When first getting comfortable breastfeeding and while my baby was needing to be in the perfect position to feed, I found having a nursing stool helped me to relax so much better. I have the Medela Stool and would definitely recommend it to anyone breastfeeding; it helps you to position yourself comfortably.
Week 3 was so frustrating for me and Jackson…I had no clue why my baby would not eat. Turns out my frustration only triggered his frustration which triggered more frustration on my part… vicious cycle! My mom (who is basically a pro having had breastfed 6 children) came to the rescue and told me to stay calm and we would figure out what is going on. I was had an oversupply of milk and was becoming engorged so it was hard for J to latch. I just needed to pump some off to soften the breast for him. Doh. So easy once I calmed down and we focused on his reactions.
Speaking of pumping…if you are not going to be pumping to store milk for your baby, then I recommend at least having a quality hand pump like the Medela Harmony Manual Pump. If you are going to be working and storing milk for your baby, then definitely a high quality electric double breast pump is a MUST, in my opinion. I have the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. LOVE IT. I hear the hands free Medela Freestyle is great too and wonderful if you are able to pump while working, for example if you are typing something in an office, you can still be pumping at the same time. You definitely want to have extra parts, nipple shields pumping bottles, etc..
I love Snappies containers to pump into. They fit my breast pump, do not leak, are freezable, warm very quickly in a hot glass of water, and I can put a nipple (they say they are disposable, but I use them daily and wash them in a dishwasher after every use and I have not had a problem with them) directly on the container so that feeding is quick and easy for my babysitter.
A support person who is 100% on board with your desire to breastfeed is the number one thing that you have to have. This is the single biggest tip I can give you! They should be available to encourage, to hold baby if you need a breather, to help you with meals for yourself, laundry, housework, whatever! Learn how to delegate things to them, sometimes they do not know what “help” you need. Most people think of help as holding the baby, but that does not run a house! Ha.
Any other tips are welcomed and will be added as I receive them.