Breastfeeding Products That Helped

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in New Mom Experience, Other Recommendations, PRODUCTS

Also read:

Birth Story Part I
Birth Story Part II
Reflections on Birth Experience
Breastfeeding Journey
Follow Up to Breastfeeding Journey

Finally, the post so many people asked about. Breastfeeding Helpers: What I used that I found helpful during the initial weeks of breastfeeding.

You always have to try things out before you find what works for you, so here’s what worked for me. Pay attention to the section WIN IT or scroll down to the bottom of the page for  4 different giveaways of some of these products.

Let’s start with

BOOKS

Before I gave birth to Alexis, I read a few books on breastfeeding to be a little more prepared for what I was about to do. As I wrote in my Breastfeeding Post, they were a huge help.

The two books that I liked the most and found the most valuable were: The Baby Bond (The science behind what’s really important when caring for your baby) and Breastfeeding Made Simple (Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers).

The first book (The Baby Bond) isn’t a breastfeeding book per se, but it talks about breastfeeding A LOT. The benefits, the studies, the science, the bonding- it’s just an amazing resource that I recommend anyone pregnant read. It talks about the benefits of breastfeeding BEYOND what everyone has heard of. It cites amazing studies on how cow’s milk is creating long lasting problems in our babies due to their leaky intestine in the first few months of life. Problems that we can’t exactly see or can’t connect to dairy until you look at the long term studies. This book is the reason I gave up dairy until Alexis is 6 months old ( aside from the fact that I plan on going fully vegan once I am no longer breastfeeding)

Breastfeeding Made Simple is a 100% breastfeeding book that covers the early weeks along with the rest of breastfeeding, problems, issues- EVERYTHING! This was my favorite breastfeeding book. It’s simply written but not dumbed down. I read it before Alexis came, to be ready, and went back to it multiple times during the initial weeks of breastfeeding. As a matter of fact, I need to read it again to see if it has any tips for babies who are in that stage of distracted nursing, because we’ve been “battling” that for a few days.

BUY THEM:

The Baby Bond  $11.35
Breastfeeding Made Simple $11.67

PUMP

The pump I used is a Simplisse Double Electric Pump. I am actually very happy with it. I remember being somewhat terrified picking pumps during pregnancy. Admit it, they look kinda scary! Little did I know that pumping would be kinder on my nipples than my baby itself. You can read about Simplisse pump here, but here’s the jist.


The inside of the cups are made out of this nice soft and almost “fuzzy” plastic that feels good on your skin and isn’t cone shaped, so  the sucking is much gentler than I expected, yet does the job.  You can select 10 speeds and 5 different pressures and adjust them after you elicit a let down based on how comfortable you are. To me, the cups felt so soft and gentle that I would just stay on speed 10 the whole time to get it done faster. I know it varies from person to person but the pump would empty my breasts in less than 10 minutes on speed 10. You can pump both breasts or choose to only pump one. The cups are super easy to assemble and clean ( I throw them into a steam sanitizer, but you can use your  dishwater, or plain old soap and water as well). It also comes with a portable bag full of stuff that would be AMAZING for moms who have to pump on the go:

  • 2 Extra Collection Bottles w/ Storage Caps
  • Insulated Cooler Bag
  • 2 Ice Gel Packs
  • Wet Bag for used parts
  • 10 Breastmilk Storage Bags
  •  4 Disposable Breast Pads

I actually really like their storage bags and have used them all up already. And for what it’s worth, the bag is not all that bad looking, like some, so you won’t be embarrassed carrying it around.

Simplisse actually has a ton of other great products and I am very happy I discovered them.

BUY IT: Simplisse Breast Pump $181.77

WIN IT: FREE Simplisse would like to give away a free pump to one of  The Art of Making a Baby readers. See Rafflecopter Giveaway at the bottom of the post for details.

NIPPLE CREAMS

I tried and used 3 different nipple creams and found all three very good for different stages of breastfeeding and different preferences.

One of the most important things for me was to make sure the nipple cream was safe for my baby to ingest and preferably with organic ingredients.

Motherlove nipple cream

PROS: Organic, incredibly soft and smooth, smells good and is very moisturizing.  It feels like a cloud on your finger. Comes in a small convenient jar. I love using it when my nipples feel dry and when I know I can walk around topless for a bit. Received ZERO toxins on EWG Database.

CONS: The only problem I found is that because of how moist it is, if you put a bra on immediately, most of it gets transferred to the bra. If you can wait a few minutes, then it’s not an issue.

WHO SHOULD BUY: If you prefer a soft feel of a moisturizer, this cream is for you.

BUY IT: Amazon $7.35 for 1 oz

Zoe Organic Nipple Balm

PROS: Food grade and organic. It is a VERY thick cream, so it’s perfect for protecting your nipples from clothing. I found that once my nipples healed a little bit and I didn’t need to walk around topless so that no fabric touched them, this cream was awesome. I put a thick layer of it and put a bra on immediately. It protected my tender skin from rubbing on my clothes, but because of how it stuck to your skin, it didn’t really rub off on it.
CONS: Because of how thick and sticky it is, I’d be worried about putting it on cracked raw nipples, because you really need to rub it in. But it’s awesome, once your nipples have healed a bit.

WHO SHOULD BUY: If your nipples aren’t rubbed raw and cracked, this will protect them and moisturize them at the same time without sticking to clothes.

BUY IT: Zoe organics $18 for 2 oz
USE CODE prebabyblog to get 15% off till Friday

WIN IT: Scroll down to the bottom of the post for details and enter in Rafflecopter giveaway of Zoe Organics Nipple Cream

Simplisse Nipple Cream

PROS: Very very light, comes in a pump which is the more hygienic way of using a nipple cream (reduces risk of infection from changing diapers), lanolin free and safe for baby and mom, glides on smooth and fast, dries off really well.
CONS: Not organic like the two above, maybe too light for some women.

WHO SHOULD BUY: If you don’t like the idea of sticky, gooey or wet creams and want something light that will dry off immediately, this is it.

BUY IT: Simplisse Nipple Cream  $10.37 for 60 pumps.

 

NIPPLE SHIELDS

I had to use a nipple shield for the first 5 weeks and was really afraid I would never be able to breastfeed without one. Here’s what worked for me:

Initially I was given a nipple shield at the hospital. It was the Medela brand 20mm shield. I did like the shape of it and how well it stuck on the breast, but it did have a few issues. First of all, it has a MASSIVE nipple. Alexis would sometimes choke on it and I saw that she didn’t enjoy having such a big nipple in her mouth. She would end up sucking on the nipple itself, rather than learning how to latch properly. However, it is very thick, so it does a good job protecting the nipple from the pain. So if you have extreme pain, you simply have no choice but to use it. It beats breastfeeding without it.

 

However after the initial few weeks, as my nipple were getting better, I started using the Simplisse Nipple Shield. It is very thin, paper thin, so it doesn’t reduce the pain as much as Medela, but if your pain is not severe, you’ll be better off using the Simplisse one. It feels more like skin, so the baby enjoys it more. It doesn’t have a humongous nipple, but I wasn’t crazy about the square shape (I wonder if there’s a reason for it). It has many more holes in it than Medela, and they are much smaller. All in all, it felt much more natural breastfeeding with the Simplisse nipple shield. So I’d recommend getting a Medela one for the first week  of breastfeeding and then try to switch over to the Simplisse one when the pain starts getting better, if you do end up using a nipple shield. I also read that some LCs recommend the Simplisse one as a way of weaning yourself and the baby off the Medela shield.

BUY THEM: 

Medela 20mm shield $10.20

Simplisse Nipple Shield $5.52

BOOBIE CREAM

While I am a huge fan of Boob Tube by Mama Mio and am planning on using it religiously once Alexis gives me 3-4 hours between feedings, so that it would get absorbed before she goes to feed again, I did struggle to find a moisturizer for my breasts that I would feel comfortable with Alexis accidentally ingesting it. Boob Tube is 100% pregnancy safe, but I just don’t know that it’s ok for a baby to EAT IT :)

For the first several overwhelming weeks I didn’t even think about a need to moisturize anything but my nipples. That is until I looked in the mirror one day and realized that what I thought were veins on my breasts were actually stretchmarks. (Gasp!) I luckily avoided any stretchmarks during pregnancy and still cannot believe my belly and thighs are 100% free of stretchmarks ( thank you Tummy Oil from MamaMio).  However, I just didn’t think I had to worry about my boobs past the time when my milk came in ( and to be fair, with a baby that would wake up every hour at night to eat that was the last thing on my mind). I didn’t want to use any moisturizers because I didn’t really find  a 100% safe one aside from the Tummy Oil, but the Tummy Oil has SUCH an amazing scent that would totally mess with my mommy scent and it’s recommended that you keep yourself free of fragrances so that baby could recognize you better in the beginning.

So one day, I was in a hurry and my boobs felt so dry that I grabbed the first thing on the counter that happened to be the Extreme Cream by Zoe Organics. It’s meant as a intensely hydrating cream for baby’s sensitive skin and eczema that’s so common at that age. Alexis didn’t have any dry spots aside from the initial dry skin on her eyebrows that this cream promptly cleared up, so the jar was sitting on my counter barely touched.  I thought: “Hey, it’s organic, meant for babies and smells nice like the nipple cream I am already using. Why don’t I use them for my breasts?” OH-MY-GOD! It was heaven! The cream goes on like butter. Like take a stick of butter out of your fridge ( you shouldn’t be eating butter anyways, lol) and smear it all over your dry skin- that’s how it feels. It just dries a lot faster than butter would. It’s smells amazing and yet doesn’t have any added fragrance. And Alexis loved it the first time she nursed. She just kept running her fingers back and forth on my buttered boob in a very purposeful manner. It was so cute! I became a quick convert and used it every day until I ran out yesterday. Now I’m really upset I didn’t order it sooner, because it’s not sold on Amazon and I can’t get it with Prime, like I usually do.

BUY IT: Zoe Organics Extreme Cream $18.00 for 2 oz
USE CODE prebabyblog to get 15% off till Friday

WIN IT: Scroll down to the bottom of the post for details and enter in Rafflecopter giveaway of Zoe Organics Extreme Cream

BREASTFEEDING PILLOWS

I use two different breastfeeding pillows. Here’s my take on them.

MyBrestfriend

 

The very famous MyBrestFriend pillow is everything you’d want a breastfeeding pillow to be once you’re a seasoned pro. It’s shaped nicely to fit around your midsection and supports your baby’s curves.  It has a pouch for a bottle of water or your precious cell phone that will save you from boredom during sleepy midnight feedings. It comes with an organic cover for those who are health conscious, as well as an array of cute colorful conventional covers. It has an adjustable clip to fit any shape and size. It flips backwards for easy access to whatever it is you need to do in between feedings. Basically, it’s a well thought out pillow that has been created to help nusring mothers feel more comfortable while breastfeeding. If your baby eats for very long times, this is a MUST HAVE.

BUY IT: Amazon $34.88

WIN IT: MyBrestFriend would like to give away a nursing pillow to one of the readers. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for details.

 

SIMPLISSE GIA PILLOW

 

This is more of a quick feeding pillow for me. Alexis was never a slow feeder. She was in, she ate, she was out. No sucking for comfort, no taking too long. Her initial feedings were 12-15 minutes at most and now she goes for 5-8 minutes on average. So at this point I need a pillow that  I can grab on the go and not mess around with, and throw it aside when she’s done eating so that I can burp her and, if lucky, put her to sleep. Gia does the trick. I love that it’s machine washable, so that’s the first thing I did to remove any kind of residue from the manufacturing. It has a sloping egde to raise your baby’s head a bit, which also helps with reflux. It’s soft and curvy and light. I would take Alexis, grab the pillow, put it on my lap along with Lexi, and then when it wasn’t comfortable anymore ( Lexi tends to squirm a lot), I’d toss it aside. So I found it very convenient especially considering the quick feedings Lexi would have.

BUY IT: Gia Pillow $33.30

BREAST PADS

I tried cloth re-useable ones, a few different brand ones that I don’t remember the names of and finally ended up using Simplisse Pads that I liked the most. They are thin, they have a rougher side to stay put on your clothing and a soft cotton side for your breast. They hold a surprising amount of leaked breast milk, while staying somewhat inconspicuous beneath the clothing. I just ran out of a box of 60 of them and I’m definitely buying more.

BUY IT: Simplisse Breast Pads $9.99 for 60

BREAST SHELLS

LOVED THESE THINGS! When my nipples were at their worst, any touch of clothing to them meant agony, but I couldn’t walk around topless because it was uncomfortable without some sort of support. I even cut out holes for nipples in some of my bras but somehow that didn’t do it (plus I wasn’t digging looking like a cheap hooker). These things saved me! These are basically cups with a hole for a nipple in them and holes for air, so that your nipples weren’t rubbed by clothes and were able to air out. I would use the Motherlove nipple cream and put these things on under my support bra. They are a bit visible under clothes and my husband called me “Robo-boobs”, but it was such a relief to be able to wear a bra and not deal with nipple pain, that I didn’t care. Plus, when I was breastfeeding, these cups would catch the leaked milk from the other boob. Definitely recommend. Supposedly they help small and inverted nipples too, and I do seem to remember it making a difference for my small nipples.

BUY IT: Simplisse Breast shells $11.79 for 2 pack

MILK SUPPLY HELPERS

This is my favorite category, because it’s TASTY! I used two things to help raise my milk supply during the time when Alexis was feeding a lot and didn’t seem to get enough.

Of course, the traditional Mother’s Milk tea that I drank religiously every day. The taste is kind of funky, but that was the least of my troubles at that moment, so I didn’t even notice. What “sweetened” the strange taste of the tea were my favorite Milk Makers Cookies. I had read about them on a blog months ago, back when I was pregnant, and thought it was a great idea. I am actually salivating right now just writing about them. The idea of these lactation cookies was started by a mother of  three, who needed help keeping her milk supply when she went to work. So after experimenting with different recipes, she finally found one that tasted delicious and contained oatmeal, brewer’s yeast and flax seed that are known to act as galactogogues. Just 1 cookie a day can increase your supply, but, let’s be honest, who can limit themselves to 1 cookie a day. I know I couldn’t. Not at the time when I was in pain, a new mother and hungry as a wolf. Milk makers come in a dairy-free version which is really cool of them. So I had a few bags of the dairy-free oatmeal raisin cookies and, not being a fan of oatmeal, I loooooved these. They had a touch of cinammon, I actually liked the faint taste of brewer’s yeast and they were so perfectly chewy. Oh man, today is NOT a good day to write about cookies, since it’s the first day that I am watching what I eat and exercising, which means I am dying to cheat and have something sweet.


So back to the cookies, I think they also make for a great excuse: “Honey, but I need them for my MILK SUPPLY!”. You know I used that line on my hubby!  I will order more when I need a boost in my milk supply or if we ever have another baby, that’s for sure.
BUY THEM: 1 month supply $49, starter pack$19.99
WIN THEMScroll down below for details and enter in Rafflecopter giveaway of 1 month supply of Milk Makers (YUM!)

 

 

 

 

So these are the things I used in the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding and still use some of them. Feel free to enter the 4 giveaways below to win the pump, extreme cream, nipples cream, nursing pillow and lactation cookies.

BREASTFEEDING GOODIES x 4

BELOW ARE THE GIVEAWAYS RULES
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Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are 100% my own. Some of these items for sent to me for a review

 

 

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