I have 3 boys and with each of them my breastfeeding journey has looked different for each. With that, it has taught me a lot. And has given me a different perspective based on having such different paths. Because of that, I wanted to share my journeys with each; and share my breastfeeding essentials based on my experience.
With Cameron I was a young mother. To be honest I hadn’t really been around anyone pregnant, and just truly didn’t educate myself on the benefits of breastfeeding. When I had him breastfeeding was never anything I felt determined to stick with. It was a naturally tough to master, and I quickly threw in the towel. I never reached out to a lactation consultant or joined breastfeeding groups. Just didn’t tap into my resources. Cameron was a formula baby and it worked for the season I was in.
After having Cameron fed with formula I felt a bit of guilt after I learned all the benefits of breastfeeding. When I got pregnant with Calvin, I was determined to breastfeed all 12 months. The beginning was a bit bumpy but I was successfully able to breastfeed Calvin the entire 12 months. We kept this going through a lot of transition. We decided to move from Michigan to Texas. But we kept it going even with making the long drive, adjusting to new jobs, and then getting acclimated with our new living situation.
With Cyrus this got real interesting…I had gestational diabetes with him. Immediately after delivering him they were really checking his sugar levels. At first they were stable and I was able to start latching with him. Quickly after they started dropping. He failed 2 blood sugar tests. If Cy failed again that would mean he had to be admitted to the NICU. It was a hard decision but the doctors recommended I supplement with formula. At that point we supplemented with formula.
Honestly, after that Cyrus never had the desire to feed off me. I would always get him latched but he never wanted to stay latched after a few minutes. Despite this, I was determined to get him to feed off me. I went to countless lactation consultations, joined breastfeeding groups, shed lots of tears, we tried giving him a syringe of breast milk and my breast at the same time so he wanted to stay latched on. Cy just wanted no parts. It is so fitting, because all the attitude he has now explains it all! I then became a pumping mom exclusively.
We then were challenged with him having severe acid reflux. We tried everything, and it was just not helping him. Also we were on the brink of needing to have a major surgery and reconstruct his intestines. The doctor recommended with this low weight and not being able to gain due to his acid reflux that we supplement with formula and oatmeal.
As you can see each journey was completely different. However, with each I still was the best mom that I could be with them. Breastfeeding isn’t easy, and it can completely make you feel like a failure if you are not successful. I am here to say to moms that may currently feel like this. You are amazing, and no matter what choice you make to best benefit your baby you are a great mom!
I have partnered with Walmart to share some breastfeeding essentials that helped me during my journey with Calvin and pumping with Cyrus. You can shop them all by clicking your favorite images below. Walmart has such great products for moms that are breastfeeding, pumping, or formula. What I love is the price point of the items. Below I have shared some affordable options all featured at Walmart.
1. Water Bottle – I’ve learned that when I don’t drink enough water that it will drastically decrease my milk supply. Pump yourself with water!
2. Lanolin Cream – There is nothing worse than cracked nipples. I learned this the hard way. First it is an adjustment to have a baby learning to latch, and then to add the stinging from a cracked nipple. Keep ointment on them to help prevent cracking.
3. Extra pumping parts – Being a pumping mom I’ve had the scenario where I am at work going to the pumping room. Then sit down to pump and realize that I forgot my tubes because I was washing them. Ugh! Nothing more irritating! I started just keeping extra pumping parts to avoid this situation.
4. Breast Pump – Like I said I exclusively pumped with Cyrus, and with Calvin I would pump at work. So having a pump was a necessity.
5. Extra Bottles – When pumping and bringing bottles to work these were my personal favorite. Never dealt with any leakage.
6. Nursing Tops – It’s so convenient to have a top that makes it easy to feed.
7. Sanitizing Bags – These are affordable and make it easy to clean your parts.
8. Nursing Bras – Because I lived in these the first 12 months.
9. Bottles – Tommee Tippee was our bottle of choice. We loved it for Calvin and Cyrus. With Calvin breastfeeding we felt he never had issues latching to me and then drinking on these bottles.
10. Nursing Pads – Buy these and a lot of them!!
11. Nursing Pillow – Helped make the nursing experience easier for us!
12. Milk Storage Bags – I absolutely loved these storage bags!! I love they had a twist top.
Remember no matter what path you take, it doesn’t define how great you are as a mother!
Have you tried any of these breastfeeding essentials? Share in a comment below!