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 mother 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 future breastfeeding mothers that will show them you care.
A new mother’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 mothers 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 mothers, as they are made safe for baby to ingest small amounts when latching and feeding. Coconut oil will also do the trick!
Most mothers envision themselves cradling their babies as they happily breastfeed. This does happen, but not until babies are older and have a good amount of head control and stability. Newborns are very squishy and soft, but they feed best when their bodies are straight and in proper alignment. For this, 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 mother’s back and shoulders quickly!
Newborns feed best with support. One of the best gifts for breastfeeding mothers is a breastfeeding pillow. A mother can use any pillow, but breastfeeding pillows can be a bonus as they are specifically made for feeding babies. Look for a pillow that is firm, adjustable, and 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 moments when it is not convenient to reapply nipple cream regularly. Keep in mind, when breastfeeding is done correctly, the nipple should NOT crack or bleed! 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.
Silicone Breast Pump
It is safe to say nursing mothers 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 as well, easily purchased for fifteen dollars ($15) or less. Most new breastfeeding mothers 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.
A necessity for all new parents is easy, pre-made meals. New parents spend so much time taking care of their baby that it leaves little energy for everyday tasks such as cooking. A great gift for breastfeeding mothers 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 mothers. It is unlikely that a baby will have a sensitivity to vegetables and increase gas. Vegetables are good for mothers, babies, and milk supply! Green leafy vegetables are especially good for breastfeeding mothers that have had C-sections or blood loss that resulted 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 that contain butter, sour cream, cheese, and/or milk.
New families need many things at the beginning stages. Use these tips and other ideas to make sure breastfeeding mothers get exactly what they need to make breastfeeding their baby and everything else as effective and enjoyable as possible.
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