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Nursing Time Essentials

I love nursing.

After breast-feeding Charity exclusively for 8 months (she quit on her own), I never thought I'd say that. That's because I was "doing it all wrong." Charity had some trouble with latching on when she was first born, so at the midwife's suggestion, I started using a silicone shield. It worked great. Too great; Charity grew so accustomed to using it that all my attempts to try again without it proved fruitless. It was similar to bottle feeding, having to clean and disinfect an artificial nipple after every feed.

Also, the easiest way for me to feed Charity was lying down. It's still I position I favor, but now I know the importance of switching it up. I nursed Charity lying down for the first few weeks, and that ended up being the only way she would feed! Whoops! Imagine having to ask, "Do you mind if I borrow your bed for an hour?" whenever you went visiting. It ended up being rather frustrating trying to schedule everything "just right" to avoid nursing her in public.

I didn't know it then, but I had a very low milk supply. I just figured it was normal for a baby to eat for an hour. Now that we've had Judah (a champ eater-done in 10-15 minutes!) and a lot of expert advice on getting this whole nursing thing to work-like taking Fenugreek to increase milk production- I know better.

Nursing is so much easier this time. I've had a lot of help from a different midwife than I had with Charity, who also happens to be an excellent lactation consultant. Her motto is, "sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind." In other words, flicking your lethargic baby's feet when he's just a day old and making him scream might be just the thing to getting his sucking reflex in high gear! She also taught me how to get his mouth to open and how to get a good latch. It took over an hour of one-on-one time with her to figure it out, but now that I've got it "mastered," I don't regret a minute of it! When Judah latched on within the first try after our "training session," I had a "so-this-is-how-it's-supposed-to-work!" moment.

There's a hundred and one reasons why I love nursing which I won't get into now, but here's small list of things I consider to be "Nursing Time Essentials"; things that make quiet time with your own baby even easier!

  • A good nursing cover. I've tried three now and by far, my favorite one is the Udder Cover which I got as a gift from Sarah. It was a wire insert inside the top hem, allowing you to peek at your baby and nobody else. Also, the fabric is breathable and there's plenty of it; no need to worry about baring your midriff accidentally.
  • A bottle of water. We normally don't buy bottled water because it can get pricey. But when I'm nursing, this is the luxury I like to indulge in. Bottled water stays contained much better than in a glass so it's easy to take a swig, even while lying down, when your mouth starts feeling parched. I drink a 500ml bottle at every feeding.
  • A pocket Bible. Brad bought me a cute little, lime green, leather Bible when we were going out and I make the most use of it while I'm nursing. It's small enough to hold with one hand and its soft cover allows it to remain open on its own.
  • A good book. Judah's barely two weeks old, but I've been able to do more reading in that time than I have in the previous two months combined! I've just finished three books, all highly recommended: Running Scared by Ed Welch, Shepharding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp, and Be Fruitful and Multiply by Nancy Campbell.
  • Quality nursing pads. There's nothing more irritating than a nursing pad that doesn't stay in place when it's supposed too: "So that's why the delivery guy looked at me funny!" I've tried several brands, but there's only one that I really like: Johnson's Nursing Pads. They're extremely absorbable, breathable, and they have a sticky peel that actually works.
  • Pen and Paper. My penmanship looks like chicken scratch if it's done while I'm nursing (I know people who can write beautifully while breastfeeding-that's what I'm working towards!) so for now, I limit myself to writing what my eyes only will see: grocery lists, reminders, etc.
  • The telephone. If I have any phone calls to make, I like to do them while I'm nursing. I know Judah will be quiet, and it's a better us of my time to call while I have to sit down anyway. I can focus on the conversation much better then when I'm trying to clean the house, make supper, or fold laundry.
Do you have any favorite things you like to do/did or use/used while nursing? Any good habits you'd like to share? I'd love to hear and maybe copy your ideas!

Please note that I am not being compensated for the endorsement of any of the above products. The views expressed are simply my own opinions.

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