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7 Hospital Bag Essentials to Breastfeed Your Newborn

7 Hospital Bag Essentials to Breastfeed Your Newborn

Breastfeeding is supposed to be one of the most natural things a mother will do. It’s portrayed on social media -- and by that unicorn mama you met at the park -- as beautiful and effortless. But you may not feel like a breastfeeding goddess those first few days as a new mama. Sometimes the milk doesn’t come out right away, or your breasts may hurt like hell. The truth is that (shocker), even the most “natural” breastfeeding mother often needs some help along the way. Which is why packing the right breastfeeding essentials in your hospital bag is the the only way to get you on the right track to becoming the beautiful breastfeeding goddess you’re meant to be. And if not, well, then that’s OK, too.

Here are 7 breastfeeding essentials you’ll want to put in your hospital bag now.

  1. Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads. Once your milk starts officially coming in, one of the best problems you’ll face is that you’ll leak. Yes it’s true. Constantly. Oops. These Bamboobies washable nursing pads will help prevent you from ruining the going home from outfit you planned to commemorate in your first family photo on Facebook for all to see.
  2. Phone charger. While you may be planning to unplug as soon as baby arrives, chances are you’ll actually want to have your phone closer than ever in those first few days to call for breastfeeding help if necessary. Keep your battery fully charged at all times so you can reach your lactation consultant (now on speed dial) and late-night text with your bestie who just went through the thick of it.
  3. Bamboobies Nursing Shawl. As shocking is it might sound, hospital gowns are not only hideous but they're just about the least convenient thing a nursing mom can wear. Accessing your boobs can mean flashing everyone that walks into the room, whether you mean to or not. And while modesty may not be top mind, for some mamas it's another unneeded stress-trigger. Bringing a shawl like this one from bamboobies gives you the freedom to keep nursing on demand no matter who's husband's friends' sister’s father is in the room.
  4. Nursing Pillow. Nursing a baby helps remind you how much more you should have focused on building your biceps during your prenatal workouts. A nursing pillow will help give you all of the arm support you need as a new breastfeeding mama.
  5. Pen and notebook. “Left side, right side, pee and poop” are about to be your new mantra. While you can definitely download a trusty app for all of your baby activity tracking, a cute notebook and pen is really all you need to keep a record of all of baby's moves.
  6. Bamboobies Nursing Brahhh! OK, preggers. You think your boobs are hitting massive proportions now? They’re about to become unrecognizable. Embrace them! And get the right support. Say so long to constricting underwire and go seamless with an easy-access bra like this one from Bamboobies, made with Bamboo Rayon.
  7. Water bottle and snacks. Even though baby is here, that doesn't mean that your own health gets thrown out the window. You thought that pregnancy demanded more fuel? Prepare to be hungry and thirsty, like, always. Bring a water bottle, preferably one that is bright and hard to miss, so that you don't forget to hydrate regularly, and pack plenty of healthy snacks since your body will be burning up to 500 calories per day!

*We are so grateful when brands support our content and community. This post was sponsored by Bamboobies. Get $7 off any TWO bamboobies products here!

In This Article

    Tips parents need to know about poor air quality and caring for kids with asthma

    There are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    When wildfires struck the West Coast in September 2020, there was a lot for parents to worry about. For parents of children with asthma, though, the danger could be even greater. "There are more than 400 toxins that are present in wildfire smoke. That can activate the immune system in ways that aren't helpful by both causing an inflammatory response and distracting the immune system from fighting infection," says Amy Oro, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health. "When smoke enters into the lungs, it causes irritation and muscle spasms of the smooth muscle that is around the small breathing tubes in the lungs. This can lead to difficulty with breathing and wheezing. It's really difficult on the lungs."

    With the added concern of COVID-19 and the effect it can have on breathing, many parents feel unsure about how to keep their children protected. The good news is that there are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    Here are tips parents need to know about how to deal with poor air quality when your child has asthma.

    Minimize smoke exposure.

    Especially when the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, it's best to stay indoors as much as possible. You can find out your area's AQI at AirNow.gov. An under 50 rating is the safest, but between 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children with asthma. "If you're being told to stay indoors, listen. If you can, keep the windows and doors closed," Oro says.

    Do your best to filter the air.

    According to Oro, a HEPA filter is your best bet to effectively clean pollutants from the air. Many homes are equipped with a built-in HEPA filter in their air conditioning systems, but you can also get a canister filter. Oro says her family (her husband and children all suffer from asthma) also made use of a hack from the New York Times and built their own filter by duct taping a HEPA furnace filter to the front of a box fan. "It was pretty disgusting what we accumulated in the first 20 hours in our fan," she says.

    Avoid letting your child play outside or overly exert themselves in open air.

    "Unfortunately, cloth masks don't do very much [to protect you from the smoke pollution]," Oro says. "You really need an N95 mask, and most of those have been allocated toward essential workers." To keep at-risk children safer, Oro recommends avoiding brisk exercise outdoors. Instead, set up an indoor obstacle course or challenge your family to jumping jacks periodically to keep everyone moving safely.

    Know the difference between smoke exposure and COVID-19.

    "COVID-19 can have a lot of the same symptoms—dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and chest pain could overlap. But what COVID and other viruses generally cause are fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Those would tell you it's not just smoke exposure," Oro says. When a child has been exposed to smoke, they often complain of a "scrape" in their throat, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or wheezing. If the child has asthma, parents should watch for a flare of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or a tight sensation in their chest.

    Unfortunately, not much is known about long-term exposure to wildfire smoke on a healthy or compromised immune system, but elevated levels of air pollution have been associated with increased COVID-19 rates. That's because whenever there's an issue with your immune system, it distracts your immune system from fighting infections and you have a harder time fighting off viruses. Limiting your exposure to wildfire smoke is your best bet to keep immune systems strong.

    Have a plan in place if you think your child is suffering from smoke exposure.

    Whatever type of medication your child takes for asthma, make sure you have it on-hand and that your child is keeping up with regular doses. Contact your child's pediatrician, especially if your area has a hazardous air quality—they may want to adjust your child's medication schedule or dosage to prevent an attack. Oro also recommends that, if your child has asthma, it might be helpful to have a stethoscope or even a pulse oximeter at home to help diagnose issues with your pediatrician through telehealth.

    Most importantly, don't panic.

    In some cases, social distancing and distance learning due to COVID may be helping to keep sensitive groups like children with asthma safer. Oro says wildfires in past years have generally resulted in more ER visits for children, but the most recent fires haven't seen the same results. "A lot of what we've seen is that the smoke really adversely affects adults, especially older adults over 65," Oro says. "Children tend to be really resilient."

    This article was sponsored by Stanford Children's Health. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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