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Is It Support Or Is It A Gadget?

Helpful or not helpful?

To breastfeed fully and happily, you have all the equipment you need already attached to your body. You can even exclusively breastfeed a baby with one breast.

There are many situations that can arise where external support is needed: to get a baby to latch and maintain a good suck-swallow pattern. Or perhaps you’re unsure of your baby’s weight gain. A certified lactation consultant can recommend any appropriate “at breast” products after assessing a feeding session.

Helpful:

Inverted or flat nipples frequently benefit from the use of Medela soft shells. 

Made from soft, flexible silicone these allow your nipple to fit through an opening into a vented shell that you can wear inside your bra. While they won’t fully evert your nipple it will make your nipple more prominent. Remove it right before a feeding for an easier latch, along with the lying back-baby on top position. Over time, with frequent nursing or pumping, your nipple restriction will ease.

Medela contact nipple shields are but one brand that is designed to be used during the feeding to coax a baby onto a flat or inverted nipple or to staunch the flow of a powerful milk letdown and avoid sputtering on too much milk. Since milk flow can be inhibited by the use of a nipple shield a lactation consultant will know which size is best for you and your baby and will follow your progress.

Leaking breasts happen to most women. Some leak all the time, some not at all. Breast pads were invented for this reason. They come in all shapes and sizes and don’t get the ones with plastic in them, ‘cause plastic.

https://mommyknowsbest.com/products/ultra-soft-organic-bamboo-nursing-pads-with-storage-bag-8-pack

When you are breastfeeding at home or in the comfort of another’s home, I encourage you to expose both breasts and place your baby beneath your unused and leaking breast, open her diaper and allow your warm milk to flow over her skin. Your milk has anti-bactericidal properties and moisturizers to heal and soothe your baby’s skin.

NOT HELPFUL:

Milkies milk saver is a gadget that collects up to 2 ounces of drip milk from non-nursing side. 

It’s bulky, non-conforming to the many variations of nipples and breasts and is reported as uncomfortable. I encourage you to use Mommy Knows Best Manual Breast Pump. You just simply attach the device to your breast to collect milk for storage or catch any letdown from your non-nursing breasts as you feed your baby.

HELPFUL:

Find a quiet, comfortable, safe place to breastfeed your children in public.

https://www.pumpspotting.com/the-app/

Breastfeeding mothers team up to share breastfeeding and pumping-friendly spots from an airport mothering room to the big booth at the back of the local pizza joint. They spot it and rate it to help you find a place to feed your baby without the self-appointed, uneducated breastfeeding police breathing over your shoulder.

NOT HELPFUL:

Breastfeeding tents reinforce the continuing problems faced by mothers who breastfeed in public.

https://www.bebeaulait.com/breast-feeding/nursing-covers.html

Be proud of your breastfeeding expertise, support other breastfeeding mothers by using your breasts, as nature intended, and the law allows, to feed your baby whenever and where ever she is hungry. Do not accept any shaming.

This woman writes passionately about this issue. http://rixarixa.blogspot.com/2011/11/problem-with-nursing-covers.html

HELPFUL:

So many ways to tell if your baby is getting your milk into her stomach... a rhythmic, continuous, suck-swallow pattern, satisfaction at breast, sleeping, pooping, peeing, and then there’s the number. I have learned that parents want to see the number on the scale. It’s part of our current American techno culture.

This is a changing pad with a built in scale. And a screen.  https://www.hatchbaby.com/pages/grow

This one is a scale only. And an LED read out. http://www.healthometer.com/my-goal/monitor-weight/health-o-meter-grow-with-me-baby-scale/HDC100KD-01.html

NOT HELPFUL:

This product possesses the technology that allows you to hear your baby’s swallowing. A microphone is placed on your baby’s jaw and from these sounds an estimate of her intake is made. An app for your phone, earbuds and lots of graphs and timers removing you from your natural instincts. Hooey. Nonsense.

https://mymomsense.com

I encourage you to look and listen to your baby, not the home technology. Your pediatric health care provider should be consulted about all concerns surrounding weight gains and losses.

Embrace the support of a lactation consult for her advice on the helpful breastfeeding tools and either lose or choose your gadgets wisely. You don’t need technology to breastfeed a baby.

Paula Zindler
RN IBCLC

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