“Do your boobs hang low, do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie ’em in a knot, can you tie ’em in bow? Can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier? Do your boobs hang low?”
As funny as my tweaks to that classic song are, I totally feel like it’s 100% true. I started my nursing journey more than five years ago with barely there “A” cups, and let’s just say that I’m moving down the alphabet in terms of cup sizes the more I nurse my babies.
I’ve collectively been nursing for four years. That means four years of having my boobs change drastically, and literally having tiny humans suck their life-giving milk out of me. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.
Since I’ve been there, done that, and my third baby doesn’t seem to have any intention on stopping anytime soon, I wanted to share some breastfeeding tips and secrets I’ve learned over the past several years.
This is a sponsored conversation on behalf of The Breastfeeding Shop via SoFluential Media. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Stop, Slow Down, and Enjoy It
This one’s going first, because I’m nearing the end of my breastfeeding journey, so it’s on the forefront of my mind lately. You may be at the beginning of the road and it seems like all you’re doing is nursing. It can literally be a time-suck, and I get that, but just know you won’t always be feeding your little one every 2-3 hours (or more…cluster feeding is so hard).
As your baby grows, they’ll start needing less of your time, which will make your time with them even more precious. Try to enjoy it. Pick out your favorite features as they’re in the comfort of your arms. Stroke their hair, their ears, or rub their back.
You’ll hear it time and time again, but these days of giving everything you have to them are so, so long, but the years are short. Before you know it you’ll be down to only nursing them once a day, and then—BAM—one day it will end, and you’ll wonder how it happened so quickly.
Especially as they get older and especially as you have more kids, it’ll be so easy to want to just stop a nursing session early, or try to hurry them along, but stop and soak in their baby-hood, because one day it will all be over and you may just miss it.
Get a good nursing bra
I’ve mentioned this before in a post with all the things you need to breastfeed, but finding the right nursing bra is vital in my book. You want one that’s going to be comfortable and can grow with you, and will last and hold up. I get the same new bra for each baby, and it’s just so comfortable. I actually need to start bra shopping again for a non-nursing bra, and I’m absolutely dreading it.
Skip the Nursing Cover, Breastfeed in Public, and Still be Discreet.
Okay, this tip is for when your little one is still little and not wanting to play gymnastics all over you during a nursing session. Fancy covers out there are excellent, and if they float your boat then go for it. But if you want to ditch the nursing cover, wear a long tank top under your top, and then use your shirt (the one on top) as a way to cover your exposed boob.
Once your baby starts getting mobile and curious about the world he may start popping on and off and looking everywhere, so just be prepared for possible boob exposure when that happens. But when they’re actually nursing, their head will most likely cover whatever your under shirt and over shirt isn’t hiding.
If you’re not sure about this method, try it at home and practice before doing it out in public.
Have the Right Equipment
Yeah, yeah, yeah, all you need to nurse are boobs, but really, a few more things are quite nice to have around. Like a breast pump, for example.
Even if you’re nursing exclusively, don’t write off the idea of having a pump just yet. They can be AMAZING. Having a little stockpile of frozen milk isn’t just nice for when you’d like a nursing session off (say, at 3 am, for example), or maybe when you want to go on a date, or possibly later down the road and you need to use some of your magic milk to help with something like pink eye. It’s just nice to have.
And if you’re a military spouse, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t have one, because Tricare doesn’t just cover them—they give one to you at absolutely no cost. Getting one is easy…like, ridiculously easy. All you have to do is upload your prescription to The Breastfeeding Shop, pick your pump (there are more than 9 to choose from), and they’ll take care of the rest.
This is like night and day different from how I got my first pump years ago, and I highly recommend you take advantage of this opportunity. You can get your prescription for a pump from your OB doctor or some pediatricians will also write one for you. The Breastfeeding Shop can also obtain it for you if you provide the right info (this is the route I took since I knew I’d probably lose the prescription.
But wait! That’s not all!
Tricare will also pay and cover additional accessories for your pump, and let me tell you: this is incredibly amazing, because even if you don’t use your pump often, you should still change out your parts. Click that box on the form so you don’t miss out on getting pump parts shipped right to your door.
Talk About It
Here’s a huge breastfeeding tip: If you’re struggling with nursing and want to continue, talk about it. Find a trusted friend who’s been there and done that, and talk about it with her. Search for a lactation consultant and set up a session or two. And if the two of you don’t jive for some reason, find someone else.
There may be a movement to normalize breastfeeding, but no matter how much attention breastfeeding gets, nursing is hard, and it’s definitely not easy—especially at the beginning. So if you have questions or concerns, chat about it with someone who can help.
We aren’t meant to do this mom thing alone. Find a breastfeeding group, or heck, just start up a conversation with a mom at a park. If there’s one thing new moms love to talk about it’s about our labor stories, our boobs, and our kids.
This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about breastfeeding tips. If you’re looking for more posts, check out my archive here.
Okay, mamas…your turn. What are your tips for breastfeeding, and do you have a pump? Was it a breeze to get?