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When I committed to breastfeeding, I really had no idea the challenge that it would be.  I didn’t understand why some people gave up or didn’t even give it a try in the first place. I read up on tips long before giving birth, but experiencing it all was another story.

My suggestions for coping: the inital engorgement and ‘milk coming in’ is temporary… there is light at the end of the tunnel!

I remember one of the first few nights after coming home from the hospital, Caden and I just laid in the guest bedroom (trying to let daddy get some sleep) just crying together. I was engorged and exhausted, he was hungry and frustrated: not able to latch on (who could blame him?). The next morning I knew everything would be okay – if we could survive that… what can keep us down!?  The inital struggle with breastfeeding is just that: initial. It too shall pass and you WILL experience peace and joy during feeding as you closely bond with your baby.

To handle it all… I suggest:

Boppy Pillow – hugs around you and helps support the baby during breast-feeding. I’ve used mine from day one til now (4 mo later). It’s cover can be removed and cleaned when needed.

Medela Nipple Cream – this cream is smooth and not nearly as sticky as other brands. Must have for those first few weeks of getting used to the demand. Apparently the number one reason why women stop breastfeeding is dry or cracked nipples… this will help that so much!

Advent Breast Pads – WOW… Now you may not be in need of these if your milk supply is right… but personally I had (and still have) an abundant milk supply. Therefore I leak milk often! The first few weeks (before I discovered these) I just stuffed a folded burp cloth in the front of my tank top to soak up all the excess. Sorry to be graphic, but its the truth! I’ve read complaints about these pads being bulky and noticable… however they are the MOST absorptive things on the market. If you have a problem with extra milk leaking – you need these!

Medela Breast Pump – I think it’s agreed all around that Medela makes the best brest pump, so if you’re in need of one don’t skimp on pump: you’ll be saving so much money on not buying formula that you will make up the cost in a few weeks!  If you need a pump for going back to work I would definitely suggest giving it a try right away. It will help relieve engorgement if you have tons of milk and will help boost supply if you don’t have much milk. Just get used to it some time before you actually go back to work.

Lanilosh Storage Bags – while Medela’s got the best pump, they haven’t quite got the storage thing down. I find it hard to pay extra money for ziplock bags that say “Breastmilk Storage” on them… these ones double zip lock at the top and stand up nicely in the freezer. If you happen to have tons of bottles to freeze milk in, that works too – but I’ve found its much easier to thaw the milk when they it’s in bags. They also thaw and pour out easily when it’s time to use the milk. Once again, cheaper than formula.

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