No matter where you decide to give birth (even at home) it's a good idea to have a bag put together with some basic essentials that will help you in the immediate postpartum. What you should have ready to go by 36 weeks is:
Are you guys done with my breastfeeding series yet? As you know by now, breastfeeding my son was not a successful endeavor. In the year since we stopped, I’ve learned so much about what might have helped or I could have done or tried differently to improve the situation. So if I could start over here is my list of what I would have tried differently:
1. Started using lanolin immediately. Because I have a wool sensitivity I was terrified of trying lanolin for fear of breaking out in hives in an already tender location. It took 2 weeks before I broke down in the middle of the night and had the clarity of mind to try a test swatch on my inner wrist. If only I had thought of that sooner, I would have saved myself so much pain.
2. Used a supplemental nursing system before offering a bottle. I only recently learned about a SNS but I think this would have been a total game changer. Our son genuinely had issues latching (even with bottles) so a tube system would have been fantastic and this one is designed to help stimulate milk production and encourage future latching at the same time.
My mother has always been militant about breastfeeding. She raised me to believe that there was no excuse for a woman not to breastfeed her baby until at least teeth. So I always knew I was going to exclusively breastfeed and would silently judge women who didn't.