So I really want to breastfeed and after lots of research you can find below the essentials that I decided I needed to get before baby arrives.
I’m not going to harp on about the benefits of breastfeeding as it really is up to the Mama and what works for her but I will say that I do attribute a lifetime of good health to the great start that my own mother provided for me by breastfeeding.
I know that breastfeeding doesn’t work out for everyone (for lots of different reasons but mainly because it is really hard and you need lots of support) but seeing as I am going to give it my best shot I want to be prepared.
My Mama is coming over to stay when the baby arrives and she has breastfed 8 children so I’ve got a good lactation consultant to help and I’m hoping for the best!
*I saw a great recipe for breastfeeding cookies that I will try out soon. The key ingredients are flaxseeds and oatmeal and I’ll be baking them with my sister as soon as baba arrives. Blog post to follow.
*I hope to use an app to track feeds. I’ve heard of Babybix and a few others but would love to hear from you if you have any recommendations!
1.The Medela Freestyle Pump. As you can see it cost me an arm and a leg even in the sale, 2,100 dirhams (€525) reduced to 1575 dirhams (€395). I see some decent health insurance policies, especially in the USA cover the cost of the pump. I settled on the Freestyle after much research because it seems to be the best hands-free, double-electric pump on the market. (Of course I did get quite excited when I saw Celine Dion use it for her twins on the documentary about her life, sad but true).It seems to be fairly uncomplicated and lightweight in design and has a rechargeable battery that allows for 3 hours of pumping. It’s got a clear and easy to read LCD screen that lights up during night feeds. Combined with the handsfree bustier I should be able to pump whilst doing other tasks which I guess is the real advantage of this particular pump. The pump also records pumping sessions so you can go to whatever session was comfortable for you. Here’s whats included in the package- 1 Freestyle Pump/1 tote bag/ 1 Lithium ion rechargeable battery/ 1 AC adaptor/charger/1 removable cooler bag and contoured ice pack/4 5oz/150ml breastmilk bottles and lids/1 double pumping kit/ 2 Medium (24mm) PersonalFit breastshields/ 2 Large (27mm) PersonalFit breastshields/2 Freestyle connector bodies/1 set of tubing/2 membranes/ instructions for use and breastfeeding guide. Click on the link to go to Amazon.
2. Extra Breastmilk Medela bottles because I reckon you can probably never have enough. I decided to go with the Medela Calma bottle because it is designed specifically for breastfeeding babies. It’s got a flow control valve that allows baby to control the milk flow-they are forced to suck for the milk as oppose to traditional bottles where it just gushes down their throats-so it mimics natural feeding behaviour as much as possible (pause and breathe) so that it should ease transition from bottle to breast. I got these in baby shop UAE.
3.This breastfeeding shawl is from Mothercare, this is really handy for popping over your head when you are out and about. The fabric is really soft and it’s quite large at 63 X 87cm but it folds up really neatly into a perfect square so it doesn’t take up too much space in the changing bag. The two bottom corners have terry cloth squares for cleaning up puke and dribble which will come in handy. I like that the neckline is rigid so it allows you to see the baby and gives him/her more breathing scope; it is adjustable too. I really like the polka dot design, very cute. I think the shawl is about £19.99 on Amazon or in Mothercare itself.
4. Storage bags for breastmilk, essential for working breastfeeding Mums. I got these in Baby shop UAE. Medela also do these bags. I’m hoping to make use of my new freezer by stocking it full of breastmilk for when I go back to work.
5. Breast Pads from Boots. Need I say more. (Also available from Medela)
6.Nursing bra’s. I got some good ones from Babyshop on sale (and even a few nice ones in primark) but these are from Marks and Spencer, all my friends recommended M & S for decent nursing bras and whilst they are a tad expensive they are apparently worth it. 250 dirhams for 2 (€62).
7. Nursing cami top,very handy for nursing Mums. Simon got a bunch of these for me from Penneys in Dundrum Centre Dublin. (I don’t ever let him buy me clothes but this was a straight forward purchase!) I think they are around 30 dirhams/€7 each. I’ve seen similar ones in Babyshop UAE.
8. So I debated whether or not to get this and in the end Idecided that I needed the Medela Easy Expression Bustier to make my life easier in the morning (at prime pump time) before work so I can juggle pumping with doing my makeup/eating breakfast. I got this one from Babyshop UAE on sale. It basically allows for handsfree pumping when using the Medela Freestyle Pump. Yes, I imagine myself as a lean, mean, pumping machine. Click on the link to get this bustier on Amazon.
9. Simon got this nursing tea for me in The Health Store in Dundrum shopping centre in Ireland, it has fenugreek and other ingredients like caraway and aniseed in it which are supposed to aid milk supply. This one is called Neuner’s Organic Herbal Nursing Tea. It’s caffeine and sugar free (bah humbug). Kind of expensive at €9/£6 for 20 teabags so we’ll see how we get on. Click on the link to order from Amazon.
10. Medela PureLan 100 (pure lanolin) is a bit pricey at around €10-€15 depending but apparently its an essential when trying to avoid dry/cracked nipples. It contains no artifical additives or preservatives so its completely safe for baby and doesn’t need to be removed before a feed. It replenishes the natural oils which are depleted by a sucky calf 🙂
11. I got this nursing pillow on sale (down to 100 dirhams/€25) in baby shop UAE. The idea of the pillow is to make feeds as comfortable for baby as possible. This one has a nice neutral pattern with a handy plastic covering which will come in useful when we travel. It’s easy to remove and wash the cover and due to its shape it has multiple purposes.
12. LAST BUT NOT LEAST. A nice soft knitted blanket to keep baby warm from the cold during feeds. I saw some lovely ones in Mamas and Papas but they didn’t come close to this one which was knitted for us by Mel Morris, Alex and Jacob’s Granny. We love it, thanks so much Mel.