It's starting to dawn on me that our third baby is actually almost here, so I'm looking forward to sharing some post-baby tips with readers who I know are in the same phase. The anticipation of prepping the nursery and trying to stock something edible in the house can distract from important lessons like baby basics and breastfeeding 101.
With my first son, it didn't even dawn on me to prep nursing stuff or postpartum clothes. I assumed that the natural act of breastfeeding would come … well … naturally. Not so much.
In spite of the early labor pains I've been experiencing, the reality of this third child has felt a little distant to me. Honestly, after having a really difficult time breastfeeding my first and dealing with some food intolerance issues with the second, I'm scared to death of the postpartum phase. For anyone else struggling with the post-birth and feeding stuff, I highly recommend attending a support group. But I can at least offer some breastfeeding 101 takeaways based on my own experience.
A new company that makes clothing for breastfeeding moms sent over this gorgeous nursing jumpsuit to prep for this baby. They're called Kinwolfe, and it helped snap me out of denial and into prep mode. Nothing quite like some new clothes to put a smile on a pregnant woman's face, I suppose.
Breastfeeding 101: The Essentials You Need
With my first son, a lot of people recommended not buying a nursing bra until after I'd had the baby since I didn't know what size I'd be after losing some blood volume and gaining breast milk. I actually really wish that I had something to wear under my robe in the hospital – it would have made me feel a lot less exposed to people coming in and out of the room. The Bravado Bloom is my favorite for that early phase.
As far as clothing, look for items that offer easy access with discreet zippers or stretchy necklines. You don't want to be fussing with a bunch of awkward access holes. I love Kinwolfe's chic designs that clearly address the needs of moms wanting to be stylish while also nursing conveniently.
Another breastfeeding 101 lesson that took me a couple babies to really figure out: loose sleeves are key for offering maneuverability as you strap and unstrap your bra for feeding and/or pumping a jillion times per day.
Speaking of pumping, portability is important. I was surprised at how often I found myself away from my baby and awkwardly trying to express milk in conference back rooms or even public bathroom stalls. The Medela Freestyle is compact and battery-operated, and it comes with a discreet bag and cooler for milk storage.
Most people don't think about shoes when it comes to breastfeeding 101, but I relied heavily on sandals that I could quickly slip on and off. Any chance you get to lay down on a couch or a bed (even at a friend's house – don't be shy!), go for it. I can't promise much in the way of sleep with a new baby, but those minutes of relaxation are precious and it feels good to just rest your head.
More in the way of comfort, loose clothes with a cinch waist are like gold. Don't expect to be squeezing into your old jeans anytime soon.
Breastfeeding 101 lesson number seven: accessories matter. If you really want to wear jewelry, make it chunky. Kids will quickly entangle themselves in any fragile chains. And those dangling earrings you used to wear? They're out, if you value your earlobes at all. I also like to use large scarves or shawls as trendy nursing covers that actually match my outfits and don't feel like just one more thing I have to lug along.
What are your favorite breastfeeding picks?