It does a big disservice to label breastfeeding as ‘natural’ when they are not too specific on what about it is natural. The act itself is, but when we label something as natural, it gives the assumption that the task is easy. Breastfeeding is not easy, and any mother who has nursed can say with confidence that it comes with its own list of challenges and hardships.
Breastfeeding is encouraged, it is a great source of nutrition for our babies and it provides all the essential nutrients that a little one would need to thrive and grow. If a mother has made the choice to breastfeed her baby, she should be prepared for all the challenges that come with it. With proper support she, and her baby, will be able to be successful.
Support can come in the shape of hacks. Hacks are little things in life that make tasks just a bit easier, and there are a ton of hacks for moms who choose to breastfeed. The younger generation are a group of geniuses and they are the ones who discover a lot of the hacks in the world, so it makes sense that they would think of some of the greatest tips and tricks for breastfeeding as well.
22 Two Shirts Are Better Than One
There is a lot of controversy in the world about whether or not a woman needs to cover up when she is nursing. Legally, she does not have to cover up anywhere and she is free to feed her baby wherever she sees fit. This doesn’t mean there won’t be people who stare or make comments. It also doesn’t mean that a mom is comfortable nursing anywhere without some form of cover.
This hack will allow mom to breastfeed cover free, while still being discreet about it. All she has to do is wear two tank tops layered overtop of each other. This way when she needs to nurse, she can pull the bottom tank top down and the top tank top up and she will only expose very little of herself.
21 Soda Box Trick
There are a lot of moms out there who like to build a supply of breastmilk in the freezer. They do this so that they may be able to get a little break sometimes and have someone else feed the baby. Breastmilk is good for months in the freezer, but space can be an issue. If mom is producing a lot, she may find it hard to find room for all the supply, and we do not want anyone to have to throw milk away just because they couldn’t store it. Try this hack instead.
Save a couple empty soda pop boxes, the long and vertical ones. Cut the top off and place them in your freezer. These are the perfect containers to store your breastmilk in, as they will just line up. When freezing your breastmilk, it is important to lay them down to freeze because they will take up less space that way.
20 Special Pacifier
Teething can be very hard on a baby, and they all go through it eventually. Breastmilk can be very soothing for a baby, so the world needed to find a way to incorporate both. This has led moms to making breastmilk pacifiers. That’s right, they become little breastmilk popsicles for the baby. Since they are frozen, they are also very soothing to sore gums.
Mom can take an ice cube tray and fill it halfway with breastmilk. Then she is going to want to pop a pacifier in and put it in the freezer. Once the milk has frozen, she will have a perfect sized breastmilk popsicle for her little one.
Young moms like to do things with style. They know things have to get done but if they can get it done in a fashionable way, they are all in. Nursing minders are a relatively new invention, but they help solve a very common problem. When moms breastfeed, they need to make sure to alternate areas between feedings. Which means you start the next feed on the side you finished with last time. This ensures baby gets an equal serving of foremilk and hindmilk.
Life can get pretty hectic with a baby, so mom can easily lose track of which side she is supposed to start on at the next feeding. Nursing minders are little fabric pieces that attach to a woman’s brassiere to remind her of which side she needs to start the next feeding session on.
18 Nursing Necklaces
While we are on the topic of fashion and style, this next hack is great. When babies nurse, they often get busy hands and they will start grabbing at everything that is within arms reach. This is usually mom’s clothes or her jewelry, which can lead a lot of moms to stop wearing necklaces all together. They don’t want them to get broken.
Enter nursing necklaces, these trendy necklaces are made with wood or silicone beads and are a great replacement for fine gold that your baby may break. Your baby can play with these all they want when they nurse and a lot of them can even be used as teething toys for when they start putting them in their mouth.
17 Technology Is A Hit
When a baby is brand new, it is always important to track their progress. This includes tracking their feed and diaper output. The number of wet and dirty diapers is one of the only ways to ensure the baby is getting enough breastmilk, and it can be hard to remember all the details when you are a new mom.
There are a ton of apps available that can help mom track when her baby eats, how long they eat and how many diapers they have a day. Technology is the focal point of our existence now, so it only makes sense that there would be an app to help all new mothers out. This can be crucial information for a doctor.
16 Rolled Up Receiving Blanket
Every woman’s body comes in different shapes and sizes, and therefore breastfeeding will be different for each women dependant on what she is working with. Some women are “luckier” when it comes to that department, but it can make nursing a little difficult. Mom may find herself holding her body up to help support it, so the baby can latch on and feed. The added weight will make things hang down, meaning it won’t be in the optimal position.
There is a hack for this which will free up moms’ hands. All she needs to do is roll up a receiving blanket and tuck it underneath. This will help give some lift so that mom does not need to hold on for the entire feed.
15 All About DIY
There are certain things every mom needs when it comes to nursing, and nursing shirts are one of them. They allow for easy access when mom is out or at home and do not require her to take off any clothes. The problem is, these shirts are normally very pricey, and mom can find herself spending a lot of money on these shirts. There is, of course, a DIY solution to this problem.
In a world run by Pinterest, there is always going to be a DIY solution to a problem. There are many tutorials out there that show mom how to make her own nursing top out of a normal tank top. This means mom can take a cheap tank top and turn it into the perfect nursing top.
Baby carriers are not new, but they are not always thought of as a breastfeeding hack. We know they can be very helpful when it comes to getting out and about with your baby, because it allows you to have your hands free. They are also great for moms who have babies that want to be held all the time. Mom can hold her baby while still getting stuff done.
Well, it a mom can figure it out, nursing slings are perfect for being able to nurse your baby without holding them. They can hold them in just the right place, so mom can nurse her baby and still get stuff done around the house. Perfect for those times baby goes through a cluster feeding spurt.
13 Yummy Smoothies
If there is anything the younger generations know, it's the importance of breastfeeding. They understand, through education and support, that breastmilk is one of the best things you can give your baby. Therefore, they try everything to ensure that they are producing enough milk for their baby. Another thing the younger generation love is smoothies. They are fast, easy and delicious.
So, they mix the two together. There are tons of recipes online for lactation smoothies. These cool and refreshing drinks will help boost mom’s milk supply and make sure she has enough for her baby. These smoothies usually have a combination of fruit, almond milk and brewer’s yeast.
12 Water Bottles Are Helpful
One of the best ways to make sure your milk supply comes in and stays plentiful is to hydrate. New moms should be drinking a lot of water throughout the day to ensure they have enough milk for their little one. The problem is, water is not that exciting to drink and adults in general can go the whole day without thinking to drink some water.
A great hack to solve this problem is to have a fancy water bottle. Having a nursing designated water bottle will entice mom to drink more. These bottles are available in many online shops, and they usually have cute sayings on them. On the back they will have a guideline of when mom should drink water and some inspirational quotes.
11 Cabbage For The Win
In the early days of breastfeeding, when the milk has just started to come in, mom can have a lot of engorgement. Engorgement can be uncomfortable and painful, and in some cases may lead to mastitis if a milk duct gets clogged up. This won’t last forever, when your body gets used to how much your baby drinks it will settle down. Mom also won’t want to pump to relieve pressure because that will signal the body to make more milk.
A great hack and solution to this problem can be found at any grocery store. All mom needs to do is place cabbage leaves in her bra. This will help reduce the engorgement. However, mom should proceed with caution and only do this for a few minutes a day or she will risk drying up all together.
10 Dream Feeding
One of the downsides when you breastfeed a baby is, they don’t tend to sleep for long periods at a time. This is different for each baby, but generally a formula-fed baby may sleep for longer stretches than a breastfed baby. That is because breastmilk digests a lot quicker than formula so the little one may need more feedings.
When it comes to stretching the amount of sleep a mom gets at night, she can try ‘dream feeding.’ Dream feeding is when mom goes into the baby’s room right before she wants to go to bed. It may take some skill, but mom wants to try and feed her baby while they are still sleeping or very drowsy. This will buy mom a few more hours at night. The worst thing that could happen is mom just crawling into bed and her baby fully wakes up.
9 Milk Saver To The Rescue
A mother who is nursing is going to learn about letdown very quickly. Letdown is when the milk is being released from your body and most of the time, it won’t care if there is a baby attached to you or not which can lead to a lot of leaks and wet shirts. It can also lead to a lot of wasted milk. Milk savers are life-changing and they are so easy to use.
There are a couple different ones on the market. There are ones mom can wear in her bra when she is out and about to catch any leaks. Then there are ones that mom can use when she is nursing to help catch the letdown from the opposite side. Genius inventions!
8 Fashionable Scarves
We already know that the younger generation are very concerned with being trendy and fashionable, and they have found another hack that will hide in plain sight. There are a lot of nursing covers on the market, however these covers are quite large, difficult to lug around and are still a giveaway that there is a nursing baby. If mom wants to be even more discreet than that she just needs to find a good infinity scarf.
This scarf can be worn when out and about, but then when the baby needs to eat it also turns into a great nursing cover. Just spread it open and tuck the baby underneath. Any infinity scarf will work so mom has free-range on picking the perfect design for her.
7 Hair Band Trick
We talked earlier about how it can be difficult to remember which side mom needs to feed her baby on, depending on what side she fed them on last. We talked about the minders that mom can place on her bra to help remind her, but if she is on a tight budget and wants something that will cost no money, then this is the hack for her.
All she will need is a hair elastic. She just needs to place it on the wrist of the side she needs to start the next feeding on. It is free and easy. Some moms have also done jewelry for this task as well. They will choose a ring or bracelet to signify nursing, and they will switch hands and wrists every time they nurse.
6 Pumping Bra?
A lot of women choose to pump their milk for their baby, it can help build and maintain supply and it also allows other people to feed the baby, giving mom a much-needed break. However, it can take a lot of time and commitment to pump milk for your baby and life is a busy one now. Pumping normally requires some help from mom and time that she would have to set aside.
However, there are pumping bras on the market now that do all of the work for mom. Mom can go about her day while wearing one of these bras and they will do all the work for her. They will have custom made containers that will need to be ended, but that’s it. We just hope they are quieter than your normal pumps.
5 A Nice Basket
A breastfeeding mother needs all the support she can get, as there will be days that she is stuck in one spot for a long period of time while she nurses her baby. Babies go through growth spurts or just want comfort and that means they may want to feed frequently and for longer periods of time. Moms have made this cute hack to help get them through.
They are making breastfeeding baskets and keeping them near where they choose to breastfeed. There may be some water and snacks in there for when mom gets a bit hungry. She may also want to put in some magazines and books when she can’t find anything to binge-watch. Basically, she wants anything in there that will make her life a little easier.
4 Sticks Are Better
When it comes to freezing breastmilk, most moms go the normal route. They pump, and then they place the milk in storage bags and then freeze. Seems easy, right? Well, it turns out there is an even easier and more convenient way to freeze breastmilk.
Mom should freeze her breastmilk in sticks, instead of bags. You can purchase molds that are meant to freeze water in sticks, so they are easily placed through the neck of water bottles. She can use these and freeze her milk the same way. This will make it a lot easier to just place a stick in the bottle and allow it to thaw and then warm.
3 A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Pumps
When it comes to breastfeeding and pumping, letdown is essential. It can make for an easier time and more milk will be extracted. Sometimes, the letdown is not too strong, or it is not happening at the time mom needs it to. Well, there is a hack for that.
All mom needs to do is look at her baby. When she starts a nursing session, she should look down at her sweet little one and it should trigger her body to start letting that milk flow. If mom is away from her baby and needs to pump, she should carry a picture of her little one in her purse (or on her phone) and pull it out when she wants to get things flowing.
2 It Cures Everything!
We have learned a lot about breastmilk throughout the years. It is no longer just thought of as something to feed your baby. We now know that it has amazing healing properties, and moms are taking advantage of this. If the area is sore, all mom needs to do is rub some breastmilk on it. Any skin conditions? Yup, put breastmilk on it. You can all see where I am going.
A lot of moms now will even give their baby a milk bath. This is a normal bath with some breastmilk in it and it is great at dealing with dry skin, rashes or any other skin ailments your little one may have. It doesn’t just work for babies either, ailments in adults can often be treated with breastmilk as well.
1 Getting Dad Involved
If we look back years and years ago, taking care of the children was primarily the mother’s job. Dads went to work and then came home to play with the children. All of essential care needs of the children went to the mom, including breastfeeding. This is changing, because the young moms are not having any of it.
Moms are starting to get dad involved when it comes to breastfeeding. More and more dads are utilizing pumps. They are also looking to dad to provide more support to them when they are nursing, such as getting them what they need and making sure they are comfortable.
References: thestir.cafemom.com, mommysbundle.com, loveandmarriageblog.com