I have been thinking about writing this but haven't had the time to sit at the computer and do it. Of course, I'm still not at the computer but I will give this a try anyway.
I had always planned to breastfeed to a year. The only bump in the road was getting pregnant and expecting my supply to plummet or disappear all together and I have been so blessed to not have that happen!
Not one time has he had a bottle of expressed milk or formula... And I'm proud of myself. I honestly don't think I would have even noticed this milestone or thought of it as an accomplishment had I not encountered such a huge number of nay-Sayers. Probably 80% or more of the people who knew my plans to breastfeed exclusively openly criticized and doubted the ability to do that.
I just wanted to first acknowledge my accomplishment but also share some of my tips and tools that I feel were worth the investment in time and money.
1. Nursing tank tops. I buy the Gillian omalley side sling nursing camisoles from Target. They are usually under $20 each and they are fabulous. I sleep in them and have one one every day. A comfortable nursing tank makes every shirt a nursing friendly shirt.
2. My boppy. When Arie was super tiny to about 3-4 months old, the my Brest Friend pillow was great because it strapped to my body not leaving the dreaded boppy gap. But ever since, I use it daily. I don't NEED it, but any time Arie is going to nap after nursing, he sleeps on my lap, on the boppy. Love it.
3. Nursing bras. Just way more comfortable than pulling aside a regular bra. I also buy these at Target. I have never spent a lot on them. Granted, I'm sure my boobs would have looked nicer in a super well fitted fancy bravado bra, but I was all about breastfeeding on the cheap.
4. Education. I read everything that I could get my hands on about breastfeeding and breast milk. I thoroughly educated myself to the point where failure was not an option and that I would do absolutely everything in my power to breastfeed.
5. Support. My husband's education on breastfeeding was priceless and contributed to his total support. He was there to support me in our mutual decision that I wouldn't even express milk "for others to help feed". We both believed that role belonged to me as long as I wanted it. Also, online communities of like-minded women really helped as a place to go and vent about lack of support or to get more information to educate those around me who were clearly ignorant.
6. Nursing necklace. Basically an unreal able, chewable necklace that baby can play with while nursing.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head!