The beauty of nursing is you don’t need anything other than a pair of breasts and a hungry baby. But there’s some really great stuff that can make for a more comfortable, enjoyable, and even stylish experience. As a recent first-time mom, here are my favorite bosom buds.
In Goldilocks fashion, I think I’ve tried them all. From the classic Boppy to the My Brest Friend and every mammary pun-named one in between. My favorite? The Bosom Baby.
I don’t use mine the way it’s modeled on their website, in an L-shape, but rather, in a V so the point is at my stomach. That way you can use the mid-point to eat your own dinner or read a book while nursing. It comes in ultra-comfy plush fabric in an array of colors. It’s super squishy soft so you can wedge it in any sized chair. They also make a mini macaroni-shaped pillow that works in conjunction with the larger one to add more height for tall moms like me or as a between-the knees wedge when co-sleeping at night with your little night feeder.
Pumpstation.com sells a lumbar pillow designed to match the Bosom Baby fabric—an absolute godsend in those early days of nursing every other hour.
The Boppy pillow is much firmer and fits more snugly around the waist than the Bosom Baby. Perfect too when your little one is trying to sit up—prop him up in it to keep him from tumbling over sideways and for tummy time.
My Brest Friend I found too hard and flat for everyday use, but it works well when nursing while working on my computer. That’s because it attaches all the way around the torso, clipping on the side. So when the phone rings and the cordless is inevitably across the room, you can dash to get it just like any other primate with infant attached.
For nursing lying down, the Peaceful Pea Nursing Nest rocks. It pitches your infant at an angle, which is particularly helpful for a younger infant who can’t quite make his way to your breast.
A neck pillow is also a good idea for nursing sitting up in a rocking chair, particularly if your rocking chair back isn’t especially high. A great one that molds to your neck and stays in place is the Contour Twist Neck Pillow. It comes with a free set of memory foam slippers for shuffling down the hall. Another great one is the Comfy Rest Pillow.
Let There Be Light.
For those who co-sleep with their infants, I loved two nightlights. My favorite is what I refer to as Mommy Bee Happy light, otherwise known as Babeebrite Hands Free Mobile Light, which has a seven-minute timer— just enough time to latch my son on, pat his head a few times, and drift back into slumberland.
A second runner up is the Kel-Gar light, which grips well to clip onto a headboard or robe if you’re traipsing down the hall at night and don’t want to blind yourself or baby with anything brighter. After six months, babies must develop infrared night vision as now my son latches himself on in the middle of the night in pitch black darkness. It helps if I’m wearing easy access …
The Surplice Nursing PJ set by Japanese Weekend is comfy and provides easy access when fumbling for café le teet in the wee hours of the morn.
The Nursing-In-Public Cover Up.
Take the show on the road and you’ll love these stylish boob-a-licious cover-ups—unless you’re the comfortable-on-a-topless-beach type. My eight-month old son thinks it’s funny to expose mommy in public à la Girls Gone Wild boob flashing by waving his arms under a blanket. These stylish cover-ups keep the sisters undercover.
The Hooter Hider: A name I love, but apparently some retailers found offensive is also marketed under the name Bebe au Lait for the more refined consumer. Same great product. Its wire top allows mommy and baby to gaze into one another’s eyes while BFing in public. Also available are matching burp cloths.
The Boob Burka: Not its official name but what I nicknamed my other “Winter” BFing coverup comes in a faux suede-like fabric that looks like a poncho. The Loved Baby Nursing Shawl doesn’t have the nifty wire thing the hooter hider offers but if you position it just so, you can achieve a similar affect. It can’t be mistaken as an apron either.
Nursing means burping which means spitting up—my son spews like an active volcano. That means, you’re going to need burp cloths. My childcare class at the hospital suggested ripping off the white institutional ones during delivery, which I did by the handfuls. But for going out around town, I opt for the more stylish ones like these at Icky Baby.
Something phenomenal happens to women’s breasts when nursing. I ballooned up like a diary cow on steroids. I went from a 34 C to a 36 F. Yes, F as in my F-ing back is killing me from the weight of these porn-sized jugs. This brings me to a good nursing bra. I suggest several as you’ll find they dirty faster than your non-nursing days. My favorite is Medela’s Full Fit Seamless bra with a racer back for added support to the new added front weight and easy clip access to nurse.
The nips really only get sore the first few weeks. A good lanolin-based cream works fine such as Lansinoh. A little dab’l do ya couldn’t be more fitting for this task. Invest in one small tube as nipples toughen up pretty quickly. They have to before your sweet gummy-mouthed angel sprouts teeth. Then, you just need really fast reflexes to unlatch before little piranha jaws tries out his jagged pearly whites.
For a lighter cream, try Motherlove Nipple Cream with marshmallow root, calendula in an olive oil, and shea butter base. This salve isn’t as thick or gummy as a lanolin cream and doubles as a great diaper rash ointment. (If you do experience sore nipples, it’s important to make sure you have a proper latch and change nursing positions often.)
Nursing Support Group.
A recent study revealed that in the United States, only 60 percent of mothers were breastfeeding when discharged from the hospital, twenty-two percent six months later, and a mere 2 percent beyond age one. Because my own mother didn’t nurse, I found my breastfeeding support group an absolute necessity for my breastfeeding success. I wouldn’t be nursing today (eight months later) without them. I went to one at our local lactation headquarters in Los Angeles, the Pump Station for support in your area. It’s better support than any pillow, pad, or bra.
Photo courtesy of Jenniferwilsonphoto.com