable thing I got for nursing was a special nursing pillow. Stiffer than a bed pillow, and the right height for me and my nursing partner. BUT, you and I are probably not the same size and we obviously won't have the same baby. so try to borrow a friend's,pillow to try. Mine was a gift from a friend who found it helpful.
post #7 of 16
Sounds like you're well prepared! One thing I found very helpful was a product called Breast nurse - hot/cold packs that fit right in your bra. They were great for relieving engorgement and plugged ducts. I got them through www.motherwear.com. Another "must" for me was a visit to a La leche League meeting before I gave birth, so I could get to know the leaders and have their phone numbers in case I needed their help. I also wanted to comment on your plans to rent/buy a pump and use a bottle to supplement breastmilk... In the first four weeks, it is very important to exclusively breastfeed and not introduce a bottle until nursing is well established, baby has gained for four weeks in a row, and things seem to be going smoothly. If you nurse your baby on demand, you many not need a pump at all (at first). (If you need to start pumping & storing milk because you are going back to work, that is a different story). My best friend made the mistake of supplementing a bottle at first, just once a day, and it started a pattern that was all but impossible to correct (baby preferred bottle, didn't want to nurse, milk supply diminished, baby refused to nurse, milk supply diminished...) This doesn't happen with all babies, but it's impossible to tell which ones will have nipple confusion, and which will just prefer the bottle, so better to be safe and stick to the breast for the first month. After that, if breastfeeding has been going well, introducing a bottle of pumped milk so you can get away for a little while is nice (we did this with my dd and it worked fine). Best of luck with your birth and the early weeks. Here's to successful breastfeeding!
post #8 of 16

My novel. I need more adult interaction.

I have a nursing "station". By the rocker/recliner I have a tv tray table with the following:

Tissues (I bawl all the time)
baby's nose sucker
baby's nail clippers
baby's brush
the book I'm reading
remote control
cordless telephone
small notepad
large cup my older kids can run and fill with water for me (I fill this before going to bed and leave it there)
List of gifts and who gave them for making out thank-you's later
a pen (though my older children have once again made off with that today)

Once we had nursing down, I kept thank you notes and birth announcements at that table and filled them out while he nursed.

Also at that station (aka MISSION CONTROL): towel on the seat of the chair to protect it from spit-up (babe takes cat naps there), cheapo cloth dipe for a burp rag, the regular bed pillow I use to support him while I nurse. I also have a blanket in that room to cover us up while we nurse and nap in the middle of the night. That blanket travels nearly as much as the pen.

I have two bras. One that has flaps for daytime and a "sleeping" bra that I can just pull down. When I nurse in bed, though, I don't wear a bra. I put the sleeping one on OR cover one breast with a cloth diaper if I want to get up at night to nurse. (sometimes I want to watch "Charles In Charge" and "Three's Company" on NickAtNite) I'm sure I'll want more bras when I return to work but two is def. enough for me now.

Two nightgowns sounds like enough unless you wear them all night and sweat after giving birth like I do. I sleep in the nude and put them on if I want to get up at night or lounge later in the morning. Also, I couldn't have nursed in the hospital gown...it didn't have openings. I wore my jammies in the day for visitors, their gown at night but I put it on BACKWARDS. I was covered if they came in (and I was freeeeeezing!) but I could open it to nurse. I like my regular button-up gown more than the one with nursing slits.
post #9 of 16
glycerin patches are great! You can get them at babies-r-us or cheaper at the medical supply store. my lactation consultant said you can rinse and reuse for 3 days, but then they can start to grow yeast.

I didn't care too much for nursing clothes, but someone suggested cutting slits in an undershirt the putting your shirt over it if you want more coverage when others are around.

I second a good book and pillow. I like Nursing Mother's Companion (book) and My Breast Friend pillow.

I also drank lots of rasberry tea (cold). It's a change from water and is suppose to help your uterus!
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wow, mamas--you are awesome. Thanks for passing along the collective wisdom. I love the idea of setting up a nursing station and keeping a breastfeeding reference at hand. once i get the hang of things, it's a brilliant to try using the time to write announcements/thank yous when I take breaks from reading. but at first i have the feeling that breastfeeding will take some concentration!

actually I'm ordinarily not terribly organized. It's just that preparing for the baby is a great way to procrastinate because at least it's doing something responsible...

also I have heard that breastfeeding can be hard at the beginning, so I figure that having all the necessary gear at the outset will help me to stick with it in the face of any difficulties. but i will take your advice to heart about waiting at least for the first month or so before introducing a bottle even occasionally.
post #11 of 16
If you don't have a cordless phone, it's something to think about for the "nursing station" (which is also where I *lived* for weeks, lol!) Having one place to stay put and let people (visitors) wait on you helps to remind them they ought to.

Also cabbage leave in the freezer are great - separate them first.

oops. baby's up. good luck, nan. You'll do great!
post #12 of 16
I definitely agree with the suggestion of a good breastfeeding book. I would also make sure you familiarize yourself with the signs of plugged ducts and mastitis ahead of time. Talk to your midwife about remedies as well -- my mw knew all the homeopathic remedies, and although I had on-going probs w/ plugged ducts and have had mastitis 3x to date (7 mos), I've never needed to go on abx. I had two flax seed "eye pillows" that I warmed up in the microwave and then tucked into my bra prior to nursing to help relieve plugged ducts. I leaked all the time and two bras wouldn't have been enough.

I would also suggest that for sleeping, an oversized button down shirt is great. I just buttoned the top one or two buttons, and then we could nurse away at night. I hated sleeping in a bra, so I would put a stack of clean shirts next to my bed each night, and then whenever I woke up soaked, I could just change my shirt. Next time around, I'm going to line some button down shirts with old towels so that they are more absorbant at night. A waterproof pad for my mattress would have been nice as well.

Mostly, collect your determination to breastfeed!!!
post #13 of 16
I thought I was organised but somehow I managed to come through not one but two ante-natal breastfeeding classes, one of them one on one, with no idea that I had flat nipples. Please please make sure you get checked for flat or inverted nipples, if you have them it is worth trying to stretch them in advance. Other than that I highly recommend a cordless phone.
post #14 of 16
How about bras to sleep in? I prefer the lightweight, meshy sports-bra style that sells at Target. I still (at 7.5 mo) leak all night, so I really like to have nursing pads on. Also, it will be uncomfortable to sleep on your stomach, so you'll want a similar pillow arrangement that you did while pg for the first few weeks.

I agree with the no-nursing pj's. I had a pair, but preferred shorts and a short t-shirt (not cropped, but just not a long one). It's so easy to lift it up. Right now my favorite nursing top is a t-shirt under a cardigan or other zip front top. Then I can button up and look nice and easily unbutton and lift t-shirt to nurse. And the cardigan covers my bare side!!

One more--a stack of good videos/DVDs for when you are having a marathon session and can't focus on the book--eyes are too tired!

Babies are wonderful, bfing is wonderful, but it's a lot of work at first. My best to you!
post #15 of 16
what is a glycerine patch???
post #16 of 16
I used the generic term glycerin patch, but they are also called Soothies when marketed to breastfeeding women. I think Gerber has one now too but I'm not sure what they call theirs. They are these small soft, kind of gooey cool patches that you can put over your nipples if they are feeling sensitive. I didn't have a lot of problems other than just feeling raw and these were so great! There is no medicine in them...they just give a cooling effect that soothes. Also, they just naturally stick to your nipple (unless you are leaking like crazy!) and slip right off when you are done with them. It was nice to have them between me and the bra at times.

I found out about them from our hospital lactation consultant. They were awesome!!! Anyone else use them?
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