If you are a new mum, there are really only two things you need for a successful breastfeeding initiation – your baby and your breast. Mother Nature has provided a foolproof model for you to follow and there are no extra products or services needed at the beginning. What you decide to add to your life in order to make things more comfortable and convenient is up to you.
You make decisions about purchases based on recommendations, research, reviews, and shared experiences. There is a lot of information online about what is useful in various breastfeeding scenarios and definitely a lot of choice!
Medela offers a range of breastfeeding solutions, and we think they are pretty good! However, there are many great products on the market, so you do have a lot of choice.
Whether you are pregnant or the breastfeeding mum of one or more children, here are some things to consider having in your life. By the way, this is not just about products. Your checklist includes resources, questions to ask and things you can do to make your entire breastfeeding experience positive.
Checklist for Your Time in the Hospital
You have had a few months to prepare your hospital checklist. You have done your research, watched videos, read blogs, asked friends for advice and spoken to your midwife about possible breastfeeding challenges. Hopefully you will not be spending too much time in the hospital after the birth of your baby, but here are a few things that you may want to take with you in addition to clothes and personal items.
- Birth plan. Having a birth plan where you list your preferences should decisions need to be made while you are in labour or if your baby needs to be in the NICU is very useful.
- Nursing bra pads. If possible, you should breastfeed your baby for the first time within the first hour of birth. Nursing bra pads are a good thing to take along for those first days where your body and your baby are figuring out how much milk to make.
Checklist for Breastfeeding or Expressing at Home
An important item on your checklist now is to find a comfortable space at home to breastfeed. It will become your sanctuary for as long as you and your baby continue to breastfeed and if you decide to express.
Remember that during your baby’s first few weeks, her nervous system is adjusting to the sensations and noises of the outside world. So creating a calming environment for breastfeeding can help your baby to adjust, while helping to reduce your stress as well. Even if it is a corner of the bedroom or living room, here are a few things you might like to have in your breastfeeding sanctuary.
- Nursing Pads. Medela nursing pads are perfect for unexpected milk letdowns and secondary leakage.
- Bravado T-shirts. Super soft and comfortable Bravado feeding tops are perfect for layering year round.
- Sleep Bra. Your sleep bra keeps your nursing pads in place while you are sleeping.
- Nipple Cream. A tube of Purelan can be an absolute lifesaver for sore or cracked nipples.
- Receiving blankets and burp cloths. Have a few of each, made out of a washable material since they will get a lot of use.
- Breast Pump. This is Medela’s area of strength, with a number of different breastpumps designed for your lifestyle. This could be anything from a single manual pump to double electric double pump. Lots of information here.
Checklist for Expressing at Work
Most mums feel a little anxious returning to work while continuing to breastfeed. You have already spoken to your employer about where you will feed and store your milk, discussed your rights as a working breastfeeding mom. You have also talked to colleagues and feel like there will be no surprises.
Adding that step to your checklist will eliminate most stress and you will be able to continue to pump for your baby while you work. Here are some items for your work breastfeeding kit.
- Breastpump. Again depending on your situation and lifestyle there is a lot of choice. This article will help you to make a decision on the best one for your lifestyle.
- Pictures and videos of your baby. Have these stored on your smartphone in order to make you relax and help your milk flow.
- Collection Bags. Label your bag and put it in the fridge or cooler bag.
- Bottles. The Medela Calma Feeding Solution allows your baby to apply the same feeding behavior with bottle and breast so it is a great option.
- Cooler Bag. There are many great choices. The Medela Freestyle pump includes a removable cooler bag with contoured ice pack.
All of these stages of your breastfeeding journey can be made easier with quality products, but the most important item on the checklist is to take time for yourself and your baby. Just relax and enjoy the experience of being a mother.
Your baby is not going to measure their love for you by the quality of the clothes or the cost of the gadgets you own, but will forever treasure being nourished with your breastmilk and receiving the love from your heart and pure intention that you have to be the best mum you can be.
If you have any feedback on these checklist suggestions or ideas of your own, please leave them in the comments section below, or visit the Medela Australia Facebook Community.