To my daughters: Thank you for making me your mama

You were my first baby and I will always love you. Please don't ever think that you weren't enough.

To my daughters: Thank you for making me your mama

Dear firstborn,

You made me a mom almost three years ago.

You were constantly moving in my belly. It was reassuring to feel those kicks and flips. Being pregnant with you was easy and I loved (almost) every second of it.

You were almost two weeks late and made your arrival via caesarean section after a long unsuccessful induction. I was terrified to take care of you. Looking back, I think I cried for most of my hospital stay with you. But, I had fallen in love with you immediately. You loved when I held you and when I nursed you.

I took your picture thousands of times. I couldn't get enough of you! Everything you did was exciting and new. I wrote down the details in your baby book and was determined to properly document your childhood. I always knew the answer when someone asked how old you were—in weeks or months. I didn't even have to think about it. I knew everything about you. We spent every single day together.

I frequently felt as though I had no idea what I was doing. Everything was new and scary. I felt like a failure most of the time. I needed help with breastfeeding, helping you sleep and let's not discuss how long it would take to leave the house. A trip to the grocery store took three times longer than it used to.

We learned you'd be a big sister a few months before you turned two. You came with me to every prenatal appointment. You loved to hear your baby sister's heartbeat, but you were even more excited to watch the nurse take my blood pressure. We spent that last summer together having fun and making memories. Even when I was tired, I did my best to put your need for adventure first.

You spent two special days with Grandma and Grandpa. Then Dad and I came home with your sister. We had a few bumps in the beginning. It seemed as though one of us was always crying. I was sure I had ruined your life and felt guilty for a long time. But we got through it. And now you love helping me take care of baby. I love seeing you two interact more and more. I'm sure that one day you will be very close friends. You are a loving big sister and she will look up to you as you both grow older.

You were my first baby and I will always love you. Please don't ever think that you weren't enough.

Love, Mom

Dear second born,

You make our family complete. I prayed for you for a long time and now you're here with us. Your dad and I were very nervous when we found out you were in my belly. But we were only worried about things like having space in our house and money planning. There was no question that we loved you to pieces from day one.

Being pregnant with you was not easy. I dealt with sickness in the beginning and was constantly exhausted and emotional. I was taking care of your sister too, which meant there was little time to rest. She wanted to play all the time!

You arrived only two days late. Unlike your sister, you were born vaginally, and I'm grateful your birth went as "planned." I had hoped for a faster recovery since now I had two little girls to care for. But even with the quicker recovery, we had our share of problems. You weren't too interested in breastfeeding and it took quite a while for you to sleep longer than 30 minutes at a time. But you were healthy and beautiful and ours.

You immediately loved your older sister. She needed a little extra time to get used to sharing me. But your relationship is completely different than it was a few weeks ago. She is so excited to watch you do things: roll over, smile, laugh, eat and sleep. She is your biggest cheerleader. And you light up when she makes eye contact with you! That is pure love.

I may not keep track of everything in your baby book and I may not take thousands of pictures of you. But I love you and I'm doing my best. I learned so much from taking care of your sister and now that I have more experience I'm a more confident mom. I still have no idea what I'm doing, since every baby is different. But we'll be ok.

You've had to grow up faster than your sister. We didn't have time to lay in bed, snuggle and nurse all day long. I've had to balance the needs of both of you which means we snuggle on-the-go and nurse late into the night. You've had a more adventurous infancy than your sister, that's for sure.

Having you in our family makes me happy. Growing up with three sisters of my own wasn't always fun but now I cherish our friendships. A sister's bond is unlike anything else.

You will forever be my baby.

Love, Mom

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By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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