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Ok, I never nursed my 44 year old twins, so can't help a lot with our gd who is due in three weeks and determined to nurse. She has been given an almost new (doesn't look like it was ever used) breast pump kit, so I'm needing some answers to help her. She doesn't want 'a stranger' to help her. So, here goes:

Nursing pads: Are reusable better than disposable? She doesn't have much money. I don't know how many an average person would use. Can I make them and if so, how would you prevent leaking through? My Mom doesn't remember much of her experience, but suggested using 'pads' cut in half. Still would need to be replenished on little money.

Saw an ad for nursing bracelet to help you remember which side baby nursed on last. Good idea? I didn't even think of this.

There are quite a few of the little freezer bags to store milk in, so we're good with those.

Is a 'nursing pillow' that's advertised a necessity?

There was a huge list of things to take to the hospital in a baby magazine, including taking your own pillow! I'd not hurt of that. Any type of baby carrier, like those wraps better than another? I looked at a woman at the store and honestly couldn't figure out how hers was even wrapped on. She told me it was very expensive, and she wouldn't recommend it for a first time mother, but she loved it.

Otherwise, I think she's set with all that she needs. I'm too old!!!
 

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Nursing bracelet is a good idea. There's also a free phone app to remind you. I ADORED my nursing pillow because your arms do get very tired holding up the baby. And since I've had all Csections it took the baby's weight off my incision and put it on my thighs.
I liked the washable cotton nursing pads. Some of the disposeables have a plasticy backing for the part against the bra and they hold in moisture. My breasts couldn't breathe and ended up chapped and itchy.
I bought Gerber washable nursing pads though, didn't make them. I only had maybe three sets, because I only used them when we were in public, and we don't go out much.
 

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I got a laugh a couple of weeks ago. My daughter was about to nurse the new grandkid and she pulled something out of her bra that caught my attention. She said she couldn't find a nursing pad so she used the shoulder pads out of one of her dress shirts. Resourceful kid she is.
 

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I don't think most of what you listed is absolutely necessary. A nursing pillow is nice, but you can hold the baby without one. I never needed to use nursing pads. She does, however, really need lanolin. She should start rubbing it on her nipples now to get them conditioned for nursing, and when she starts nursing, she should apply lanolin after each nursing session. Nothing hurts more or discourages a woman from persevering with nursing more than cracked, bleeding nipples.
 

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Ok, I never nursed my 44 year old twins, so can't help a lot with our gd who is due in three weeks and determined to nurse. She has been given an almost new (doesn't look like it was ever used) breast pump kit, so I'm needing some answers to help her. She doesn't want 'a stranger' to help her. So, here goes:

Nursing pads: Are reusable better than disposable? She doesn't have much money. I don't know how many an average person would use. Can I make them and if so, how would you prevent leaking through? My Mom doesn't remember much of her experience, but suggested using 'pads' cut in half. Still would need to be replenished on little money. I used the disposable kind when away from home, and reusable ones, (mostly very soft felted wool) at home. The disposable ones were thinner and more discreet, but less absorbent. I don't think I needed nursing pads for more than the first month, but that can vary from person to person.

Saw an ad for nursing bracelet to help you remember which side baby nursed on last. Good idea? I didn't even think of this. I honestly never had trouble remembering which side was nursed on last. A bracelet, or just a safety pin fastened to the bra strap would certainly help if she has trouble though.

There are quite a few of the little freezer bags to store milk in, so we're good with those.

Is a 'nursing pillow' that's advertised a necessity? I just used a firm throw pillow when the baby was small enough that I needed one, but I never had a C-section.

There was a huge list of things to take to the hospital in a baby magazine, including taking your own pillow! I'd not hurt of that. Any type of baby carrier, like those wraps better than another? I looked at a woman at the store and honestly couldn't figure out how hers was even wrapped on. She told me it was very expensive, and she wouldn't recommend it for a first time mother, but she loved it. Honestly, the type of baby carrier is really going to depend on both the mother's and the baby's preferences. I used a wrap style carrier with newborns (it came with a DVD to show how to wear it), and a custom made Mei Tai style when they were old enough to hold their heads up, right up until they refused to be worn. They do not have to be expensive, just structurally sound. I would not recommend a Bjorn-style carrier.

Otherwise, I think she's set with all that she needs. I'm too old!!!
My youngest child is 6, so my memory might be a bit off.
 
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I don't think most of what you listed is absolutely necessary. A nursing pillow is nice, but you can hold the baby without one. I never needed to use nursing pads. She does, however, really need lanolin. She should start rubbing it on her nipples now to get them conditioned for nursing, and when she starts nursing, she should apply lanolin after each nursing session. Nothing hurts more or discourages a woman from persevering with nursing more than cracked, bleeding nipples.
I agree with canning girl. I nursed my now 11 year old daughter for a year.
The nursing pads. I used disposable, because I didn't really think out of the box to get reusable ones. I don't know much on what you could make for her. But I just started researching homemade period pads, and for the lightday ones, using a few layers of flannel is considered normal. I mention those, since that is about the thickness I would think she would want. :)

The bracelet- she can use anything- a hairband. Just switch it to the other wrist when she is done. :) Free! And not so noticeable for what it is for.

The nursing pillow. I never understood those, unless maybe for c-sections. As I just used our couch pillows (Or a rolled up baby blanket, etc. Less to carry around with me that way too!) I made sure to put a nursing rag under her head to keep from dripping on the pillow. The nursing rag would be perfect for giving her to calm down later, if needed. (An aside, I think that was one of the reasons she was such a good sleeper. She always had a nursing rag that had my smell on it).

The lanolin- oh yes that is a must!! Some sort of cream/balm is great! I had a big chapstick version made by Gerber. I loved that stuff so much I used it as lip chapstick after she was done nursing, until it ran out. :)

Another comment: If she plans to pump as well. I think she needs to be sure to do that from day 1, and drink plenty of water. My research was not scientifically done, but I drank tons of water from her day of birth, and pumped from that day as well. And I produced plenty of milk for pumping and nursing until the day she stopped nursing. Everyone I know, sisters, friends, etc., who didn't pump much in the beginning, couldn't get much out in the later months when they tried. I think their bodies weren't used to the production demand.

Congrats!
 

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Breast pads could easily be a few layers of flannel sewn together or even a washcloth for the early days. I'd think a sanitary napkin would be way too bulky for breast pads!! You can use disposable but I never did - just some flannel or washcloths.

You can use any inexpensive stretchy bracelet - even one from a gumball machine. But I just guessed and never needed an indicator since I usually remembered - and there is no harm in repeating the last nursing sequence anyway. :) but she could even use a small binder clip on her bra if she wanted to.

A nursing pillow is nice but not a necessity. Any pillow will do. And I definitely would recommend bringing one to the hospital to help position baby and to be able to sleep better. There is nothing like your own pillow!

A carrier is not a vital piece of equipment but a nice thing to have. Honestly, there are so many choices out there, I'm not sure I'd know what to get myself!! I used a Maya Wrap ring sling and it was great through 2 babies. :) Don't get a Baby Bjorn for a newborn because it's developmentally not designed for newborns. Arms work pretty well honestly. ;)
 

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Another comment: If she plans to pump as well. I think she needs to be sure to do that from day 1, and drink plenty of water. My research was not scientifically done, but I drank tons of water from her day of birth, and pumped from that day as well. And I produced plenty of milk for pumping and nursing until the day she stopped nursing. Everyone I know, sisters, friends, etc., who didn't pump much in the beginning, couldn't get much out in the later months when they tried. I think their bodies weren't used to the production demand.

Congrats!
Actually, your breasts will adjust to the demand all through the baby's nursing time so this really isn't accurate. I started pumping from the get-go and never was able to produce much but I breastfed 3 babies for at least 12 months each (12 months, 20 months and 23 months) and yet never was able to get more than 2-3 oz. at a time. Some people are just better pumpers than others. :)
 

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Breast pads could easily be a few layers of flannel sewn together or even a washcloth for the early days. I'd think a sanitary napkin would be way too bulky for breast pads!! You can use disposable but I never did - just some flannel or washcloths.

You can use any inexpensive stretchy bracelet - even one from a gumball machine. But I just guessed and never needed an indicator since I usually remembered - and there is no harm in repeating the last nursing sequence anyway. :) but she could even use a small binder clip on her bra if she wanted to.

A nursing pillow is nice but not a necessity. Any pillow will do. And I definitely would recommend bringing one to the hospital to help position baby and to be able to sleep better. There is nothing like your own pillow!

A carrier is not a vital piece of equipment but a nice thing to have. Honestly, there are so many choices out there, I'm not sure I'd know what to get myself!! I used a Maya Wrap ring sling and it was great through 2 babies. :) Don't get a Baby Bjorn for a newborn because it's developmentally not designed for newborns. Arms work pretty well honestly. ;)

I agree on the too bulky for the menstrual pads.
So true on the carrier! I had one of the gerber brand ones. My daughter hated it. She learned to just help hold herself on me, and off we went. My arms would get achy. But alas, it's the life of a mom, no?
I would say, unless you can get the carrier (nearly) free, I wouldn't buy one, as not all kids like to be carried that way. I will also add that I didn't like it either. It was easier and more comfy to use my arms to hold her instead of the body carriers I had tried.
The binder clip might get poked into you. :) But I agree that not being positive on the side isn't a big deal. I didn't keep track and all was fine. :)
 

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Actually, your breasts will adjust to the demand all through the baby's nursing time so this really isn't accurate. I started pumping from the get-go and never was able to produce much but I breastfed 3 babies for at least 12 months each (12 months, 20 months and 23 months) and yet never was able to get more than 2-3 oz. at a time. Some people are just better pumpers than others. :)
:) I should have been more specific. Definitely your body will adjust. I was meaning that I would think you wouldn't get as much pumped off to be savable, in addition to the amount for nursing the baby. Making enough for the baby I think would happen. I just wonder if my thoughts are accurate for trying to pump enough to save, in addition to feeding the baby? Or maybe it has to do with just higher production//better or easier production? Who knows. I was just sorta rambling out loud. :)
 

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With my first, the nursing pillow was a lifesaver. I don't know why, other than she seemed to live the first 9 months of her life attached to my breast, so I'm sure it was from arm fatigue. My second wasn't so hard to handle but she was the type you had to wake to feed her. But with Paisley, I took that Boppy with me every single time I left the house. I NEVER went anywhere without it. I used a Breast Friend thingy at the lactation consultants office and it was pretty awesome, too but there was no way I'd lug that thing around town. It was insanely huge and did not bend or give in any way. I think that breast size, and shape also contribute to the need for a pillow. For example, if you have perky boobs with nipples that spring from the tip top like a ski slope - it's not as difficult to keep the babe latched on. But if you resemble something out of the bush on a Nat Geo episode then you are going to need something that will help with the "lift". The baby can't suck if it can't breathe and until it's big enough to lift it for it's self, it's going to need some assistance... if you know what I mean. ;)

Breastfeeding can be very challenging for some (most) especially with a first baby. It's often not the romantic Blue Lagoon scenario where the baby just magically latches on and the heavens open up to angels singing. It remains the single most difficult thing I ever suffered through. I say ANYTHING to make the mama comfortable and worry free is worth it. You can't put a price on the benefits of being breastfed. And not breastmilk fed, while pumping can be important...but actually latching the baby to the breast. I read an article the other day about how it forms the jawbone and the mouth in ways you can't imagine. It's so worth it to help the mama focus on her single most important job - nourishing that baby.

I'd be prepping meals for after the baby, filling the house with fluffy pillows, good books, comfy socks ... don't let her worry about anything from dirty laundry to having to get up for a drink of water. At least not for the first few weeks until a solid breastfeeding relationship is established.

A carrier is also an awesome, awesome, awesome necessity. But don't get the kind you can buy at Walmart or Target. Go with an Ergo or a wrap style carrier to start with. It keeps the baby happy and the mama hands free and it's so easy to nurse in.
 

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As to the pads, waaayy back in 1982 when I nursed, I bought this hard plastic shell thing. It is worn under your bra, and catches any milk from letdown, etc., and to catch what may come from the breast not being used at the moment.

I loved it. I could go out and not worry about leaking onto my clothing.

Now, I see the same idea here, one is for collecting the milk during a session of feeding and the other is for between:

http://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/SCF157_02/philips-breast-care-comfort-breast-shell-set

or Milkies (used only if I see this correctly during a nursing session)

http://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/SCF157_02/philips-breast-care-comfort-breast-shell-set
 

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Oh - and when she has troubles - please encourage her to have a "stranger" help. I was stuck in the hospital, alone after an emergency c-section with Paisley and the nurses could not help me with breastfeeding. The LC wasn't due in until 8am and I begged them to have her come to me first. Then I needed another LC after I got home and she was a life saver. With DD2 it wasn't so dramatic but I did call in to her once and she was able to assist over the phone. And keep the formula out of the house! I swear, there were times when I almost caved. Thank goodness SO knew that I was momentarily weak and refused to buy formula when I begged but if there had been a can in that house I'm not sure I wouldn't have used it. Get her a goat before you let her have any of that stuff around! ;)
 

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Those are also suggested as a way to encourage the nipple to stick out far enough for the baby to latch. With an engorged breast and a flatter nipple (flatter because of the engorgement) a hungry baby will have a hard time sucking hard enough to get the nipple to pop out for a proper latch. And to protect a sore nipple from the inside of a shirt or bra.

As to the pads, waaayy back in 1982 when I nursed, I bought this hard plastic shell thing. It is worn under your bra, and catches any milk from letdown, etc., and to catch what may come from the breast not being used at the moment.

I loved it. I could go out and not worry about leaking onto my clothing.

Now, I see the same idea here, one is for collecting the milk during a session of feeding and the other is for between:

http://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/SCF157_02/philips-breast-care-comfort-breast-shell-set

or Milkies (used only if I see this correctly during a nursing session)

http://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/SCF157_02/philips-breast-care-comfort-breast-shell-set
 

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:) I should have been more specific. Definitely your body will adjust. I was meaning that I would think you wouldn't get as much pumped off to be savable, in addition to the amount for nursing the baby. Making enough for the baby I think would happen. I just wonder if my thoughts are accurate for trying to pump enough to save, in addition to feeding the baby? Or maybe it has to do with just higher production//better or easier production? Who knows. I was just sorta rambling out loud. :)
If you started pumping later, your breasts would adjust to the greater demand and would begin to produce more milk. That's how wet nurses often fed their own babies and then added another baby on. :) When babies go through growth spurts, they demand to be nursed more which is nature's way of increasing your milk supply. If you were stuck with the production of breastmilk you make only in the early weeks, an older baby would starve to death!

Breasts are amazing things. Not only does the quantity of breastmilk change according to the demands of the baby and if you add in pumping or breastfeeding another child, the constitution of the breastmilk changes throughout the day, as a child grows and even if the baby or mom are getting sick! It is not a static quantity or quality but it is ever changing!
 

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I'm going to say no on the reusable pads, I used them and they caused an infection for me. The disposable ones are not expensive. She won't need to use them forever and one box should last a while. If you do make them, just don't put a waterproof liner on them, I think that's what caused problems for me.

For the nursing pillow, if she wants one I would suggest a Boppy instead. That way it can also be used to put around baby when he/she starts sitting, and they are super handy for that... maybe something to put on a list for her if she is having a baby shower?

For a carrier, some babies like them, some hate them. If you are your gd can sew, then look up Mei Tai patterns on the internet and sew one. I have a friend who makes very nice Mei Tai slings, but she charges $45.

Good luck!
 
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Oh and any breastmilk you can pump can be put into ice cube trays and frozen. Each "b00b cube" is approximately one ounce and so even if you only can pump one ounce at a time to start, you can save that milk for the future. I always froze in cubes so I could use as little or as much as I needed to for the baby. I also used the cubes to make cereal and baby foods.

Usually if you start pumping, the best time to pump is first thing in the morning right after baby nurses - this is the time that your quantity is the highest. Keep pumping right after feeding and soon you will be able to consistently increase your production to be able to feed baby and have extra. But definitely some women produce more and some just pump better than others. As I said, I only ever got a couple of ounces at a time but a friend of mine could nurse her baby and pump a full 8 oz. bottle afterwards. It was crazy!! But that's just how our bodies were different. Both of us breastfed our babies until the self-weaned too. :)
 

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Hmm its been awhile but we did it for 3 years, and thats with me working....(lived close to work lets just say)...
I didnt use that many breast pads, but you can use menstrual pads, same exact principle, buy the ultra slim ones and you can cut them in half...
My kid wouldnt drink thawed milk, so the SEVENTY frozen baggies we had in the deep freeze.... went to waste.... (so heads up on that one)...
I found breast pumping a complete pain anyways and hate cleaning out parts of things, and no real need for fancy breast feeding shirts - just use ones that are front button, and a light cotton blanky to throw over baby and you can just extract a boob and pretty much nurse Baby (any-)everywhere! Trust me-- 3 years-- I have!
Hmmm carrier is a completely personal preferance.... maybe go to a baby store try on different ones...
and then see what Craiglist has to offer, we mainly used a backpack carrier as we did alot of long dogwalks and the baby Bjorn was nice for around the house (they make similar ones that arent branded and are cheaper)...

I think I just used a bunch of little notepads as daily nursing reminders... but the bracelet sounds like a good idea too...

Good luck! and pls tell her , just keep trying, the baby has to learn to suck as well, so its learning for both of you... and baby def gets more than you think, as with livestock you judge how well baby is nursing by her growth/ weight gain....!!!
 

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My daughter is 4 months old. I used disposable nursing pads until recently. I switched to washable a couple weeks ago. I would soak through the washable while feeding her on the other side. Just call me Bessy! as far as the pillow, i never liked them. use a safety pin on the bra strap or bracelet you have to keep track of sides like suggested above. I got a wrap style carrier from walmart, this one http://www.walmart.com/ip/Infantino-Sash-Mei-Tai-Baby-Carrier/19852753. I love it because the straps are nice and wide and padded. It is totally adjustable and it has multiple carry positions depending on child's age.
 
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