Before my first son was born, I planned to breastfeed him. I certainly didn’t know what to expect or how to prepare, so I did what every (elder) millennial does, and I researched on the internet. I added the recommended breastfeeding items to my registry; I signed up and attended a breastfeeding class at the hospital where I was going to give birth; and I read Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding.
Then my son was born, and I learned what it actually meant to breastfeed a baby.
Since then, I’ve had two more children (with another on the way) and breastfed each of them for over a year. In that time, I’ve discovered a few things to make breastfeeding easier on myself. While none of these things are necessary, they can help reduce the stress on baby and Mama and hopefully set you both up for success on your breastfeeding journey.
Ways to Make Breastfeeding a Little Easier
Local Breastfeeding Support
Most hospitals offer a lactation consultant, and they can be a huge help while you’re in the hospital. However, a lot of first-time moms leave the hospital before their milk comes in and find it’s a whole new ball game once they get home. My first piece of advice is to find and use breastfeeding support! A lot of pediatricians have lactation consultants or IBCLC’s on staff. Get those numbers and use them. They are there to help you!
Check here for a list of local IBCLC’s you can reach out to.
La Leche League of Texas is another great resource to check out.
Eat and Hydrate
A lot of moms are worried they don’t have a great milk supply and that their babies are not eating enough. First, I would discuss this issue with your pediatrician and lactation consultant to see if they share your concern. Second, I will give you my advice (as a non-medical professional). Eat and drink a lot. I mean, a lot. Eat and drink way more than you think you need! I’ve never been as thirsty in my life as I was after my oldest was born (and I grew up in Florida). Your body is working hard to make the milk your baby needs. Help yourself out and keep eating and drinking.
My favorite ways to hydrate, besides water, are with Gatorade or nuun (so yummy!). And my favorite lactation snack are these cookies. I make them for all my new-mom friends and love to have them on hand when I have a new baby at home. Some foods that are considered helpful in producing milk are: oatmeal, brewer’s yeast, and fenugreek seeds.
Ok, now you’re ready to leave the house. How on Earth are you supposed to breastfeed in public?! With my oldest, I spent a lot of time nursing him in our car. This is fine! Do what makes you comfortable! Eventually, though, I was ready to leave the car (it gets hot and lonely in there). One of the first things I looked for was a comfortable and practical nursing cover.
Multifunctional Cover – My personal preference for a nursing cover is one like this from Milk Snob. They fold up small enough to keep in the diaper bag and also double as a car seat cover if you want to keep baby sleeping or keep other people (and their germs) away.
Muslin Blankets – Another option is to use a muslin blanket and tie it or tuck it up around your neck to stay covered up. Muslin blankets have so many different uses, they are good to have on hand whether you use them as a nursing cover or not!
Nursing Apron – A lot of my mama friends prefer this apron style cover from Bebe Au Lait. These are especially nice at the beginning stages of breastfeeding, because it’s easy to look down and check your baby’s latch.
Breastfeeding-Friendly Places in Dallas
Despite having an awesome nursing cover, it still can take a while to be perfectly comfortable nursing in public. Here are a few places in Dallas that are especially breastfeeding friendly. It’s nice to know ahead of time that you can count on a safe, private place to feed your baby.
Nordstrom – Take a stroll around NorthPark or the Galleria and know that you can always find a comfortable place in the Women’s Lounge at Nordstrom. In my experience, they always have couches and a large table to change the baby when you need it.
Target – What mom doesn’t love Target? I know I spend a lot of time there. If you ask an employee, they will offer you a fitting room that you can use to feed your baby. Some Target stores have even outfitted a fitting room as a nursing room!
Buy Buy Baby – You might also be spending a lot of time at Buy Buy Baby after you bring a new little one home. They have a separate nursing room available to use.
Perot Museum – The Perot Museum has two private nursing rooms. One is on Level 4 and one is on the Lower Level. Additionally, they have many benches that may offer enough privacy for you.
Crayola Experience – The Crayola Experience in Plano has a dedicated nursing room near the restrooms.
Breastfeeding Friendly Clothes
When your baby is crying and hungry, every second can feel like an eternity. Fortunately, there are many breastfeeding-friendly clothing brands that can help speed the process along. A few favorite brands are: Latched Mama, Kindred Bravely, Nursing Queen, and Roolee Mom.
Another tried and true option is to just double up your tops and wear a nursing tank underneath whatever shirt you’re already planning to wear. This option might get a little hot in the summer here in Texas, but it might also save you the stress of shopping with a new baby