Nursing Update/ Nursing Clothes

I have wanted to share my nursing journey for a few weeks now, hoping it will help someone. Because I know from experience that Nursing is not easy, Especially in the beginning. 

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I nursed my daughter for 8 months (while I was working full time) So I pumped at work and nursed at home. The only reason I stopped was because I had 4 of my wisdom teeth pulled, and was taking Ibuprofen for 4 days after for pain and swelling. So I was pumping and dumping, but the supply just ran out. I am sure I could have tried more if I wanted. 


With my 2nd baby, My son was in the NICU for 7 days. But I kept pumping every 3 hours and got my supply started. After that, I nursed my son for 2 years. 

Since this is my third baby I was going to be nursing, I really didn't think much about it. 
I thought, Oh I have this in the bag!  But, boy was I wrong. 
This time around I had supply issues and William had a very hard time latching on. We went to 2 visits to a lactation consultant and tried nipple shields, syringes and then I gave up! 
I didn't give up "breast feeding" just nursing. 

My insurance covered a Medela Pump in Style , which was a life saver!

I pumped ALOT (every 2 hours- day and night) for the first few weeks, trying to get my supply up. I drank nursing tea and goats rue drops. For the first few days I had to supplement with formula about 2 X a day. Then slowly my supply grew. I was able to pump 3 oz and stopped supplementing with formula. 

William ate every 2 hours, so it seemed that I was constantly either pumping, bottle feeding or washing pumping parts. It was so hard. I applaud all the mamas out there who exclusively pump! It is a lot of work!

Even though I was pumping and bottle feeding, I still tried to nurse William at least once a day. He would suck a few times then burst out crying. I am pretty sure it was because he liked that he didn't have to work so hard with a bottle. 

Then when he was 4 weeks old, he latched on and nursed!! You can not imagine how happy I was.

He is now 9 weeks old and I still have my pump out, and pump in the mornings and put the milk in the freezer. I also pump before I need to go out so Hubby can give the bottle to William. 

Now when I pump, I get anywhere between 4-5 oz. This is like liquid gold!
Anyone who have had supply issues can relate, I am sure. 


Now William nurses every 2-3 hours. I don't really time it, So I guess you can say I nurse on demand. 
During the day, I nurse him sitting on the couch or bed, during the night, (we co-sleep) I just nurse him laying in bed and he goes right back to sleep.


When we go somewhere, I like to have a bottle with me but I still like to wear the appropriate clothes just in case I need to nurse him, in case we are gone longer. 

When it comes to "nursing" clothes, I never spend my money on actual nursing clothes besides bras and tank tops, but as of everything else, my regular clothes  work fine. 


Lets start with the basics:

Nursing Bra:

I don't spend a lot on nursing bras, I used to-- But I learned my lesson. They break!

My favorite ones right now are these from Target. They are great, just make sure you hang dry them. 




Nursing Tank Tops:


I like wearing these at home, with a cardigan on top. 
Or with tops over them. 
Or when I am going out, I add a scarf for privacy. 

You also need nursing pads:



Loose T Shirts:

I like to layer a loose tshirt over a tank top, just top it with a scarf. 
That way you can lift the Tshirt, but your tummy and back are still covered with the tank top:

photo from last spring

This one is a great option. Get a size bigger, so it can be loose:



Cardigan:

One of my favorite cardigans is this one. It is a poncho style when closed and a waterfall cardigan when opened. Which is great to wear for privacy when nursing. 
Just top it onto of a nursing tank top and you are ready to go!

I loved to wear it during pregnancy to! It is a piece that you can get a lot of use from :)


Button Down Shirt

This is a easy thing to wear while nursing. 
Wear your nursing tank underneath for privacy and to easily nurse. 

Chambray is a very easy choice and it goes with almost everything!

photo from last spring
Button down: Old Navy, Skirt: Modcloth


or something a little more dressier:

photo from last spring
Button down and skirt: J Crew


Dresses:

Button down dresses:

I am always looking for cute dresses with button down fronts.
They are great for nursing. 

photo from last spring
Dress: Antro Denim Jacket: Nordstrom BP





Wrap dresses:

Wrap dresses are a obvious choice for nursing. 


Also, look for strap less dresses, or thing with thin straps that you can slide of your shoulder:




Covering up

I was not one of those people to sit down in the middle of the shopping center and start nursing. 
Don't get me wrong, I don't see anything wrong with it. 
I am just shy and my kids were always very distracted nursers. They would move their hands around, get unlatched and try and pull down any nursing cover I had on. 

So I always preferred to nurse in a quiet and private place like a  fitting room, private room, family bathroom or SUV.

But there have been a cases, where I have nursed in public: parks, restaurants. 

So I always keep one of these on hand, just in case I need to nurse in public. 

Nursing Cover:
A nursing cover attaches to your neck and a lot of times has a wire or plastic on top so you can see your child. Go with a neutral color, so it doesn't look like you are wearing a shower curtain :)




Light weight receiving blanket:

 I actually prefer a large light weight blanket instead of a nursing cover, Because after nursing, I can throw it on my shoulder, burp the baby and even cover the baby up if he falls asleep. 



Scarf:

I wear a lot of scarves with nursing tanks and cardigans, but you can also keep a scarf in your diaper bag to use to cover up. 

Lightweight scarf:




There have been occasions where I have worn things that are not nursing friendly but I still managed to nurse.

Example: 
My sisters wedding. I could not find a dress I liked that was "nursing" friendly. 
However, this dress had a side zipper, So I brought baby into the bathroom, and unzipped the dress and turned it over to nurse. It wasn't as easy as a button down, but I had a 7 month old , and we managed fine at a all day wedding :)

So It is possible. 


Well, I hope this was helpful.

Thanks for visiting,

Rita





3 comments:

  1. Great post. I had issues this time with my supply dying off randomly. I found that more milk plus really helped. It is a little pricey but totally worth it.

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  2. Great post! I pumped exclusively for my daughter for a year! I was very lucky in that I had an overabundane of supply, but I cannot imagine struggling with supply and pumping exclusively! I applaud you for your dedication!

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  3. I think it is great you shared this story. Most women think that if they haven't nursed one baby they can nurse any subsequent babies and obviously that is not the case sometimes. With my son, he was born 4 weeks early and I was having blood pressure issues after he was born (not during, so strange). I tried for a month to get the breast feeding going and we failed. He had a hard time latching and my milk supply was never great (I pumped when I couldn't nurse and would barely get between 5-10ml sometimes). With the girls though, even though they were even earlier than my son (11 weeks) they latched on great once they were allowed to. I pumped from the minute I gave birth to them and again, big supply issues. It wasn't a huge deal in the beginning because when they started eating it was only 2ml anyways. I drank mothers milk tea and took fenugreek and drank dark beers and nothing worked. Finally, right before they came home from the NICU (48 days) I just gave up. It was just too much with two babies and a 21 month old at home. Sometimes I look back and wish I had tried harder, but I did the best I could at that time for us all. I look at women who seem like breast feeding champs and I sometimes don't realize they might have struggled/be struggling, too. So like I said, I think this is great that you shared!

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