After having a baby, many women plan on breastfeeding. As natural and normal as breastfeeding can be, it is not an easy task for many women. A breastfeeding mom needs support from family and friends. A way to be supportive is to acknowledge their efforts and give gifts to help them pursue their breastfeeding goals. Here are some great gifts for breastfeeding moms that show them you care.
A new mom’s body must adjust when beginning to breastfeed. The breast and areola go back and forth from being wet and dry. Ultimately this dries out the nipples, leaving them more susceptible to cracking and bleeding. Nipple cream is wonderful for moisture and preventing nipple damage during the first several days of breastfeeding. Expecting moms are always encouraged to purchase this item in advance. There are many good creams on the market. Look for something natural that includes herbs that promote healing, like this one. Make sure to purchase a cream specifically for breastfeeding moms, as they are made safe for babies to ingest small amounts when latching and feeding. Coconut oil will also do the trick!
Most moms envision themselves cradling their babies as they happily breastfeed. This does happen, but not until babies are older and have good head control and stability. Newborns are very squishy and soft, but they feed best when their bodies are straight and in proper alignment. Women need support to ensure babies can feed well without physically holding them up. It may not seem like a big deal to fully support the weight of a seven-pound baby while feeding, but when the feeds can be as long as 50 or 60 minutes, that will wear on a mom’s back and shoulders quickly!
Newborns feed best with support. One of the best gifts for breastfeeding moms is a breastfeeding pillow. A mom can use any pillow, but breastfeeding pillows can be a bonus as they are specifically made for feeding babies. Look for a firm, adjustable pillow that will stay in place.
Highly recommended for the first few days of breastfeeding, hydrogels are praised by mothers across the spectrum! Like nipple cream, hydrogel pads speed up healing cracked, damaged nipples through moist wound healing. They are great to use overnight or during moments when it is not convenient to reapply nipple cream regularly. Keep in mind that the nipple should NOT crack or bleed when breastfeeding is done correctly! Even so, it only takes one bad latch to cause some damage in the beginning. Some mothers begin latching great, but overnight they and the baby become tired, which results in a bad latch, leaving the nipple needing a little extra TLC.
Washable Nursing Pads
Reusable nursing pads are also amazing to have on hand. I love these super soft bamboo pads that are ultra-comfortable and prevent leaking. The heart shape is cute, but it also cups to the breast for a perfect fit, no matter your size. This set also includes nighttime pads and more protection for mama overnight.
Silicone Breast Pump
It is safe to say nursing moms are happier now that silicone breast pumps are on the market. These are not the usual manual or electric breast pumps that can cost hundreds of dollars. These new breast pumps are one piece and made of silicone. Women squeeze them to place on the breast, and that’s it! No pumping back and forth or squeezing constantly. A gentle suction pulls milk from the breast. They are affordable and easily purchased for fifteen dollars ($15) or less. Most new breastfeeding moms have moments when their breasts are uncomfortably full, but the baby is too full or sleepy to soften the breast. Breaking out the electric breast pump is time-consuming and intimidating. Silicone pumps are the perfect balance of getting just enough milk out, so moms are comfortable with little effort.
Nursing Lounge Wear
Every breastfeeding mom deserves some comfort! Some comfortable nursing loungewear would be an amazing gift for a breastfeeding mom. These luxurious options will make it easy for a mom to be comfortable and nurse at the same time. The fabrics are soft and comfortable for both mom and baby’s skin.
A Nice Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is so important for breastfeeding moms. A nice water bottle makes drinking all that water a little more exciting and helps mom track how much water she has had throughout the day. You could even add in some Lactation Drink Mix for an added treat!
Snacks are a necessity for any nursing mom and these easy-to-grab items are great to have on hand! Mama needs all the nutrients she and energy she can get when breastfeeding. These items are great to have in the pantry, by the bed, or to throw in the diaper bag. Plus, they taste like a delicious treat filled with ingredients to support lactation.
A necessity for all new parents is easy, pre-made meals. New parents spend so much time caring for their baby that it leaves little energy for everyday tasks such as cooking. A great gift for breastfeeding moms is good food! When it comes to breastfeeding, a mother’s body needs energy and nutrients to make milk. Not all foods are created equal.
A common misconception among new parents is that many vegetables can cause gassiness in babies. They, in turn, omit them when cooking for new breastfeeding moms. It is unlikely that a baby will have a sensitivity to vegetables and increased gas. Vegetables are good for mothers, babies, and milk supply! Green leafy vegetables are especially good for breastfeeding moms who had C-sections or blood loss resulting in an iron deficiency.
When it comes to food preparation, be thoughtful about what you ingest. Fiber-rich foods that aid in digestion help with milk supply. Good fats such as avocado, olive oil, and flaxseed oil increase good fat in the breastmilk. And less is more when it comes to dairy. Babies cannot fully digest cow milk proteins. Less is always better. Try to limit meals such as lasagnas, casseroles, and other dishes containing butter, sour cream, cheese, and/or milk.
New families need many things at the beginning stages. Use these tips and other ideas to ensure breastfeeding moms get precisely what they need to make breastfeeding their baby and everything else as effective and enjoyable as possible.