According to many health professionals, breast feeding is one of the best ways to offer a healthy physical and emotional start to your infant's life. While all that nursing an infant really requires is the breast and the baby, new mothers are offered a wide array of nursing products and clothing available on the market today that can help make nursing an easier and
more enjoyable experience.
From nursing creams to specially designed breast feeding clothes, the consumer market is offering more and more in terms of products designed to make the nursing mother's life easier and facilitate breast feeding.
One of the top products breast feeding mothers recommend is a nursing pillow. There are a variety of manufacturers that make nursing pillows in different styles. These pillows differ from standard bed pillows because they are designed to fit properly around the mother's body, creating proper spine alignment for themother and facilitating proper positioning of the breast feeding infant. Made of firm, durable materials, breast feeding pillows are a necessity for nursing mothers. Many even offer removable, machine- washable slipcovers.
Breast feeding or nursing bras or tanks are another essential item for breast feeding women. Although nursing with a standard bra is possible, nursing bras and tanks allow women to breast feed with more ease, some offering one hand or one snap enclosures. There are several different styles of nursing bras and tanks on the market - most made from durable, breathable materials. Department store brands often offer quality nursing bras for great prices.
For the best bra, look for a comfortable fit that is supportive but not restrictive. Keep in mind that breast size may vary slightly depending on how full of milk the breasts are. For most women, a nursing bra of at least one full cup size larger is necessary.
Nursing pads and creams are also an important product for breast feeding moms. Natural ointments, like those made of pure lanolin, are good for helping to heal chafed nipples, particularly in the early stages of nursing. Breast pads come in reusable and disposable styles and are inserted in the bra to absorb any milk leakage.
A breast pump is a necessity for most breast feeding moms, whether they plan to return to work or stay home with their infant. If returning to work, investing in a high quality breast pump allows a woman to continue breast feeding and providing the best nutrition for her baby even when she can't be with her little one.
Even if a women decides to stay home with her baby, a breast pump allows her to express milk and allow Dad or another caregiver to feed baby and give Mom a (much needed!) break. When it comes to breast pumps, this is one
area where it's better not to skimp. A high quality, durable electric pump will provide the level of suction needed to adequately express milk, whereas lower quality or hand pumps may not.
When you breast feed your infant, you are offering him or her the best start possible and creating a bonding experience no one else can give. So stock up on your prenatal vitamins, choose a few good nursing bras, add a nursing pillow and breast pump to your baby shower registry, and you'll be more than ready to give your little one all the benefits of breast feeding!