Being a parent is full of joyous, difficult, and thrilling moments. In honor of the beautiful mess that is parenthood, we've partnered with
Target to help parents celebrate every little step of the journey — even those first days of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding was not easy for me. I spent many tearful nights during both of my daughters' first days, wondering whether we'd get it right, whether they were eating enough, and whether I had the right gear for the seemingly enormous job ahead of me. I know I'm not the only mom to have these feelings. We made it through those months just fine. The biggest lesson I learned? You will find yourself breastfeeding in the strangest of places, but you can make it work. Here's how I managed in each locale and everything I needed to make the process easier.
Not surprisingly, the first location where I breastfed was at home. Some people will tell you that if breastfeeding hurts, you're doing it wrong. I didn't find that to be true. When you start breastfeeding, even if you've got it right, it can be painful. Not giving-birth painful, but not comfortable. I used a nipple shield to help me through the first few weeks, despite a nurse telling me it would lead to “nipple confusion” (it didn't, and neither did switching from bottle to breast and back again). The shield plus Lansinoh’s self-care supplies made it possible for me to get over the hump with breastfeeding and continue for months to come.
My go-to products : Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Tube, Lansinoh Breastfeeding Starter Set, and Ameda Nipple Shield
1 / 5
In my neighborhood, the local movie theater set up a special morning-time “new babies' screening” for some of its movies. You could bring a baby up to 6 months old, and you'd watch the movie while the baby slept and ate (that's basically all they do at that age). It was a lovely setup, and I was so excited to get out of the house with my 2-month-old. She was sleeping when the movie started, and I was all ready to feed her, but she slept through the entire movie! Great, right? Well . . . it would have been. But my breasts filled up and started leaking when a baby appeared in the movie (yes, that is a thing that happens). I didn't have extra pads in my nursing bra, so it was lucky I had a front-carrier for the baby and didn't have to leave the theater showing the two giant milk stains down my front. Still, I stocked up on nursing pads the next day.
My go-to product: Bamboobies Milk-Proof Ultra-Thin Nursing Bra Pads
2 / 5
OK, I never got quite comfortable enough to dine out and breastfeed at the table, but I applaud the women who do! I needed the option of a bottle in a restaurant so I could relax and enjoy a meal out of the house once in a while. The flexibility of breast-to-bottle was important, and though sometimes I had pumped milk to bring, if I didn't, I always had formula on backup.
My go-to products: Dr. Brown's Natural Flow® Baby Bottles and Earth's Best Organic Infant Formula With Iron
3 / 5
Getting outdoors was key in the early months, and being able to take a walk in the park near my house felt so good. As long as I had a cover-up scarf with me, I learned to feed my daughters anywhere, and a particularly nice, shady bench ended up being our go-to afternoon nursing spot. I will fully admit that while breastfeeding, this scarf was my best friend.
My go-to product: Bebe au Lait® Premium Cotton Jersey Nursing Scarf
4 / 5
This isn't an actual breastfeeding location, but it is a place where I expressed milk, so I count it. The device looks a little crazy, but I had to be hands-free while pumping so I could play games on my phone . . . I mean . . . keep answering work emails. With a portable breast pump and a set of storage bags, I was able to bring milk home each day that I could freeze for someone else to feed the baby later when I was at work or, hey, at brunch with my friends. (We all need those breaks.)
My go-to products: Medela Sonata Breast Pump and Medela Pump & Save Breast Milk Storage Bags, Evenflo®
5 / 5