After four kids I have had a long and not always smooth (to put it mildly) relationship with breastfeeding. I certainly am not one of those women that it came easily to, that is for sure, but along the way I have picked up some tried and true tips on making it work and overcoming obstacles. First off, a good nursing bra is a MUST. At first I just found a few online, sort of guesstimated my size and went with it. They were uncomfortable (partly from being the wrong size and partly because they just weren't made well) and well, sort of ugly. Then I tried buying "cute" nursing bras, which also didn't work out because they were itchy and impractical and the underwire was uncomfortable. Finally, this time around, I wanted to make sure I did everything right to help me and Talley be successful at nursing so I went in to the Bundle Store and actually got fitted for the correct size. Amber actually gave me a few different options and I chose which one felt the best (the Melinda G one pictured above on the left) and it has made a HUGE difference.
First, it's actually pretty. It is the best working nursing bra I have found that doesn't even look like a nursing bra. I have the black and the cut is surprisingly flattering (in a drastic change from the other one I had that was so high cut it was practically a tank top). The cut actually allows for each breast to be lifted individually, giving more support. The clips are super easy to undo but stay nice and tight as well, and it looks great under clothes. Getting it fitted is key though, since the sizing isn't easy to figure out on your own. Amber had one woman come in that was a G cup and wanted the Melinda G Smoothly Divine, which only goes up to E-F, but by going up a band size it gave her enough room to fit the F. NOT something I would have figured out by guesstimating, you know what I mean? Every set of breasts is different, even from nursing one baby to the next baby, and every body type is different, so by getting a fitting you're going to be sure you have something that is going to be comfortable.
Anyway, I loved the Melinda G so much I wore it 24/7, even to bed, and the next time I went in Amber gave me the Melinda G sleep bra which I ALMOST like even more. So then I started wearing the sleep bra all day too, they are both so great. The sleep bra doesn't have clips, you just pull the seamless cups to the side and nurse and it has a nice lower cut criss cross front (breast pads fit perfectly too).
So I was going along loving these two bras and happened to have them both in the wash at the same time so I dug out one of my old uncomfortable nursing bras for the day. For one day. ONE DAY was all it took and I got mastitis from an ill fitting bra. For those of you that have dealt with mastitis you know how horrible it can be, and my milk supply went way down. I was so so so close to giving up, but a combination of tons of water, these cookies, this smoothie and these Motherlove More Milk Plus Capsules did the trick and we were back on track in no time.
The Motherlove brand in general is really great, their nipple cream has a zero rating (zero toxins) on EWG’s skin deep database and is made with 100% certified organic ingredients and doesn't need to be washed off before feeding.
Finally, the key thing that has made this round of breastfeeding for us has been support. If breastfeeding has been a breeze for you that is awesome, but if you are having difficulties and don't want to give up, you can find support at The Bundle Store. Click here to find a Q&A from Amber on mastitis and how to get through it, and click here for my Nursing Mama uniform.