Breastfeeding – Breastfeeding Accessories

[fb_button][wdgpo_plusone]There are various accessories that you will need if you are breastfeeding. I will list the most important ones here :

1 – Breast cream : Breast creams are soothes, heals and protects dry, cracked skin and sore nipples for breastfeeding mothers. They are hypoallergenic, most of them are natural, and safe for both mom & baby.

Deciding to nurse your baby doesn’t mean that you’ll always have to have a special nipple cream or ointment on hand. Some mothers never require anything to apply to their nipples. Others, on occasion, may find a certain cream soothing. And in some cases, the right type of cream or ointment may actually prevent drying and cracking of the nipple and help speed healing. Other antibacterial ointments and anti fungal ointments may be necessary as part of a care plan to treat these types of infections if they should occur.

Before purchasing any creams, read the label first to make sure that it is safe for your baby too. Because anything you apply to the nipple area may be ingested by the baby, it’s important to use only those products that are known to be safe or which absorb so quickly into the skin that only minute amounts are left on the surface. Washing the area to remove a cream or ointment that might be harmful to the baby is not acceptable either as this results in naturally occurring antibacterial and lubricating properties to be removed from the breast which can result in over-drying.

Any all-purpose breast or nipple cream sold over-the-counter which has any other ingredients besides 100% lanolin should be avoided. Other ingredients may be toxic to the baby. No other lotions or creams, normally used on other parts of the body as moisturizers, should be applied to the nipple area.

Because of breast milk’s antibacterial and healing properties it makes a wonderful nipple salve. It also has Vitamin E in it in amounts that are obviously safe for the baby. After a feeding, simply express a little more milk and rub it into your nipples. This practice should be avoided if you think you may have a yeast infection as yeast thrive in milk.

I would like to mention once more, every body and every skin is different. If a brand works for your friend, not necessarily it will work for you. Unfortunately the best way is to try different brands until to find the right one for your body. Because of this, I will not suggest any brand or give any specific name to you; instead here is the link for all the products fall under this category : breast creamsBreastfeeding – Breastfeeding Accessories

2 – Breast shields : A nipple shield is a flexible silicone nipple that is worn over the mom’s nipple during a feeding. It is used to protect a sore nipple, and also can be used when a baby is having difficulty latching on to a flat or inverted nipple. Often, nipple shields are recommended within the first few days of birth. Frequently in these cases, the shields are not needed and are handed out without proper instructions for using and weaning from them – a shield should generally not be used during the first week after birth unless there is an obvious problem such as prematurity or difficulty latching which is attributable to some physical characteristic of the baby.

There are some disadvantages of using a nipple shield :

  • baby may get less milk if the shield is used incorrectly
  • mom may be more at risk for plugged ducts and mastitis (if the shield causes reduced milk transfer) – Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that results in breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness of the breast
  • it can be difficult to wean from the shield

Here are a couple of things to keep an eye on until baby is weaned from the shield. By following through with the precautions that outlined below, you should be able to avoid or head off any problems:

  • When using a shield you’ll need to carefully assess your baby for adequate intake. Count his wet diapers every day and make sure that s/he’s having at least 6 really wet ones each 24 hour period. You also will want to make sure that s/he stools at least twice daily if s/he is less than 5-6 weeks of age. After 5-6 weeks, his/her stools may only come every few days, but should still be loose and profuse if many days have passed. Baby will also need to be weighed frequently – at least every 2 weeks (make sure you use the same scale) – until it is clear that he is gaining well.
  • You will also want to listen for frequent swallowing during the feeding and feel for overall good breast softening after the feeding. If your breasts are not well-softened after each feeding, you may need to pump until they are softened to ensure that your supply remains adequate. This will lessen your risk for plugged ducts and help to maintain your supply.

For my first one I had sore nipples and every feeding time my eyes get wet because of the pain. I purchased one of these and I used almost all first month. But I got mastitis twice. Maybe I didn’t use it properly, or maybe it wasn’t the real cause – just my body had the mastitis. I don’t know… It’s great product if you have a sore nipple but please read instruction before using it, or even better consult with a lactation consultant.

3 – Storage bags : If you’re breast-feeding your baby and going back to work or looking for more flexibility, you’re probably considering using a breast pump (if you don’t have one, you can check our breast-pump page). Once you start pumping, it’s important to know how to safely and properly store your expressed breast milk.

Breast milk storage bags are specially designed for the safe, convenient storage and freezing of breast-milk. Each strong, leak-proof bag is pee-sterilized and most of them has a double zipper seal.

If you will return to your work and still be breastfeeding you will definitely need those bags. I was stay at home mom but I also used them; because sometimes my baby slept more than usual and I got very uncomfortable with full of milk. I was pumping my milk and putting it to the freezer. With this way, I was able to go somewhere without thinking feeding time and enjoy my free time without worrying much about the timing.

4 – Nursing pads : Nursing pads are absorbent pads which are used to prevent breast-milk leakages from seeping through bras and other garments.

Breastfeeding mothers sometimes experience leakage of breast-milk between feedings, for a variety of reasons. Leakages can be uncomfortable, as most people don’t enjoy wearing wet clothing, and they can also cause discomfort in social settings if the leakage appears on outer garments. Most importantly, wearing wet garments against the breasts and nipples can contribute to inflammation and infection, making it important to take steps to address it.

It is important to change nursing pads as soon as they are damp. Just as a wet diaper can cause inflammation on a baby’s bottom, wet pads can lead to inflammation of the nipple. If the nipple becomes inflamed, it may interfere with the ability to express breast-milk, and it can make breastfeeding very uncomfortable. It can be a good idea to carry spare nursing pads for changes on the go.

Not every new mother needs nursing pads as part of her breastfeeding apparel – some moms never leak despite having healthy milk supplies, others only leak occasionally, and some may leak early on and then notice that the leaking greatly slows down or stops completely.

It’s still wise, however, to purchase at least one package of nursing pads until you know what your needs will be. That way, if leaking should occur when the milk “comes in” you’ll have something ready to go. As breastfeeding becomes established you can purchase more pads if needed.