Breastfeeding is natural, but natural doesn’t necessarily mean easy or even doable for some moms. The Care Connection, in Amherst, NY, is a wonderful resource for nursing moms in Western New York, especially those with supply, latching, and pain problems. Here moms can connect (in-person) with a team of highly trained staff, who not only focus on prenatal and postpartum education, but also provides services and equipment to set each parent up for success.
The Care Connection offers more than 25 years of experience and prides themselves on offering a full range of nursing products, along with birthing and nursing services and classes. They are dedicated to doing everything they can to ensure new and soon-to-be parents are able to give their babies the specific and individualized care they need at affordable prices.
We spent some time with Holly and Allison, owners of The Care Connection, and asked for their advice on what every new mom who plans to breastfeed should consider to be as prepared as possible.
Here are their Top 5 Must-Haves:
The Right Breast Pump
Pumping is an incredible opportunity that allows moms the freedom to stockpile their milk supply, bottle feed with breastmilk, and continue nursing weeks and months after returning to work. As important as feeding baby is, it’s just as important to have the right measurements, settings, and nipple shields on the right breast pump for you. The Care Connection recommends talking with someone who has an intimate knowledge of breast pumps and considering both rental and purchase; you may rent for power or flexibility purposes and buy for lifestyle reasons. Whichever you choose, it’s important to understand how to correctly set up and use your pump before you get home.
Your nursing bras should be the most comfortable articles of clothing you own (outside of yoga pants of course). For maximum comfort leading up to delivery, Allison recommends getting one custom-fit regular nursing bra and one sleep-nursing bra. “Once your milk comes in,” she says, “get an updated measurement for the perfect fit to your new breast size. Make sure your daytime bra has a clip you can unhook to expose the breast, but choose a nighttime bra that has a flap minus the clip.” Under-wires can cause blocked ducts and infections, so avoid them for 5 to 6 weeks after giving birth.
Lactation supplements might be breastfeeding’s best kept secret. “This is a huge thing that moms don’t know is available to them when they have trouble with supply,” says Holly. If you’re having trouble with your natural milk supply, you can boost production with natural herbs, teas, and supplements. A lactation consultant can help you make the right choices based on your specific needs.
If your baby progresses from the early hunger signs to hangry in 5 seconds or less, you may want to keep some soothing items within arm’s reach. Swaddles, pacifiers, and the wildly popular Woombie are some of the ways moms can calm baby before, during, and after each feeding. If you can’t recite “The 5 S’s” by heart, you can always ask other moms or take the Happy Baby class at The Care Connection; you’ll be glad you did.
Sometimes breastfeeding just hurts. Many moms need help to ease the pain of blocked ducts, breast infections, and problems with letdown. Products like nipple cream, nipple shields, and heating and cooling therapy packs can help.
*Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to provide assistance for breastfeeding support & supplies, including breast pumps. Call The Care Connection today and they’ll help you determine what is covered under your insurance policy.