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A Post-partum Review – Nursing A Newborn
May 8, 2009 1:44 pm | by

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:

  • Soothies
  • 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!

About the Author

Jenn is the founder of Cotton Babies & creator of bumGenius, Flip, and Econobum, worldwide leading cloth diaper brands. She has four children (Andrew, Oscar, Elsie and Louis) and holds an MBA from Washington University. When she's not working full time, she enjoys teaching business leaders how to implement sustainable economic & social change.



  • Herryponting said...
    April 9, 2012 at 5:13 am
  • Virginia said...
    March 12, 2010 at 11:23 am

    My midwives suggested that I put olive oil on my nipples after my baby nursed, it helps to moisturize and it is anti-fungal which helps prevent infection. Not to mention inexpensive and something most people already have in their kitchens. I’ve been nursing my baby for 2 months and though we had a lot of trouble initially, so far I haven’t had any cracked nipples or infections, knock on wood!

  • Anonymous said...
    October 16, 2009 at 2:32 am

    Has anyone been dissatisfied with the way the Labor and Delivery nurses
    treated their newborn baby? I have seen some on YouTube and other
    places where the newborn was treated like a piece of meat. They stick
    a newborn baby under a running faucet, which I have learned is a very
    dangerous way to first bathe a baby. If you have been dissatisfied
    with the way your newborn was treated did you speak up right away?

  • Medela freestyle said...
    June 19, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Hey there, thanks for the interesting post, I have been using medela breast pump freestyle from a long time, it’s truly awesome, it really helps me make some time for me!


  • Elizabeth said...
    May 29, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    i had such similar problems nursing my daughter. we got through them though and i am still nursing her a year later. I am curious about your experience with a chiropractor. How did the adjustment help you and your daughter? I had the worst nipple crack ever and had to use a nipple shield for two months. But it did heal! Thanks for your story. It is nice to hear that others also have trouble, get through it and are still successfully nursing.

  • Jenn said...
    May 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Mrs. Haid,

    A breast pump is a big investment. I have a few in my closet that I tried and hated – I always go back to my Medela. I hope that helps.


  • jill said...
    May 14, 2009 at 10:02 am

    i didnt end up nursing a newborn, but a 3 month old, we had a severely jaundiced baby and the nurses told us to keep her under the lights. they never mentioned the bili blanket to us until the day we were leaving. we could have murdered them on teh spot. those precious quiet days in the hospital where you can snuggle your newborn without have to deal with food and laundry and all that, and we didnt get to hold her becuase we were to ‘keep’ her there. we were not happy, but live and learn, since she wasn’t allowed ‘out’ and nursing was taking too long (lethargic baby due to jaundice) i had to pump and bottle. I did this until 3 months and then switched her over. I was very sore, she was very confused, but now she’s a happy, what the heck’s a bottle anyway? 6 month old ready to grab for some real chow! I had severe oversupply (which took a week to work out) and sore nipples for a month, anyone reading this, take heart, it does all eventually work itself out. i used lanolin and breast pads and that seemed to help, but i too was at the ‘i dont want to do this’ stage for a long time, but eventually, you get there. I think it might go better with a new born though than a 3 mo used to BM out of a bottle!

  • Jenni said...
    May 9, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I am totally intrigued by the Soothies idea. I had seen them in stores too and had just written them off as some other goo that wouldn’t work. I always get sore nipples after birth though so I am going to have these on hand. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

  • Me? A Mom? said...
    May 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Soothies are great, aren’t they? Another great thing to do is to apply some expressed breast milk to the cuts a few times a day. It naturally heals!

  • Mrs. Haid said...
    May 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Can you explain why you prefer Medela pumps over Lansinoh?

    I really don’t know how to select one, and I haven’t any experience with this.


    PS – I live in Columbia, but have friends who buy me goodies from Cotton Babies!