Elsie is now almost three months old. We’re finally settling into a routine. She is adjusting well to life outside of my uterus. As we suspected, our first weeks with her home were wonderful but rough as my body went through the initial postpartum period. I’m back to work now and learning how to to do life as a company owner with a nursling.
When I posted about her birth, I promised a review of some of my favorite products for the postpartum time period. I’m finally getting a moment this afternoon to write a review of the nursing products that I used and loved.
When Elsie was four days old, she went to the pediatrician. She was born at 8lbs but had dropped to 7lbs 4 ounces at that visit. The pediatrician was concerned and sent us home to come back in two days. Two days later, she had dropped to 6lbs 12 ounces. We were told to supplement… I was heartbroken. I didn’t want to give her formula. I’ve never had a milk supply problem before. It just didn’t make sense that I would have a supply problem now. A wonderful friend suggested that I start nursing Elsie on one side while I pump the other side. Then I would feed her what I pumped in a bottle. The theory was that she was getting tired trying to nurse two sides.
So, we rented a Medela Symphony breastpump from the Cotton Babies retail store and I started taking an herbal supplement from Motherlove, More Milk Plus. In less than 48 hours, I’d seen a significant increase in my milk supply. Elsie was nursing one side and happily eating what she wanted from what I was able to pump from the other breast. She started gaining weight and within a week, we were back to having her fully on the breast. The More Milk Plus worked better than the teas and faster than any other herbal galactagogue that I’ve ever tried.
My nipples were also bleeding due to a couple of nursing sessions where Elsie apparently had a bad latch and I didn’t know until she was done doing the damage. When Elsie was a few days old, she had her first chiropractic adjustment. While we were at the chiropractor’s office, my friend saw how badly my nipples were bleeding and, on the way home, she stopped at Walgreens and bought me some Soothies absorbent, cooling gel pads. This is a product that I would have laughed at before having Elsie. It’s not natural. It isn’t organic. It isn’t even fabric. By the time we pulled into the Walgreens parking lot, I was at the end of my rope and willing to try anything. I was dissolving into tears at the *thought* of having to nurse my baby because it hurt SO bad. I started wearing them right away while also using Nipple Butter from Earth Mama Angel Baby. Literally overnight, my nipples started feeling better. The next day, the cracks were gone and the bleeding stopped. Because of my experience, we sell Soothies at Cotton Babies now. If you are reliving this experience (and I know so many of you can relate), go buy Soothies. Use them in combination with the Nipple Butter. It works.
Below are my suggestions for helpful nursing products to have on hand before your baby is born:
- Nipple Butter
- Medela Lanolin
- Motherlove More Milk Plus
- Nursing pads
- Phone numbers for places near you that rent Medela breastpumps.
- Phone number for a breastfeeding peer counselor or lactation consultant.
- A good, supportive, experienced friend who can encourage you and provide perspective if things get hard!