Breastfeeding is such a beautiful and special time in your motherhood journey. I will cherish my breastfeeding years forever. I was blessed to be able to breastfeed both of my babies well past their first birthdays. One of the best things I did to aid my breastfeeding journey was to prepare and stock up on essentials. Before my first baby, I even took a breastfeeding class, and it was so helpful. Before the second baby, I had a better idea of what to expect, and I stocked up with all of the items mentioned in this blog post. Each item was incredibly helpful in my journey. Here is what I should suggest you have to assist in your breastfeeding experience.
Boppy Nursing Pillow
A good nursing pillow is so helpful! When babies are born they are so little, and you need to maintain proper posture when nursing so that you do not hurt your back. Stacking pillows to place the baby on can get tiresome and just holding the baby in place will make your arm hurt. The Boppy nursing pillows are my favorite because they allow the baby to lie in the perfect position and are easy to put into place. I also have tried some of the nursing pillows that hook around the back, but I was not a fan. The Boppy is the best nursing pillow in my opinion.
Nursing bras will be your new best friend. A good nursing bra will be comfortable while your breasts expand and decrease during the different stages of breastfeeding. It will allow easy access when you need it, but will also offer support. I found the Kindred Bravely Nursing Bras to be the best nursing bras when it comes to quality and material, but I also found some nice Amazon nursing bras that did the trick as well. The Amazon ones did wear out after months of heavy use though.
Cloth Nursing Bads
Most of us are very leaky right after the baby is born and nursing bads will help you not have to constantly be changing your clothes. I found the cloth nursing pads to be much more comfortable than the disposable ones. When you wash them, it is helpful to put them in a garment bag to keep them together in the washing machine.
Nursing covers can certainly be helpful while you are out and about. You can invest in a nursing cover, or do what I did and just tie two ends of a swaddle blanket together. I liked using a swaddle blanket because it was one last thing to carry around.
It is common for nipples to get cracked or sore, especially in the beginning. I liked the Earth Mama Nipple Butter the best when it came to nipple creams. I would just put it on after nursing, and it would help me heal. My favorite thing to use for sore nipples though was the Madela Soothing Gel Pads. These are literally a heaven send and will help you heal so quickly. You just keep them on your nipples between nursing sessions and they will ease your discomfort and help you heal.
Silicone Milk Collector
I love silicone milk collectors like the Haakaa because they make it so easy to collect milk. You place it on the breast that you are not nursing on, and it collects any leaking and also suctions out some extra milk. It is super easy to clean and use.
It is such a great time to be a breastfeeding mama! There are so many great affordable breast pumps out right now. I’d recommend having one traditional plug-in pump and one wearable pump set. Some women do not respond quite as well to wearables or after heavy use, the wearable motors can burn out. It is nice to have both options. I really liked having one pump that I could leave at work and one pump that I could use at home or out and about.
Breast Milk Bags
I’d definitely recommend using breast milk bags that you can freeze flat. They are much easier to store as they can be stacked in a row. I liked using the Lansinoh bags.
It’s nice to have a ton of burp cloths available when you are a breastfeeding mama. Breastfeeding and pumping can be messy and you will go through a lot. I liked to have piles strategically around my house so I could always grab one when I needed it.