Deciding to breastfeed is a big decision and commitment, one that is very rewarding and well worth it. If you do make that decision and stick with it, there are many items that can help make your experience go much smoother. As a first time mother, I wasn’t aware of all of the things that I could use to help make my breastfeeding experience easier. By the time I became a mom the second & third time around, I was ready to breastfeed and knew exactly what I needed to help my process along! I ended up breastfeeding 3 babies for 2 years each!
Here are the breastfeeding products that helped me nurse my babies for so long and will hopefully help you too!
A GOOD PUMP
This should be obvious, even if you are exclusively breastfeeding, you will still need a breast pump. Your best bet is to get a double electric pump, it saves so much time and does the best job. Medela makes the best breast pumps on the market in my opinion. Today, most insurance companies cover the cost of a breast pump. If your insurance doesn’t cover it, it may cost you around $200 + but it is an investment well worth it.
BOPPY or NURSING PILLOW
This makes nursing so much easier, especially when the baby is so small, he or she needs a little help being propped up. It also keeps your hands free to do other things which really comes in handy if you have more than one child! A regular pillow just isn’t as good as a boppy pillow! I used the basic boppy pillow for years and it worked awesome but now they have an even better nursing pillow with more support. This especially comes in handy for those moms that had a c-section!
Basic Boppy Pillow:
Nursing pillow with more support:
A NURSING COVER
Some moms don’t mind nursing in public without a cover, so for those moms this isn’t necessary to have. I loved having a cover because I felt more comfortable nursing my babies in public situations with them then without, depending on where I was. I also felt like my babies fell asleep quicker once they were done nursing because it was dark and comfy using a cover. This nursing cover is so awesome because it doubles as a carseat canopy and a scarf! This is so useful and really comes in handy! Click on the photo below for more info!
Your first few weeks of breastfeeding are the toughest and your nipples will go through hell and back so you will want a great nipple cream to use on them. Try and find one that you won’t have to wash off before the baby eats. Earth Mama Angel Baby makes an awesome nipple butter! Buy this before you have your baby so you can use it in the hospital! Most hospitals will give you one made with lanolin and your baby could be allergic to this, so it’s better not to even gamble with it. Another good nipple cream is made by Motherlove, this is also all natural and safe to use.
A NURSING BRA or Comfortable SPORTS BRA
This is another item you will want to purchase before you have the baby. You will be breastfeeding that baby every 2 hours, so you will want to be comfortable, yet make sure you have easy access to get your baby to your breasts! So invest in a great nursing bra or sports bra! This will also help support your breasts and good support will hopefully help keep them looking great during and after breastfeeding.
You may read this and think only women with flat or inverted nipples need one of these, but this is not so. If your baby is having a lot of trouble latching on in the beginning (which most babies do) and your nipples are sore, cracked, or even bleeding, a nipple shield is a godsend. In my personal experience, one of my nipple’s were cracked and bleeding badly, but I didn’t want to stop nursing. A nipple shield helped me continue to nurse while allowing my nipple to heal and it also helped teach my daughter how to latch properly. This may not be needed for everyone, but for those of you that have had this kind of pain a nipple shield will help you a great deal! If there’s one piece of advice I could give for every nursing mom, it would be to buy this before you have that baby! You can always return it later if you don’t use it, but it comes in handy SO much those first few weeks of nursing! Especially when you are in so much pain and don’t have time to run out to the store to buy it!! Buy this ahead of time and you will thank me later that you got it! 😜
BREASTMILK STORAGE BAGS
My freezer is stocked with these bags. They are wonderful, especially if you are working outside the home or have an abundance of breast milk. Medela makes a great brand and so does Lansinoh that you can hook right onto your pump. The more milk you can store, the longer your baby can have the benefits of breast milk!
HANDS FREE PUMPING BRA
Pumping can be time consuming and it was a pain in the butt to me. I hated that I had to sit there and wait and do nothing for 10/20 minutes until I discovered the hands free pumping bra! This is incredible! I can’t believe I never purchased this with my first child! This allows you to do other things while you are stuck pumping and it makes the time go by much quicker! If you are a mom that needs to pump often, I highly recommend one of these bras!! This was the best money I ever spent!
This is so great for those night feedings and especially for the first couple weeks when they are eating every few hours. The baby is right next to you and it is so easy to check on them or feed them at night and easily slide them back into their bassinet. It is safer for them to sleep in their own bassinet/sleeper than in your bed (especially if you have a big husband like mine who takes up most of the bed!). It is very similar to a crib so the transition wouldn’t be too difficult either. Personally, I think I had a harder time moving my daughters into their room more than they did! There are two different kinds of co-sleepers below and they both double as a pack-n-play so you will definitely get your money’s worth and you can use them for a few years! A regular bassinet will only be used the first few months so going with one of these co-sleepers is a much better option rather than a regular bassinet.
MEDELA QUICK CLEAN MICRO STEAM BAGS
These bags are necessary for easy steam cleaning pump accessories, bottles, and my favorite…pacifiers since they are always dropping on the floor. One bag can last you up to 20 uses! It’s totally worth the money and works within minutes! Steam cleaning kills 99.9% of bacteria and germs.
BOTTLES THAT YOUR BREASTFED BABY WILL TAKE
This one may be difficult since every baby is different and so is every breast. I have tried many different bottles on my children and the one bottle they seemed to all favor the most was the Mimijumi bottles. Yes, it looks like a breast but I think that’s why it seems to work so well! It’s a bit softer than other bottles too. My other daughter liked the Tomee Tippee closer to nature bottle but refused to take this until she was about 7 months old and then she loved it! I have also heard great things about the Medela Calma bottle that is supposed to resemble a nipple more than other bottles but I have yet to try it.
Phone app trackers
There are many breastfeeding apps on your phone that you can download for free and this will also help you a great deal. I have used a few different ones and they all helped me keep track of how long I nursed or which side I nursed last. At first I didn’t think I would need one but when you are nursing constantly, you tend to forget which side you did last or for how long!
It can be frustrating at first not knowing what products you may need or not need when you embark on this journey of breastfeeding. It’s a shame to waste money on things that you buy while pregnant that you never use. Hopefully this list of breastfeeding necessities will help a breastfeeding mom’s experience go a little bit easier. 😉
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