Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Breastfeeding: Accessories

I am a firm believer in the benefits of breastfeeding, but understand that it is not the right decision for everyone. Or, that not every mom and every baby will be able to make it work despite their best efforts. While I intend to breastfeed as long as it works for us, it isn't always easy. The right tools make a difference!

The Freestyle Medela Pump is probably the best baby-related purchase I made. It is more expensive than their other pumps, but is super-portable, which was my primary concern. I haven't used other pumps for comparison, but I swear that some of my friends are jealous of this little thing! I didn't even realize that you often have to plug in other pumps (mine is battery operated and rechargeable) and that other pumps didn't have timers. Mine has 2-phase expression, which is very effective. I travel between 3 different offices and find myself moving around the house with this thing - definitely worth it.

If you will be pumping a lot, or pumping at work, get at least 2 sets of the breastshields (SoftFit are best) and extra pump membranes and back caps. (I have 4 sets). Otherwise you will feel like you are sterilizing parts all day.

I use the microwave sterilizer bags and they work great, for the most part. Once milk has been in the fridge in a bottle, I think the milk fat doesn't clean off the sides of the bottle in the sterilizer - use the dishwasher.

Get a milk storage system for your freezer - we use this. Once it is full, I transfer the frozen milk bags to Ziploc Snap n'Seal rectangle containers - they are the perfect size. Also, freeze your milk in 2, 3 or 4 oz. portions so it is easy to thaw and make the right size bottles for your baby without a lot of waste.

Milk storage bags: I was using Medela, but they are pricey and Lansinoh are similar for a little less money.

Dry Erase pen! Sounds strange, but pick up a narrow-tip one at the grocery store. It works great to label the bottle caps in the fridge so you know what day you pumped and when it needs to be used by. Also works well to designate bottles for daycare if you go back to work.

Breast pads: I have used the Medela cotton ones and they have worked fine and are a little more economical than the disposable ones (but are thick and will show through some shirts). I've read that a lot of people like the Ultra Thin Lansinoh disposable pads. I also really like Lilypadz. I have two sets at a time so one can be washed while I am wearing the other. Works well for me to contain leaks. They last about 2 months.

Combating soreness the first few weeks ... I used lanolin every time baby ate and also used Soothies for several days with a cracked nipple and it helped immensely.

TMI? Get used to it!


Carrie said...

Hands down you have the best breast pump I have ever seen. I have the "pump in style" (are you kidding me with that name?) and yes you have to plug it in. So to avoid having to pump in the Pappasitto's restroom at the sink where the plug is and greeting everyone who walks in the bathroom while exposing yourself to the vaccuum sucking sound-invest in the Molly's pump.

distaff said...

Molly -- this is a great service. cuts through so much of the "buy-me!" hype. I think you will grow and grow with readership. I will share with all the new mommies-to-be I know.