Breast Warmers for nipple pain - Because of the Raynaud's Syndrome, one of Serenity's biggest problems was that her nipples would get really cold and start to hurt. These breast warmers fit easily inside a loose bra and kept them nice and toasty!
Have a comfortable place to nurse- Serenity loved nursing Della in her Monte Design Joya Rocker which has high, close set arms for support. She didn’t use the pillow that came with the rocker, but loved using the My Breast Friend nursing pillow. Some people find just laying reclined in a bed with the pillows works just as well. Find what works best for you whatever that is!
Ask for help with latching- Many of us struggle to get our babies latched on right in the beginning. It often takes multiple hands to help. Joe was a huge help in getting Della latched on in the early weeks. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you trust to help you! Seek professional help from an IBCLC or other breastfeeding support person if you continue to struggle with getting a good latch.
Breastfeeding necklace - Serenity found a necklace that she wore while breastfeeding Della to keep Della’s hands occupied. The one she found was on Etsy and there are TONS of cool options to choose from on there! One tip she has is to think about how the back of the necklace might hurt the back of your neck when baby yanks on the necklace. So think about that when choosing on and maybe get one with a thicker or softer kind of cord or leather.
Use a silicone hand pump - These are great for collecting extra milk in the early months, especially on the side other than the one the baby is nursing from. Just be careful to not suction too hard! It can hurt your nipples and for some it can cause problems with overproduction. Serenity loved using the Haakaa!
Simplify your pumping routine - Who wants to wash pump parts all day long? Pro tip: store your pump parts in a bag in the fridge for the day and then you can reuse them throughout the day and only wash once at night. Although, do be careful to notate which milk was pumped at what time of day and make sure to feed your baby the same milk at the same time of day. We learned that breastmilk from different times of the day has a different composition and different hormones in it, such as.more melatonin in the evening which helps them sleep.
Buy extra pump parts - We bought two sets to make sure we always had one in case we didn’t get to washing the other set - It seems really obvious, but we can’t tell you how much time we spent washing pump parts, worrying about losing them, never taking them places, until we realized we could just buy double! P.S. We love our Spectra Baby USA.
Keep your hands free while pumping - Look ma, no hands! Keep your hands free for things like checking texts, reading a book, enjoying your favorite drink, or even holding your baby (which can help with letdown) by using a pumping bra or make your own from an old sports bra. Serenity left hers on the back of the rocker so she always had it ready to go when she needed it.
Get more out of your pump sessions- Watching videos of Della crying helped Serenity get a better letdown while pumping, especially in the middle of the night or at work when speed really matters. Who are we kidding- speed ALWAYS matters when pumping! Also, massaging your breasts while pumping helps get the milk out faster too.
Find donor milk if needed - If you are struggling to produce, or need breastmilk for your baby for other reasons, check out your local milk bank or your local Human Milk 4 Human Babies or Eats on Feets groups on Facebook. As always make sure to consult your healthcare provider to help make an informed decision on what is best for your family. Serenity struggled with production and we are beyond thankful to the six moms that helped feed Della. Read more about our journey with donor milk here.
Looking for more? Head over to our list of top ten parenting hacks for a bonus breastfeeding hack and more on raising your little one!
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Kristen, our community manager and one of the mamas who donated milk for Della, is still breastfeeding her daughter who is over two now. Serenity Carr sat down with Kristen to learn more about her breastfeeding journey and how to navigate breastfeeding a toddler.