My Breastfeeding Journey + Essentials

My & Iya’s breastfeeding journey ended about a year ago; I always look back on our 13 months so very fondly & miss it! August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month so I wanted to share some of the products that supported us through our journey & helped us reach our goal of one year+.

I want to be totally clear that I can only speak for myself & my own experiences. If you’re having trouble on your journey or are looking for more than product recommendations + a little mom advice, please speak with a lactation consultant & your pediatrician! xo

First things first, nursing bras! Lots of them! I wasn’t the biggest fan of nursing pads so I would go through a few bras & shirts a day lol! Definitely try to get used to the pads to save yourself from milk-soaked shirts and endless laundry, unlike myself, but regardless.. comfortable easy-to-access bras are absolutely essential!

Aside from the physiological of course, I really believe that my success with breastfeeding came from protecting my mental space and giving myself the opportunities & time to build confidence. I kept my postpartum period a private affair while we bonded and learned to become a family of three. I set a hard boundary early in my pregnancy that we wouldn’t be hosting out-of-town or overnight guests for the first 6 weeks; I wanted to establish breastfeeding and make sure I was set up for success — lots of privacy, quiet, skin-to-skin, and keeping stressors & unsolicited advice at a bare minimum lol! It was hard and incredibly exhausting once the sleep deprivation caught up but WOW it was the most beautiful season of our lives and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Get started on setting up a comfy nursing station at home and know that you’ll be spending a ton of time there! A glider & ottoman I really feel are non-negotiable lol I swear I practically lived on that thing nursing, pumping, cuddling, & even relaxing on my own without baby. I got a little sidetable for my drink, pump, & remote — I watched SO much TV those early weeks of late night feeds haha. Put together a little basket with snacks and water bottles so they’re always on hand from your seat — gotta keep your fluids, calories, and supply up!

Walmart is offering some great bonuses to support breastfeeding this month; you can get a free $10 Walmart giftcard with purchase of the glider above!

I loved my Boppy & Breast Friend nursing pillows equally depending on how much support I needed in the moment. Boppy is more pillowlike & soft, Breast Friend is firm and buckles around your waist for great back support and less weight on your arms; awesome for nursing sitting up in bed when I was too tired to make it to my glider.

Moral support and a little solidarity for breastfeeding mothers goes a long way! Waseem was an absolute angel, I really don’t think I would have met my goals without him and I’ll always be grateful. Our breastfeeding journey really was a family effort. There were so many nights I felt like giving up, I’d burst into tears and ask him to just buy formula. He’d sit up with me, even if he had work the next morning, back-to-back so I had something to lean on physically & emotionally. Partners aren’t mind-readers though, ask for the help and communicate your needs! Something I still need to remind myself often. xo

Breastfeeding in public is anxiety inducing for a lot of new (& seasoned) moms, I realized quickly that people really don’t notice or care like we think lol but I personally didn’t want to accidentally flash the room anyways. Again, comfort & peace over everything to build that confidence! It took me awhile to comfortably get Iya latched in public, I swear I’d become a clumsy mess and she’d pick up on my nervousness lol, so I loved this cover. It can be used for so many different things: as a nursing cover + carseat, highchair, shopping cart cover!

I would often bring expressed milk to make outings easier: so I could feed Iya in the car, more comfortably in public, or Waseem could feed her. I’d pump in the car when needed so I never had to worry about getting engorged and having to race back home. If she got hungry while we were driving I could pump a quick bottle instead of stopping to nurse. It brought me so much freedom!! Below were my pumping essentials:

Spectra S2 Double Pump

I loved my pump so much!! I can’t compare it to anything else because it’s the only one I’ve used but I did quite a bit of research before making my choice; its supposed to be hospital grade and very efficient at emptying the breast. I never had any issues and it was quite cute too for a piece of machinery!

If you’re leaning towards the Medela Pump in Style (super popular!), you can get a $50 Walmart giftcard with purchase!

Pumping Bra

Car Adaptor for Pump

Freedom!! I pumped in the car almost any time I was out of the house for more than 2 hours. I actually had a Power Strip Inverter in my car already so I didn’t have to buy anything, I was able to just plug in and pump!

Medela Bottle Cooler Bag

I’d use this to store my car-pumped milk and get it home safely before transferring it to a freezer bag. Also great for travel/flights! If i pumped in the car I’d throw the parts in with the cold pack so I could pump again during the outing if needed without having to worry about sterilizing (just a matter of a few hours not all day long).

Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags

Loved these for building my freezer stash! I found one rogue bag lost in the back of the freezer earlier this year and gave Iya a beautiful milk bath. So special!

Como Tomo Bottles

We started with Dr. Browns Bottles which were great but they became very tedious to clean (so many parts!), I switched to Como Tomo upon hearing that they are supposed to mimic the breast and never looked back!

Philips Avent Microwave Sterilizer

Easy to tuck away when not in use, I didn’t want another appliance living on my counter.

Philips Avent Bottle Warmer

Boon Drying Rack Bundle (get $20 Walmart giftcard with purchase!)

Babyganics Dish & Bottle Soap

Sponsored by Walmart

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