Breastfeeding: Safety Pin Alternative

(Background: the baby nurses most vigorously on the side she starts on, so you want to alternate start side to help keep milk supply even.)

How am I supposed to remember which side I'm supposed to nurse on next?

One thing the breastfeeding books and classes all seem to say is to use a safety pin on your bra and move it back and forth to mark which breast to start nursing on next time.

I hated the idea of a safety pin, mostly because I might only have one hand to grapple with it, and in the middle of the night (or really any time) who wants a safety pin so close to a baby's precious head?! Also even with both hands I'm never really good at opening and closing them.

So I started keeping track by just writing it down. I kept a notebook (as I think most new moms do) and wrote down EVERY LITTLE THING. (I think I read someone call it the Pee, Poop, Milk diary recently.) And so I just added a notation for which side I started with for each nursing session.

Round about Christmas time we were staying at my mom's house and there was no nightlight. So I didn't want to turn on the light just to figure out which breast to use (whereby fully waking up myself, my baby and my husband). So I just guessed/tried to use my memory.


But I've come up with a better solution, and it's been working great for me.

I found a rubber bracelet -- the kind made famous by Lance Armstrong's Live Strong cancer organization -- in a drawer in my room at my mom's house. This one was for breast cancer awareness (which is a whole other post -- I am all for funding more research but have a tendency to think market saturation has been reached for pink 'awareness' products ... and don't get me started on Komen/Planned Parenthood).

Bracelet is on my left wrist
in this photo from Jane's baptism.
Anyway, I started using the bracelet as my marker of which side to start breastfeeding on. I never have to take it off -- it's not hurt when it gets wet. Really it's the only thing that's with me even more than Jane! And it's going to be visible in some of her photos from this year (many that I appear in I mean, including one of my favorites from Christmas). There's also no risk to me or the baby while I'm moving it/I can't accidentally injure her with it like I could with a safety pin.

I've only forgotten to switch the bracelet a couple times, and it's usually when I'm half asleep in the middle of the night or early morning hours. But it's a part of our nursing routine that I'll move the bracelet from one arm to the other.

I think there could be a market for such a bracelet (if someone isn't already selling them ... it looks like this is something similar). Instead of being cancer or awareness related they could be customized with the baby's name, a favorite color, a date, etc.

As for me, it's one less thing I have to remember, although as an avid note taker I was a little sad to stop writing down every little thing.


Anonymous said...

We'eeeeeeeell, on the bright side...

The "Pee, Poop, Milk" diary is better named than would be the

"Jack, Smack, Crack, Flack, Black, Tack, Knack" diary.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you get a "Possession Arrow"

like that which they use in the NBA

(Since y'all in Oklahoma took our team and all)

For the Love

Mari said...

I like the idea of a possession arrow bra or T-shirt -- just hit a button and one boob lights up. Oh brother...

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