Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Mother Breastfeeding Kit

I've just learned some wonderful news - my niece is pregnant with her first child! I'm thrilled for her and especially excited because her little one and my little one will be just a year apart in age!

Since my niece has told me she plans to breastfeed, I've already decided what I'll be giving her for her "new mom" gift - a breastfeeding kit.

Here's what's inside:
:: Lansinoh - this is a vaseline type of ointment that's made of lanolin. It was a LIFESAVER for me in those early days. Definite must-have. Can be found in just about any pharmacy/drug store.
:: Washable cotton breast pads - I purchased these from here and I wore them for about 5 months until I stopped leaking. True, they can be a TAD visible under a shirt, but personally, I'd rather that than a big, wet milk spot (and later, a dried stain!) any day. I packaged these in a laundry bag meant for delicates - keeps the pads all in one place so you're not trying to match up sets like socks!
:: Disposable breast pads - I use these in conjunction with the cotton pads. I know everyone is different, but I had, how shall we say, an abundant milk supply that meant I leaked straight through the cotton pads. Because I didn't want to apply the plastic coated pads directly to my breast, I put these pads closest to my bra. They acted as "back up" support and I never again had leak through issues.
:: Two nursing bras - another MUST HAVE. I purchased a few different kinds/brands and these ended up being my favorite, hands down. Super comfy, soft, supportive, and the strap clasps are super easy to manage - even in a hurry!
:: Snacks and a water bottle - In those early days, nothing made me more hungry or thirsty than nursing my baby! I kept a basket of snacks in every room, and I carried around my water bottle wherever I went.
:: Nursing cover - perfect for moms who aren't comfortable breastfeeding in public. The one in the photo is from here, but my sweet friend, Terri, made one for me also and said it was very easy to do.
:: Nursing necklace - I held a giveaway for this ages ago, long before I was nursing. These necklaces are meant to keep children entertained while you're holding - or nursing - them. Juliet loves playing with my necklace whenever she's near me. You can find them here on Etsy.
:: The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - this was pretty much my breastfeeding bible when I first started out. Heck, I still refer to it now and then. Everything you need to know about breastfeeding is in this book. I added a personal note of encouragement along with my phone numbers to the inside cover.
:: Breast pump - My niece registered for a pump (the one in the photo is my own and is just present for photographic purposes) because she plans to return to work after maternity leave. A good pump - even when you're not working outside the home - can be a lifesaver.
:: Sanitizing bags - these are for the various parts of a breast pump. You fill the bag with a bit of water, pop it in the microwave, and a minute later everything's clean and sanitized. Total time saver.
:: Soothies gel pads - these are heaven for anyone with sore nipples.
:: Nursing Mother's Tea - this is an herbal tea that promotes milk supply.

This kit is something I was very glad I put together for myself in the days leading up to Juliet's birth. Now it's my go-to gift for new moms. I know it's not everyone's idea of a great gift, but after receiving TONS of help and support all of which put me on the right track for a positive nursing experience, it seems only right to me to pay it forward and support any new mother who is interested - or even the slightest bit curious - about breastfeeding.

One last note: I think it's no surprise to most of you that I'm a huge proponent of breastfeeding. In the past I've shared my own story of the trials and tribulations I've had with breastfeeding (in short, James was not breastfed, Juliet is still being nursed at 10.5 mos. old), so I hope it goes without saying that I'm not knocking anyone who cannot/does not/did not breastfeed their children. :)

~Thank you for your comments!~


Anonymous said...

Ooh, thanks so much for this idea! My best friend is going to be a mom in a coupe weeks and I will put one of these together for her :)

Renee said...

Great idea! Another idea if a pump isn't in your budget for the gift -- I had an extra set of pump parts while I worked and it was a life saver to not have to try to get one set cleaned after every pump.

I also think it's important that people know that pump parts aren't one size fits all, and you can get larger and smaller parts if you need to. I actually found them locally at a pharmacy by looking at the maker of my pumps website.

The other thing I would recommend adding for women that plan on working is milk storage bags. It was REALLY nice having a stash and I was actually able to stop pumping at the end and work off my stash for awhile.

twolittleseeds said...

What a lovely thoughtful gift!

Fiona said...

Great gift idea!

melissa said...

Breastfeeding baskets are my favorite gift to create for moms who plan to nurse, too. Such a great gift! I know I would have loved to receive one myself. Your ideas on things to include are fantastic! I had the same leakage issue, and hated to use the disposable pads, but didn't really see a way around it. I will have to remember your doubling up trick when my second arrives - I'd feel much better about that than using disposables alone. Genius!

Someday said...

I love this! This will be my new go to baby shower gift, I love how it helps support their breast feeding desires. Thanks for the awesome idea!

Caterina said...

This is a wonderful gift. Your niece is very lucky to have you as someone for support. I breastfed both my children for a little over a year each. I was the first in my family to breastfeed and it was difficult at first because it is something that takes practice and patience. My mom, aunt, etc. didn't understand why I didn't take the easier route and give formula. They eventually were very proud of me for sticking it through. I am sure she will love this gift.

Alicia said...

Love love love!

I was lucky to have some great support from friends b/c my family didn't understand my choices or why I fought so hard to pump when we had latch issues (she was induced early b/c of pre-e). Now I'm still nursing a few times a day at almost age 3 so I'm glad I was so stubborn about sticking with it.

All that rambling to say that another nice addition would be a list of lactation consultants in her area that do home visits. I attribute all my success to one woman who did more for me in one hour in my home, relaxed, than anyone in the hospital had tried to do for us during our 3 day stay there.

Counting Coconuts said...

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and for sharing your stories, too! I just LOVE that so many of you support this idea!

2girlz2luv said...

Love it! Being a LLL Leader, an IBCLC, and a nursing mom of three...your basket was quite comprehensive! A first time nursing mom simply doesn't know what she will need, and usually these things are needed emergently!!!

Sara said...

Lovely gift! I may have to borrow the idea for some friends. :)


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