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.
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
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