Breastfeeding is a nutritious gift you give your baby. It’s also a wonderful bonding experience.
But it’s okay to say you dislike nursing.
On top of everything you’re learning about your newborn, learning how to breastfeed can be frustrating. Even if you’ve done it before, it can be a time-consuming, painful and difficult experience.
In this guide, we’re showing you 9 must-have products and apps if you’re tired of nursing.
#1 Booby Tubes
Booby Tubes have the same effect as placing a cold or warm pack inside your bra. Each pack comes with 2 tubes that you can place inside your bra. If you want it warm, simply place it in the microwave for up to 40 seconds. This gives off a warm, moist heat that can relieve tender breasts. Another option is to store it in the freezer and use cold to reduce swelling and tenderness.
Although their main purpose is to ease discomfort from breastfeeding, they may also encourage milk flow, avoid clogged ducts and promote let-down. You can also use the tubes as regular hot/cold packs for bruises, swollen ankles, stomach aches or tired muscles.
#2 MamaNurture Prenatal Vitamins +DHA
Prenatal vitamins are important during pregnancy, but they’re also a good idea during breastfeeding too. One reason is that with a new baby, you may have less time to eat properly. Taking a vitamin can help balance out the nutrients you aren’t getting in your diet.
However, as it relates to breastfeeding, prenatal vitamins can give you more iron, which can be harder to get through your diet. This could help if you’re having trouble nursing—poor milk supply has been associated with low iron.
The MamaNurture blend contains 25 vitamins, 300mg DHA and 27mg iron to be taken twice a day.
#3 OurHome App
This suggestion won’t help breastfeeding directly, but it could indirectly make you hate it less.
If you dislike nursing, it’s probably because it’s difficult or painful on top of all the other things you need to worry about. Not only do you need to nurse frequently, but you also need to change diapers, have playtime and learn how to take care of a baby in general. Oh yeah, and that’s on top of caring for yourself, your home, your job and the rest of your family.
Let’s face it: Nursing can be a time-consuming energy suck.
However, if nursing was one of your only responsibilities, it would probably become easier. That’s why it’s a good idea to get your partner or family members involved. If you’re usually the one to do all the household chores, start handing out tasks to people in your home. If you’re the only one taking care of the baby, have a discussion with your partner about taking initiative. Tell them that breastfeeding has been stressful but it will be a lot easier if you share tasks. By offloading some of your chores, you’ll have more energy to focus on feeding the little one.
Even after having this discussion, it can be easy for the person to “forget” their new responsibilities. That’s why having an organization and task list app is helpful. Apps like OurHome allow you to make separate lists of tasks for each family member. The tasks for “today” can be checked off and they can preview the ones for tomorrow. This way, there’s full accountability for who’s doing what and you can focus on breastfeeding!
Fenugreek is a herb or spice that’s used in a variety of dishes. Although it’s found in Indian and Chinese dishes, it’s also responsible for the fake maple smell in some foods. The research isn’t clear, but some studies suggest fenugreek can improve milk production and flow. Although there are some possible side effects, the herb seems to be safe and many new moms say it’s helped them through frustrations. You can buy fenugreek as a supplement, oil, tea, seeds and powder. It’s also a main ingredient in some foods marketed to breastfeeding women—such as cookies and snacks.
You may be thinking, “what does Spotify have to do with breastfeeding”? If every time you nurse or pump, you feel anxiety or frustration, you may not be able to relax enough for let-down. One way to take your mind out of that state is to play some relaxing music.
A 2014 analysis of research concluded that music could provide stress reduction benefits. And, since it’s easier and more effective to breastfeed when you’re relaxed, a tune could help.
However, the amount stress declines varies depending on music preference and previous music experience. For this reason, it’s a good idea to experiment with different genres and playlists. Once you have a favorite, play it before and during breastfeeding to see if it makes a difference. If it helps you relax, choosing one playlist you use every time can prime your brain to calm down instead of getting frustrated.
#6 Audible or Libby
Similar to above, Audible isn’t a breastfeeding app, but it can help you relax. In turn, this can make it less stressful to nurse and increase your milk supply. Apart from that, if you don’t enjoy breastfeeding, having something to distract you can help squash the frustration. Unlike a TV, since apps are on your phone, they can be used everywhere you need to breastfeed (just remember to bring earphones!).
Audible is a library of audiobooks. Each month you get a book included in your plan or you can buy additional credits. If you’re on a budget and you have a library card, you can use the app Libby (although there’s fewer options).
To get the relaxation benefits, choose an audiobook that calms or distracts you. This could be an inspirational audiobook or a narrated fiction novel. Just make sure not to pick something that gets you stressed out or adds things to your to-do list (ex. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up).
Calm is another app recommendation—but this time it’s specifically geared toward helping you relax. In one University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center article, Dr. Patel calls stress the “No. 1 killer of breastmilk supply.” She says this is especially true in the first few weeks after delivery and that women can go from ample to none due to stress.
If a lack of milk supply is the cause of your breastfeeding frustration, you may want to try the app Calm. It has a variety of mediations divided into different categories such as “anxiety release” and “easing depression.” The app is paid, but you can try it for free before and during breastfeeding to see if it helps. Calm also comes with lullabies and some Disney classics; perfect for the baby!
#8 Serenity Breast Pump
If nursing is difficult and your baby has trouble latching, you should see a lactation expert. Sometimes, even after all your efforts, it can still be difficult and painful. In these situations, you may choose to pump instead. Although your baby is still getting the benefits of breastmilk, carrying around a pump with you can be annoying. And, it can be made even less discreet if you have a large, loud machine.
That’s where the Serenity Breast Pump comes in. True to its name, it makes the experience more peaceful with its adjustable 10-step suction and comfortable nipple shields. It’s perfect for bringing while out, at work or running errands. Its lightweight, compact build makes it easy to take with you and fit inside your bag. Since it’s battery-operated with low-noise, you can pump almost anywhere.
After you’re done pumping, simply use the automated milk storage system so you can feed your baby later.
You probably didn’t expect the last suggestion on this list to be formula, but sometimes the situation calls for it. If you’re trying your best to nurse and it isn’t working, you shouldn’t feel bad about supplementing with breastmilk. After all, it’s better for your baby to have another type of milk than no milk at all.
Many times, we think breastfeeding needs to be all or nothing. However, your baby will still get the benefits of breastmilk if you give her formula every now and then. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that most infants are not exclusively breastfed.
If you’re new to formula, remember to choose a quality brand and mix it with safe water only. You can ask your pediatrician for recommendations on products and tips on introducing it.
Summary of Must-Haves for Moms Who Hate Breastfeeding
If you’re struggling to breastfeed, know that many moms feel the same way and get better at it as time goes on. If you’ve seen a lactation expert and you still dislike nursing, the products and apps we’ve recommended may help de-stress you and bump up milk production.
Ready for Peaceful Breastfeeding? Try the Serenity Breastpump!