*DISCLOSURE - This post may contain affiliate links however, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in and/or use myself.
“Breast is Best”
Everyone knows that breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed and nourish your baby but it certainly doesn’t always come naturally to all moms.
Especially first-time moms.
Breastfeeding takes time, practice, and lots of patience. Thankfully, there are several resources available for moms today to help guide you through any breastfeeding obstacle you come across. There are also some wonderful breastfeeding accessories that help to make breastfeeding easier on mom and baby. Sometimes having a few gadgets and time-saving essentials can make all the difference for an over tired mom.
After breastfeeding my son for fifteen months I have used several breastfeeding accessories that are on the market. Some of them have absolutely saved my life but others have not been worth the money.
But there are so many products out there. Which one should I choose? Which ones actually work?
Here Are My Top 9 Breastfeeding Essentials:
1. Nursing Pillow
I was lucky enough to be given a Boppy nursing pillow at my baby shower when I was pregnant with my son, Owen. The Boppy literally saved my life.
Since I had a repeat C-section during my last delivery, having anything on my stomach was extremely painful. Which also made breastfeeding difficult at times. Although there are breastfeeding positions that allow you to keep the baby off of your incision, I found that when I was eating or trying to relax on the couch that I wanted to be able to sit up and breastfeed at the same time.
That is where the Boppy came in handy.
I was able to sit on the couch and breastfeed Owen while having my meals on the coffee table in front of me. So while he was eating, I could eat also.
Another benefit of the Bobby pillow was how it helped to bring him up to breast level making it so I did not have to bend over to reach him.
2. Nipple Cream
In the first few months of breastfeeding nipple cream is an absolute must. When you first begin breastfeeding your baby will want to nurse all the time. This is not an exaggeration! All the Time. Because of this, your nipples can become cracked and sore, and that is where the nipple cream comes to the rescue.
You can put it on before and after you nurse. It is also completely safe for your baby. The nipple cream will soothe and moisten your nipples to help keep them from drying out and cracking.
The two most popular nipple creams are Lansinoh and Medela. I have personally tried both of these brands and my favorite is the Medela. The reason Medela has won my loyalty is because their nipple cream is very smooth and creamy, which makes it go on very easy. Whereas the Lansinoh is a lot thicker and hard to spread onto your nipple. And if your nipples are hurting you are going to want something that goes on easy.
3. Breast Pads
Breast pads have saved me a lot of embarrassment and extra laundry. They are just what they sound like, a round pad that goes into your bra to keep your ta-ta’s from leaking through your shirt. Trust me, you are going to want these at all times, especially when you first start breastfeeding. While breastfeeding my son, I had to use breast pads up until he was 12 months old.
When you first begin your breastfeeding journey your body is learning how often your baby needs to eat. It is because of this that you may be prone to leaks. Sometimes if your baby, or any baby for that matter, so much as cries you will have a letdown(is the release of milk from the breast).
While breastfeeding my son, I had to use breast pads upuntil he was 12 months old because I had so much extra milk that would leak.
Breast pads come as reusable and disposable. I used mostly the disposable ones in the beginning because of their ease of use. Since I was so sleep deprived, I didn’t need anything else to worry about washing at that time. Here are the ones I love.
Once he got older and I leaked less I switched to using reusable cloth breast pads. They are very comfortable and come in all different shapes and fabrics. You simply wash these and reuse them. It’s that easy
4. Nursing Bras and Camisoles
You will want to pick up some nursing bras or camisoles so your easily accessible whenever your baby is hungry. My favorites are the Motherhood Maternity camisoles. They are so comfortable and have held up for a year now. I still wear them to this day.
5. Water Bottle
Yes! Take a FULL bottle of water with your everywhere. When you are a breastfeeding mom you will be thirsty all the time. As soon as your baby latches on to your breast you will be thirsty and craving water. So always, always, always keep water with you.
Don’t bother getting plastic water bottles. They are a complete waste of money and it adds up over time. I recommend investing in a sturdy reusable water bottle. That way you can refill it as needed while also saving money. Here is the one I have had for over a year. I have two of this brand and they have held up amazingly. I tend to drop them a lot.
6. Breast Pump
If you plan to go back to work or even to leave your baby for a long period of time you will need to have a breast
There are many different options depending on your certain needs.
- A manual breast pump comes with a handle that you pump with your hand to cause the suction. If you are only planning to use a breast pump once in a blue moon you should be fine with a manual pump.
- An electric breast pump has a motor in it that causes the suction. Electric pumps are ideal for moms who plan to pump regularly and might be away from their babies for long periods of time.
7. Milk Storage Bags a & Bottles
If you plan to use a breast pump to keep breastmilk for your baby later, you will need a place to store your breastmilk.
The most popular option is breastmilk storage bags. These amazing little bags are very durable(for the most part). They can be kept in the fridge or freezer and can keep your breastmilk fresh for up to 12 months if they are kept in a deep freezer. I have always loved the Lansinoh brand of breastmilk storage bags because they are sold all over and are very inexpensive.
You will also want some baby bottles to serve the breastmilk in once it is warmed up. Try to find one that is as close to a breast as you can. Let’s face it nothing will be as good as mommy but you can try to come as close as possible. My son has always loved these bottles.
8. Nursing Cover
A nursing cover is a huge must-have for tons of moms out there. I only used a nursing cover for the first few months before my son started kicking it off. However, the one nursing cover that was was my absolute favorite was the Covered Goods Nursing Cover.
I personally have several friends that have sworn by these covers and have used them religiously. They are extremely comfortable and breathable. But that’s not all. The are also extremely versatile and can be used as more than just a nursing cover.
- You can put them on your baby’s car seat for shade from the sun.
- They are great as a cover on a shopping cart to keep those yucky germs away.
- You can even use them in a high-chair at a restaurant.
9. Breastfeeding App
When did I last feed him? Which side was it on?
When you are so worn out that you can barely keep your eyes open it’s hard to keep track of your baby’s nursing habits. Especially when they are nursing every hour.
The most beneficial item I have found was the Total Baby Pro app. It is a breastfeeding tracking app. If you check your phone you can find hundreds of apps dedicated to tracking what time your baby ate and even what side he or she nursed on. This app was an essential part in breastfeeding success for me because it helped me keep track of when and what side I needed to feed him on. The one app I found was this one. They also have many FREE breastfeeding tracking apps as well.
I hope these must-haves can help you as they have helped me.
If I missed any must-haves for breastfeeding that you found beneficial please leave them in the comments below.