Buying for Baby: What do I need to Breast-feed

Monday, 13 April 2009  |  Admin

When it comes to reusable pads there are 2 different types available, cloth or silicone. I'll be honest upfront and say that although I liked these in theory, these didn't work out for me. I found the cloth ones a bit scratchy to use and that they did smell of sour milk after a while. I stopped using them because I had thrush in my nipples (ouch, ouch, OUCH!) and wanted to avoid re-infection.
I also tried the fabulous Lilypadz which a friend recommended to me. These are silicone shaped pads which basically stick to your boobs and stop the flow of milk rather than just absorbing it. They work on the same principle that if your milk 'let-down' starts, you can stop it by pressing flat against your breast with your hand. I found that they worked really well for me although I believe that it's best to start using them once your milk supply has settled down, past the engorgement stage as the pressure of milk might be too much for the Lilypdz to hold at that point.
The main benefit to using Lilypadz over cloth or disposable pads is that they're VERY discreet. You could wear a white t-shirt over the top without those tell-tale shaped pads being visible. Not a good look. Plus they'll probably work out cheaper if you're planning to feed for more than a couple of months as I paid about £15 for my set. The downside to Lilypadz for me is that I had Eczema on my boobs while I was breast-feeding (anyone who says that breast-feeding is easy has obviously never had the thrush / mastitis / nasty latch-on experiences) and the Lilypadz exacerbated it so I couldn't continue using them.
So what other breast related bits and bobs are useful? Well I found nipple shields to be a godsend. At some stage with all my children I needed to use nipple shields, usually around the 7 day old mark when I realised that I was dreading the next feed because my poor nipples were a blistered, bleeding mess. They're great for using temporarily to give some respite and allowing your boobs to heal. Lansinoh ointment is fabulous stuff too in these painful circumstances.
Just when you thought that breast feeding was distinctly unglamorous, my last top tip for breast feeding necessities is a fabulous bra. I discovered the HOTmilk range during my third pregnancy and thought I should treat myself as I had only just stopped wearing my nursing bras after baby no2 and they were all looking grey and grubby (which is just how I felt too!). HOTmilk bras have it all: they're gorgeous, give you a great cleavage but most of all are extremely comfortable, with no underwiring but plenty of support built in. And (whisper) I'm still wearing mine 2 months after finishing breast feeding as they're now my favourite bras, so they're good value for money too.
Hopefully that's given you an overview on breast feeding buying tips, but if you've any comments to share, please feel free to post.

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