project baby #2 {nursing essentials}

Back in April I shared my newborn and post-partum essentials that were important to me in those first few weeks when Daphne was so tiny and new. (And see my post-partum essentials with Eloise here.) Now that we are seven months out, I wanted to update again with my nursing essentials since these are the things that are (or have been) important to me for a much longer amount of time and will likely be until Daphne weans.

Post-Partum-Essentials

{one} (Reusable) Nursing Pads.

For me reusable nursing pads are must and Bamboobies are my go-to. Even after my supply had come in and leveled out, I still found that leakage was an issue, so these help me from having to change clothes (or at least my shirt) multiple times per day. Plus, once baby sleeps thru the night and you are going 10 to 12 hours between the first feeding and the last, you want something that will help absorb. I like the thin, heart-shaped pads for daytime since they fit smoothly, but then I like the thicker, round ones for nighttime use.

{two} Nursing Bra.

Like most new mamas, I spent the first weeks (okay, probably months) in softer nursing bras meant for sleeping. Then once my milk came in I started wearing “real” nursing bras, including underwire ones (which you have to be careful with when your milk is coming in). I still had nursing bras from when Eloise was little but found that I needed/wanted a few new ones.

I kept seeing blog posts and ads about a new brand called ThirdLove and decided to finally buy when they released a line of nursing bras. I opted for the wireless one and have been really impressed. The biggest thing about nursing bras (for me) that you don’t have to think about with regular bras is how easily the cup flips or folds down; I have a few that don’t do this well and end up soaked in milk at the end of every feeding! ThirdLove’s cups are super soft and fold really well down plus a bonus that the straps don’t slip. Guys, this is life-changing!

The other secret to nursing bras (which I have shared before) is that Nordstrom will convert any regular bra into a nursing bra for a nominal alteration fee (like $15). Definitely worth it if you are particular about a brand, or have a unique band or cup size.

{three} Tanks.

As with Eloise, I don’t like nursing tanks. I think they can be great for those first few weeks, but beyond that, I like the support (and look) of a bra. But, I do wear a tank top basically every day so that when I do nurse, my belly isn’t exposed; I just pull down the tank when I need to nurse. I have multiple tanks with the thin (spaghetti) straps from both H&M and Old Navy in white, black, and grey that basically covers any shirt situation along with an old “nude colored” cami (similar to this) which is great for under white shirts.

{four} Boppy Pillow.

When nursing Daphne, I have found that I use my Boppy nursing pillow so much more than I did with Eloise (seven months out), like whenever I am home during a feeding. I find it is much more comfortable for me to have the support of a pillow and will probably continue to use it until Daphne is too big! This time around I also bought this beautiful pillow cover from MadlyWish which is made from the Rifle Paper Co. fabric line. Guys, it sounds silly, but this pillow cover makes me so happy. I wish I would have gotten a fun cover for the Boppy when Eloise was little. Instead I used the very juvenile ones that came with the pillow. So, get a Naked Boppy Pillow and find a shop (there are tons on Etsy or Instagram) that sells beautiful covers and you are set!

{five} Hydroflask Waterbottle.

Until about two months ago, I was using the same Camelbak waterbottles that I got when I was pregnant with Eloise. They worked fine and were great for keeping me hydrated during pregnancy and post-partum. However, when they started leaking (from the drinking spout) and becoming harder to clean, I started shopping around for something else. Enter: Hydroflask. I had heard great things about Hydroflask from other mamas but couldn’t get myself to buy a waterbottle that was so expensive! But then I did. And it was so worth it. Seriously. My water stays cold for hours or until I drink the entire bottle (usually the latter). If you are on the fence at all about one, do it. I got the wide-mouth one and added the straw lid because with two little ones, I never have two hands available to screw open the lid!

And along with these essentials, I probably should mention a breast pump. I didn’t have a great experience pumping with Eloise but we bought this new Naya Smartpump this time around and I really, really like it (well, as much as you can like a breast pump). A lot of people are surprised when they find out that I pump because I stay home with the girls, but sometimes I need to be able to be away from Daphne and we also give her a bedtime bottle which (right now) is pumped milk, so I am currently pumping twice per day.

What were your nursing essentials? Did they change over time or from your first kiddo to your second (or third)?

M

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project baby {post-partum essentials}

PostPartem_Essentials

much like my pregnancy essentials post, this was a long time coming…

one thing that I really didn’t think about too much when I was pregnant was not being pregnant. & by that, I mean, I didn’t really think about post-partum recovery. I assumed that since I was a low-risk pregnancy & that a c-section was not likely in the cards for me that I would bounce back to normal pretty quickly. whatever normal means once you have a newborn that is. oh boy was I wrong. just because I wasn’t recovering from major abdominal surgery (which is what a c-section is!) doesn’t mean I didn’t have a recovery period. birthing a child is no small feat!

even though I am the type of person who gets dressed & ready every day (nope, I do not hang out in my yoga pants all day, even if eloise & I don’t leave the house!) I definitely focused on comfort for those first few weeks.

{one} comfy pants & shorts. it was the summer when I had eloise & it was very hot so I mostly wore t-shirts & comfy, loose pants or shorts. I focused on drawstring or elastic-waisted things which were fortunately starting to be on-trend last year (I stocked up on a few pairs that I wore at the end of my pregnancy & then into post-partum). I was particularly fond of these Gilligan & O’Malley Knit Pajama Pants that I picked up at Target for my hospital bag. I wore them home from the hospital & they quickly became a favorite. I didn’t want anything tight or clingy around my mid-section for a while, so elastic was my best friend for those first few weeks!

{two} lalabu nursing tank. this is actually a tank that I didn’t get until eloise was a few months old, but I wish I would have had it as soon as she was born! it is a nursing tank with lots of great features including a long length, thick material, & the ability to be worn with or without a bra. but the best feature is the little pocket in the front that is meant for holding baby. since it isn’t a baby carrier per se, you still have to support baby a lot, but it is nice to tuck that little one right near you without the fuss of a moby wrap or ergo. I wore it long after eloise had outgrown that little pouch pocket, especially when I traveled or at nighttime since it was so easy to nurse in. the only downside I found was that the top of the pouch doesn’t really stay flat under your shirt, so sometimes it looks a little wonky.

{three} nursing tank. I had a few simple nursing tanks from Target but I never really liked them too much. they were ill-fitting & seemed redundant since I was wearing a nursing bra (so many clips!). I figured if I found just a simple stretchy tank top I could just pull the front down when I nursed. plus, wearing a tank under your shirt when you are nursing is nice if you have a shirt that has to be lifted up during a feeding (I still wear a tank under everything these days!). the H&M Basic Tank fits perfectly & is $6 so you can stock up! I like this one because it doesn’t have a built-in shelf bra; maybe this is a personal preference, but having that additional bra inside was really uncomfortable for me. if you don’t mind the built-in bra, Target has some similar tank tops.

{four} nursing pads. if you are nursing, you will more than likely need nursing pads. they are good for absorbing extra milk (& preventing leakage thru your shirt) & will prevent any ointment or cream that you are using from getting onto your bra &/or shirt. there are two different types of nursing pads – disposable & reusable – & I am most definitely in the reusable camp. I found that disposable pads are really scratchy & not very comfortable; on the other hand, you don’t have to do laundry if you run out. my preferred nursing pads were Bamboobies & I still use them if I have extra supply or any leakage. & while Bamboobies makes thicker overnight pads, I used these Satsuma Organic ones which were great for nighttime.

{five} sleepmask. while the old adage “sleep while baby sleeps” is somewhat misleading, I did find that I was sleeping during the day quite a bit those first few weeks (okay months). I had always used a sleepmask when I was traveling, but daytime naps before I was pregnant weren’t really a thing. but, since I did sleep during the day when eloise was very little & we didn’t have a window covering on our bedroom window, I found that a sleepmask was imperative! the one that I have is my favorite & I have had it for years; it is silky on the inside & the elastic isn’t too tight around my head. this is the Sleepmask that is shown above.

{six} reusable water bottle. yep, same bottle as in my pregnancy essentials post. I think it sort of goes without saying that you need to stay hydrated during recovery from childbirth (natural or c-section) & for nursing. if you are anything like me, you will be so thirsty post-partum that you can’t get enough to drink (I was the same way with food those first months – so hungry!). I kept my Camelback Eddy Insulated Water Bottle on the sidetable in the nursery, upstairs near the couch, & at my bedside – one each place. I wanted to be sure that I never was without water & the last thing I needed to do was haul around a water bottle (since I was already trying to keep track of my phone for pictures & tracking feedings, & eloise!). you could also leave glasses of water in various parts of your house too, but I am way too clumsy for that!

the other thing that should have made this list was nursing bras! I waited until after my milk came in to go & get fitted, just because I wanted to make sure I was getting the right size (& bras are not cheap!). my advice is to get a few really comfy nursing bras from Target that fit you in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, & then wait until you are ready to venture out with the babe to your local Nordstrom* & get fitted. Nordstrom will convert any bra into a nursing bra, so don’t feel limited by what small selection of nursing bras are in the store. it is going to be a bit of a splurge, but if you plan on breast-feeding for any length of time, stock up on bras! also consider buying a bra (or two, or even a supportive nursing tank top) for nighttime. (& if you don’t have a Nordstrom where you live, ask around to see where other mamas got nursing bras locally. the best thing you can do is go get fitted so you are wearing the right size.)

fellow mamas – what were your post-partum must-haves?

M

this post contains affiliate links.

*this isn’t a plug for Nordstrom & I was in no way compensated for or asked to talk about Nordstrom, it is just the only place I know that converts bras to nursing bras. if you are crafty though, you could probably DIY it!