I highly recommend getting green cabbage and storing it in this fridge a week before the baby’s due date just to have on hand. When my milk was coming in, my breasts became super full, feeling hot and uncomfortable. I was googling things to do to help with the fullness and eventually read somewhere there’s an old wives tale that green cabbage leaves help. I sent my husband out to get some and I washed the leaves and wore them under my bra, like a bra. It didn’t work and I was disappointed. I have it another try and this time, I pressed/popped the veins of the cabbage leaves before putting them under my bra and it worked! It helped make the feeling of fullness not as uncomfortable and helped to relieve some milk (not so much it was leaking– or perhaps it absorbed it somehow?) and it definitely worked. I now had green cabbage on hand for my other two babies a week or so before they were born. If I didn’t have it, I just requested my family members who visited to buy some on the way to see us. It’s my go to tip I wish I could message all the prospective moms I see (but thought it thought it would be just a little weird randomly messaging friends I haven’t seen in years just to tell them that hehe). I’m so happy I can now share this on my blog:)
Update: I’ve gotten feedback from several of my friends who have tried this and they all agree it works! I have one friend who recently told me their midwife didn’t recommend it, as they said it could lower milk supply. My friend said that however, if she ever had to do it over, she would still use the green cabbage because she personally, did not notice a reduction in milk supply. Do feel free to ask your doctor if they have insights on this.
Must haves besides green cabbage:
I tried Lasinoh brand and it’s thicker and more difficult to squeeze out and spread. The Medela Nipple Cream is a little greasier in the feeling, but much more easier to spread and I felt improvement faster. And yes, the nipple cream is safe for the baby while you are breastfeeding. I usually put it on my nipple after every feeding when it was sore. After exclusively breastfeeding my younger two for over 9 months (no bottles, I can attest this nipple cream is a life saver).
The first time I gave birth, I had no idea that one side can leak while the baby is nursing on the other side. It leaked through my gown- it was a bit embarrassing since I knew I had guests visiting later on in the day at the hospital. I ended up wearing my bra under the hospital gown to prevent the leak going onto the gown. For the next two births of my other two daughters, I always made sure I packed some into the hospital bag and tucked it in with my toiletries. i have also tried Medela nursing pads, but preferred these much more. Personally to me, they are more cotton feeling and the Medela ones feel more plastic like and not as soft. The Lasinoh one also absorbed much better and was more comfortable to wear.
After I discovered that I was one of those moms who leaked a lot during feedings (not all moms do), I was on a hunt for a product that could help me save that precious leaking milk. I discovered Milkies. It was like a silicone cup bra you can wear with a hole for your nipple so that when you feed one side, it collects the leaking milk safely and it can be easily poured into a bottle or a freezer bag. This product helped me save so much milk and also cut down my need to pump. Before I discovered this product, I had to pump the other side if the baby wasn’t taking it after feeding only one side to prevent it from feeling too full and/or to build up/store my collection of breast milk. I was preparing for the day I may need the frozen batch. I wrote more about this product in my helpful baby products post.
I used this to store breast milk. I liked how this milk storage bag could stand while I lured the milk in from the Milkies. I was also able to connect this Medela bag to my Medela pump so that the milk went right in while I pumped.
Few nursing bras: I recommend the kind without the wire (like a sports bra) so that it won’t be uncomfortable if it felt full. I just bought mine at Motherhood Maternity. Just maybe 3. I found my other bras sufficed or any bras or bralettes you have that can be pulled under your boob while breastfeeding.
Lined Tank Tops (like a work out tank) and Lose T-shirt’s/blouses: I highly recommend this combination. I first had Aden Anais swaddles to use as a cover up, but it began a hassle to bring along with the other baby items in the diaper bag you already pack. Depending on how often you do laundry, maybe purchase 5 tank tops and 5 lose shirts. I liked being able to peek I though the neck part of my shirt and see the baby feeding under and the baby is comfortable and I am comfortable too. The loose shirt serves as a cover too. The tank top I don’t wear with a bra because it is lined and I have my disposable nursing pad underneath.
H&M Maternity Shirts: I like their nursing tanks and shirts, but didn’t love it. I felt the Mayer was soft, but it overstretched way too easily. Every time I washed and used it, I felt like it stretched it even more. I’m sure there are other more quality nursing tanks and shirts, but I did not end investing in those. My budget was tight and I was able to make do with those.
Aden Ananias Swaddles: I actually have this with me most of the time, especially in warmer weather, Spring and Summer. It can help cover the sun when the baby’s in the stroller and it doesn’t get too hot because it is breathable. I used this sometimes to cover up if I’m not wearing my tank top/lose shirt combo to tuck under my top bra strap to cover up while feeding because I was more comfortable with it. Plus, the swaddles were convenient if the baby spit up or if you want to dab your boob dry after a feeding.
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