Breastfeeding. Here is a subject that is so close to my heart and has had such a huge impact in my life. I exclusively breastfed both of my boys. My breastfeeding journey lasted for a whole 3 years, 2 months, and 28 days. I didn’t stop nursing my oldest during my pregnancy with my youngest, not even when I dried up. I nursed my boys together for a couple weeks before I finally had to wean my oldest because I wasn’t sleeping or eating enough to keep up nursing both babies. My oldest was 23.5 months old when I weaned him and my youngest was just about 17 months exactly when he weaned.
Breastfeeding was the craziest, most up and down roller coaster of a journey I have ever been on. There were days and nights where breastfeeding saved me, because I had no other way to soothe my baby. There were also many days and nights when I wasn’t sure how I would continue. It’s been over a year now since I weaned my second baby. Somedays I still can’t believe it’s actually all behind me. It really was a wonderful blur. I hope I can keep the memories of my sweet babies nursing in my mind forever.
I want to take everything I learned over those three years and share it with other mothers and soon to be mothers. I have written a couple other posts on my experiences, but this post is a gift guide for any breastfeeding or expecting mothers. A lot of these would make great stocking stuffers for a new mother or even a fun Christmas gift basket from a friend.
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Baby Carrier & Nursing Cover
My number one, all time, MOST USEFUL baby item I ever had was my Tula Baby Carrier. For breastfeeding especially, my Tula was a lifesaver. On long days and nights when my babies just wanted to be walked around, I wouldn't have made it without my Tula. It also let me nurse my babies while doing other things around the house. Nursing in public was also made so much easier, and more discrete, with the help of my Tula.
I didn't really ever use nursing covers, but the one that my friends used most and the one I would have tried if I needed one would have been this one. I love how versatile it is. You can use it as a car seat cover when baby is sleeping, or even wear it as an infinity scarf. They are also super light weight and soft material.
Nursing friendly clothing, especially in public if you want any discretion at all, is absolutely essential if you want to breastfeed your baby. That said, you don't have to buy nursing specific clothes. A lot of my wardrobe was my maternity clothes and some of the bigger pre pregnancy clothes I had. It's definitely easy to make non-nursing clothes work for you. However, nursing bras and tank tops were incredibly convenient and required minimal adjusting to feed the baby in public or at home (who am I kidding? I didn't wear much clothing at home in those breastfeeding years). Here are some of my favorite nursing bras and tanks!
Even if you are a stay at home mom, you will likely find yourself pumping at some point along your breastfeeding journey. I pumped way more with my first than my second, but ultimately ended up donating almost all the milk instead of using it for my own babies. I tried several brands and varieties of the products below and these are by far my favorite. I would recommend them to any mom who needs to pump!
Pain & Discomfort Relief
Unfortunately, leaking, pain, and all sorts of other discomforts are a part of almost every breastfeeding mother's journey. I personally used each of these products to make the journey a little smoother.