It’s crazy to think almost a year ago I shared my pregnancy must haves on the blog! Now a little over 9 months into motherhood and breastfeeding I thought I’d share a guide of my breastfeeding essentials. Each breastfeeding experience with each mom and baby is different which is so amazing to me and once our journey is over I plan to share about it. In the meantime, here are the products I’ve found to help!
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Probably the most important thing needed is a nursing bra. It just makes it so much easier to nurse. I mostly wear what’s considered sleep nursing bras from Target around the house and to bed. They’re very comfy and it doesn’t feel like I’m actually wearing a bra!
A good regular bra is an absolute must as well. I have this motherhood maternity one and it’s okay. The band seems to ride up a bit but overall it’s rather comfortable. I’d love to get one of third love’s new nursing bras, they’re created by women for women. I love that they have fit guide and a try before you buy option. I’m definitely looking into replacing my current nursing bra with one of theirs!
I’ve tried 3 different kinds of nursing pads and I definitely have a favorite! Disposable nursing pads are actually great however they cost more money in the long run so I wasn’t as big of a fan of those as I am washable nursing pads (it is a good idea to keep a few in your diaper bag just for back up though). Out of washable ones I’ve tried both Bamboobies and these TL Care Organic Cotton ones. While I like the Bamboobies, ultimately the Organic Cotton is my favorite, for one they’re cheaper but I also find them to feel drier after I leak than the Bamboobies.
You’ll definitely want a breastfeeding pillow, I personally used the boppy and loved it. I stopped using it to nurse when Cora Beth was around 3 months old (we still continued to use for tummy time and helping her sit up until she could on her) but in those newborn days when they’re so tiny it’s so helpful. I highly suggest taking it to the hospital with you as well. Plus you can get some cute covers to match their nursery, Etsy has some darling ones! And I would have a spare, you never know when they might get spit up or poop on it.
This is crucial during that first month or so of nursing. Putting it on before I nursed helped her to latch on. And then again after just to help soothe. It’s not an awful pain but it does hurt when you first start breastfeeding. I really like the Honest Co. Organic Nipple Balm.
Not everyone will need a nipple shield and I completely suggest doing everything you can to not use one if possible. However, they can be extremely helpful. I couldn’t for the life of me get my daughter to latch on my left side and the nipple shield saved my sanity in those first days of breastfeeding. Weaning a baby off a nipple shield can be difficult (which is why I suggest using it as a last resort). Thankfully I was able to get her off of it early on. I got mine for free at the hospital so it doesn’t hurt to ask before you leave in case you need one, and make sure you get the right fit.
I know what you’re thinking… cloth diapers in a breastfeeding essentials guide? But let me tell you these make THE BEST burp cloths because they’re so thick and absorbent! And when you have a baby who spits up often as I do you need one of these near by every time you nurse.
No one knows hunger like a nursing mama! My personal favorite snacks were Lara Bars. They’re made with 7 or less REAL ingredients, yes please. Every bar has dates in it which I heard dates can help with your milk supply (I’m not sure how accurate that is though). I had a spot in Cora Beth’s dresser that I kept a stash of Lara Bars so I wouldn’t have to go into the kitchen to get a snack for the middle of the night feedings. Whatever snack you choose just make sure you stock up on them!
BREAST PUMP + MILK STORAGE BAGS
Oh the breast pump, I personally loath thee. I have a love/hate relationship with pumping. Love because it’s very useful in helping your supply to come in and to help even it out or help boost it back up. Hate because well I just hate pumping, it feels like twice the work to me. But I’m very fortunate to stay home with my sweet girl while I know other mamas need to pump to go back to work. However, even as someone who doesn’t use it often I would still suggest getting one along with some milk storage bags for freezing your milk.
There you have my breastfeeding essentials! Each of these has truly helped in our breastfeeding journey. I’m really hoping to make it to one year breastfeeding Cora Beth. We have ups and downs and there are some days I want to quit before that year mark but we’ll see what ends up happening.
So tell me was there anything not on the list that you found essential or anything on the list that you found you didn’t need? I’d love to hear in the comments!
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