The decision to breastfeed is a great one but can also be a huge undertaking in general. Having the right products can make nursing a lot easier.
Nursing Bra- A great invention for mom and baby. It allows for easy accessibility and you don’t have to ruin the shape of your regular bra attempting to feed your babies. When snapped, they also provide superior support. This is important when your breast fill with milk and become heavy.
Breast Pads– Having nursing pads are essential once you first have your little sweethearts. They help avoid those embarrassing moments when your babies cry and your shirt begins to look like you entered a wet t-shirt contest. In the beginning you will be changing these frequently because at a moments notice your breast can fill up and eject that miracle liquid called breast milk through your bra on your clothes. Finding a comfortable breast pad may take some trial and error. You want one that fits correctly around your breast, as well as one that can fill up without being so noticeable. I suggest Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads. They cover the entire areola and keeps you as dry as possible. Until your body regulates your milk supply these will be one of your favorite items.
Lanolin Cream– This was my saving grace for all my children but especially my boys. They were aggressive nursers and left me feeling sore. Once I put the cream on, my nipples were instantly relieved. Lanolin cream prevents chapping after frequent nursing and is safe for babies to ingest. I used Lansinoh Nursing Cream before and after nursing my little ones consistently for the first 3 months.
Nursing Cover- While there are laws that allow mom to nurse publicly, most moms I know aren’t comfortable with being exposed. To maintain your modesty I suggest the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Nursing Cover. It’s light, breathable fabric makes it comfortable for baby and it allows you to see your babies without exposing yourself.
Breast is best! If you are planning on nursing I believe you should definitely go for it. Not only is breast milk healthier for your babies, but you also benefit. Nursing helps lose those baby pounds a lot faster while allowing you bonding time with your little ones. Oh, and did I mention the money saved not having to purchase formula for TWO babies. Now if circumstances require you to supplement, there is nothing wrong with that. Any breast milk is better than none at all.
Nursing can be a huge task especially if your a woman on the go. Making sure you have enough milk for two babies can be unthinkable, but if you have the right equipment and can make a pumping schedule it is manageable. Personally I found that the Mendela Pump in Style Advance® works great. It provides comfort and comes with accessories to make pumping easier. As far as pumping, designate a time when the babies are sleep. For me it was easier to pump at night when they were sleep the longest. At the beginning you may only get out an ounce or two but keep it up, Your body will begin adjusting and producing milk as though you are nursing the babies and sooner than later you will have a stock pile of milk.
First thing first, are you drinking enough water? In order to maintain a good supply you must drink LOTS of water. It fine to have juice and other beverages but water is the best. If your a coffee, tea, or soda drinker, lessen the amount you drink. Studies have found that caffeine can cause irritability and/or sleeping problems in babies, so consume in moderation. If after increasing your intake of fluids you still find your milk supply diminishing, I suggest taking herbs. Fenugreek is what is commonly known and does work, but I found that blessed thistle and red raspberry worked better for me. These herbs can be found at many local grocery or general stores. Natures Sunshine® has herbs designed with nursing moms in mind called Female Comfort®. It has worked wonders for me. Of course before taking anything consult your physician.
By the time your babies are about 5 months, they become interested in the world around them. Those days when they used to lay peacefully on your lap while you nursed are over! When your home, this poses no problem but can be extremely annoying when you are out and about. While I’m out, I find nursing one at a time works best. It may take longer but they are able to see their surroundings and I can maintain some type of modesty without four frolicking arms removing the cover from their faces to see what sounds they hear (I suggest purchasing the tommee tippee nursing cover ®). If at least one of your little ones will take a bottle or sippy cup, it may be advantageous to have pumped milk ready to go. When doing this, don’t forget your pump to relieve yourself of discomfort, as well as maintain your milk supply. Remember if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.
I believe that natural is best. If you plan to nurse I say go for it because it can be done. I have nursed my twins without supplementing any formula. I will say though, it does take work. From what I’ve experienced, I suggest nursing both babies at the same time especially as newborns. Cradling one baby and holding the other in a football hold worked best at the beginning but as they got older(and bigger) the cradle holding both of them worked best. I suggest figuring out which way is comfortable and convenient for you.