Breastfeeding Essentials

It’s a whole new breastfeeding journey for me again soon but this time I’m wiser and I know what are the things I can make simpler and save on. Breastfeeding is a commitment and a blessing. Not everyone is blessed to have enough milk for their baby but there are many ways you can try and stimulate for milk production.

So here’s my basic list of stuff for breastfeeding that you should prepare if you plan to breastfeed for 6 months or more:

Breastpump

Electric or manual, it doesn’t matter as long as you’ll work well with it. Some even hand express the milk too. I’ve tried Medela and Spectra. They both work really well for me.

Breastmilk storage bags or containers

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I have both reusable and disposable milk storages but I bring disposable milk bags when we leave the house since they’re not bulky to store and bring around. There are numerous brands out there but I was able to buy the most affordable one I could find locally for disposable storage milk bags – Sunmum Milk Bags Php 110 per box with 20 pcs. milk bags per box from Milking Momma.

Breastfeeding cover

You’ll never know when you need to use it even if you don’t plan to feed directly. Be sure your covers will give good ventilation for baby when he/ she directly feeds and when you cover him/ her up. Always bring one just in case baby gets so hungry or your milk gets so full and you couldn’t find a room to breastfeed or pump. Anyway, some can be fashion piece too.

I transformed some of my scarves into breastfeeding covers and I have a very nice one from Elin.

Nipple balm or ointment

HPA_Pack_and_Product.jpgFor sore and chapped nipples. You’ll need this because soreness happens early on your breastfeeding journey and it will help a lot to ease the discomforts. It should be safe for babies to ingest. I use Lansinoh HPA lanolin.

Lactation aids

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Although some doctors say that drinking lots of  water is enough to increase milk supply, lactation aids like tea or malunggay capsules may help you be confident to produce a lot of milk. I’ve tried almost everything when I breastfed my first born but I will stick to these this time:

Breastfeeding pillow

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This will be helpful at the beginning when you’re figuring things out. I use My Brest FriendI bring it in the car when traveling before and I use it at home. Lessened back pains for me since there were cluster feeding sessions with my first born before. I breastfed almost every 30 minutes for 6 straight hours. It happens but don’t worry, not to all babies. They just want their moms nearby as they adjust to a new world around them.

Breastfeeding clothes

Your clothes should be breastfeeding friendly like button-down blouses and dresses or stretchable tops. I get good ones from Tiny Tots and Elin. You can transform some of your clothes to breastfeeding clothes too like polos and dresses that are stretchable.

Breastfeeding bras and pads

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For milk leaks, better to use reusable pads. I’ve used disposable before and I just realized it was convenient to use but it will turn out to be more expensive in time. I use disposable pads when we have a busy day out of the house. I use BW (Baby World) brand – available in department stores nationwide.

Of course maternity bras are important. I get affordable ones from Landmark department store and some from Marks and Spencer. They have good maternity bras that you can use even after breastfeeding your baby.  Here’s a link to their store locator: click here

Baby bottles

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If you want to train your child to drink from milk bottles in case you have run quickly for errands, prepare your bottles. Some babies won’t like it at first but you have train them to drink from the milk bottle too so you’re not 24/7 tied to your baby in case you have work or need to do something. I started training our baby at 3 months. Remember to wash the bottles well and sterilize. Breastmilk can be tougher to clean than regular milk.

Marker

So you can label collected milk accordingly with date and time collected. You will eventually be an expert in managing milk consumption.

This is just one shot of my milk stash last year.

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This one’s really helpful. Breastmilk storage guidelines from Kellymom.com:

HUMAN MILK STORAGE – QUICK REFERENCE CARD
Temperature
Storage Time
Freshly expressed milk
Warm room
80-90°F / 27-32°C
3-4 hours
Room temperature
61-79°F / 16-26°C
4-8 hours
(ideal: 3-4 hours)
Insulated cooler / ice packs
59°F / 15°C
24 hours
Refrigerated Milk (Store at back, away from door)
Refrigerator (fresh milk)
32-39°F / 0-4°C
3-8 days
(ideal: 72 hrs)
Refrigerator (thawed milk)
32-39°F / 0-4°C
24 hours
Frozen Milk (Do not refreeze! Store at back, away from door/sides)
Freezer compartment inside refrigerator (older-style)
Varies
2 weeks
Self-contained freezer unit of a refrigerator/freezer
<39°F / <4°C
6 months
Separate deep freeze
0°F / -18°C
12 months
(ideal: 6 months)
These guidelines are for milk expressed for a full-term healthy baby.  If baby is seriously ill and/or hospitalized, discuss storage guidelines with baby’s doctor.
To avoid waste and for easier thawing & warming, store milk in 1-4 ounce portions. Date milk before storing. Milk from different pumping sessions/days may be combined in one container – use the date of the first milk expressed. Avoid adding warm milk to a container of previously refrigerated or frozen milk – cool the new milk before combining. Breastmilk is not spoiled unless it smells really bad or tastes sour.
To thaw milk
  • Thaw slowly in the refrigerator (this takes about 12 hours – try putting it in the fridge the night before you need it). Avoid letting milk sit out at room temperature to thaw.
  • For quicker thawing, hold container under running water – start cool and gradually increase temperature.
Previously frozen milk may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours after it has finished thawing. Do not refreeze.
To warm milk
  • Heat water in a cup or other small container, then place frozen milk in the water to warm; or
  • Use a bottle warmer.
  • NEVER microwave human milk or heat it directly on the stove.
The cream will rise to the top of the milk during storage. Gently swirl milk (do not shake) to mix before checking temperature and offering to baby.
If baby does not finish milk at one feeding, it is probably safe to refrigerate and offer within 1-2 hours before it is discarded.

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy- I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams

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