7 Breastfeeding Hacks That Make a Tough Job Just a Bit Easier
Betcha never thought you’d spend this much time topless
Oh, breastfeeding: so sacred, so fortifying, so incredibly difficult. If you’ve found yourself befuddled by how much work it actually takes to feed a human from your boob, we’ve got good news: There are a handful of hacks that can make the job just a bit easier. Here, a few of our favorites—from one sleep-deprived, topless mama to another.
Get a Boppy
This little doughnut-shaped doodad might seem like a waste of money. But in our experience, nothing quite cradles your baby and brings her up to breast level like an ergonomically designed nursing pillow. (It also doubles as a tummy time aid as she gets older.)
...And a nursing stool
This one’s for the short ladies...or anybody using a big cushy armchair that they sink way back into. If you’re having trouble keeping your baby’s head elevated, try propping your feet on a little stool or ottoman (like this one from Target). It’ll raise your knees up and, in turn, give your infant a better angle.
Download a Breastfeeding App
In the first month or two, you can’t remember how to brush your teeth, let alone when you last nursed, and for how long. Download a breastfeeding tracker (we like Baby Nursing) to easily log your sessions, as well as diaper changes and weight gain.
Keep a rubber band on your hand
Sometimes you just need to remember which boob to start on. Keep a rubber band on the wrist that corresponds with the “next up side” and you’ll never have to think twice.
Wear Two Shirts
It’s an age-old dilemma: Pull your shirt up and your stomach is out in the open; lift your breast above your nursing tank and you look like a co-ed on Girls Gone Wild. Our solution? Wear a regular top over a nursing top, then pull one up and the other down, thereby exposing as little skin as possible.
Make an Essentials Basket
It’s always just when you sit down for a 45-minute nursing session that you realize you’ve forgotten your phone…and your water glass…and anything to keep you occupied. Make yourself a little basket filled with everything you need: water bottle, snacks, reading material, remote control. Then get in the habit of bringing it with you when it’s time to nurse.
Think About How Much You Love Your Baby
If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still having trouble relaxing back and getting the milk to flow, try taking a moment to think about how awesome your suckling little space alien really is. Just visualizing your loving, growing family can be enough to stimulate let down…if not a full-on emo crying fit. (Again, you are very, very sleep deprived.)