Getting Pumped UP for Feeding

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Most pediatricians recommend women breastfeed for the first six month of a newborns life. Think you'll figure it out once baby arrives? Well, you may be adding additional stress to your harried post-baby life. In fact, most women give up on breast feeding after a few weeks or months. According to the U.S. Center for Disease control, only 11% of moms make it to month six on the boob alone.

A better plan is to think about breastfeeding now, before baby arrives. (But before we get into that, let's make MOMTRENDS' stance clear: We think breastfeeding is great, but if you have to bottle feed for whatever reason that's great too.)

What'll you need to feed? First, look into a class or book on breastfeeding. It's not intuitive and requires some effort. Your hospital or midwife will most likely have information on classes in your area or contact La Leche.

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Next step look into the gear. You'll need a few good breastfeeding bras. These items don't have to break the bank. The Gap makes a few basic models. My top pick: the Bravado tank. $57 The straps are extremely comfortable and I can open and close the flaps with one hand--essential for multi-tasking moms. And for a treat, I like the Bravado Exquisite Nursing Bra. $65 It's a gorgeous honey color and just might make you feel sexy again!

Don't forget a nursing pillow. Boppyis the best-known brand. And I'm using mine for the second go round. The supportive pillow saves my back from strain from leaning over to feed. It's also a fun prop to play with baby. (About $30 for pillow plus $12 for each fun Boppy Cover.) I also like Blessed Nest's 100% organic Nesting Pillow, it's a wonderful maternity pillow covered in terrific modern fabrics and helped me find elusinve sleep during trimester #3--but it's a little squishy for feeding in a chair. $84

If you're going back to work at an office you'll need a pump to stash away breast milk. Beyond a doubt, Medelais tops. I've been delighted with my Pump In Style; it's quiet, fast and easy to use. $349

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Finally when it comes to storage I've found the Days Ago Counters help me keep track of my expressed milk in the refrigerator. I simply place a Days Ago Counter with suction cups on the outside of the bottle and the small digital display shows me which bottle to use first. Expressed milk will last about 5-6 days in the fridge. $10 for 2

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