In my previous post about breastfeeding, I gave you some tips on how to adjust to the process faster and with less pain.
Today I’d like to talk about things that you should get for your nursing journey to make your life a little less hard.
Let’s be honest, your mind is already full of checklists- newborn essentials, hospital bag essentials… and I’m afraid it doesn’t stop here!
I prepared another very important list of essentials for breastfeeding moms so you could stop wondering what you actually need for yourself. **You will find all links to the products embedded within the text and the pictures.
1. Nursing tops/ shirts & pyjamas
I suggest you get at least 4 of those as you will make them dirty pretty often. I found them especially useful during travelling or when going for longer walks. You just lift one part of the top and start breastfeeding. If mother nature didn’t give you a large bust (welcome to the club), you will fall in love with those tops- nobody will even notice you took your boob out!
2. Bedside cot
Talking about sleepless night… bedside cot is a God sent. I could not imagine my nights without having a cot next to my bed. This way I didn’t have to stand up to breastfeed my daughter, just open the zipper of the cot and bring her close to me.
I went for Next2me crib and it was a great choice- thanks to the wheels it’s portable and doesn’t take too much space in the room.
To read more about this cot and other best-selling cots & cribs click here.
3. Nursing / maternity bra
Finidng a good maternity bra is not as tough. Finding a sexy-looking one might be already a challenge!
I found some nice, affordable and wireless nursing bras on Amazon. They have cups that you can unclip from the strap making it easier for your bubba to reach your nipple.
If you get bored with the non-padded bras and want something that will actually look like a push-up, head to the Kindred Bravely store. Their maternity bras are a bit more expensive but have definitely better quality and give your bust more support.
4. Nursing pillow
Considering you’ll be breastfeeding your baby very often during first months of her/his life (sometimes I felt that’s all I was doing for the whole day), your arms will get tired.
That’s why getting a nursing pillow is a good idea- it usually has a C-shape so you can put it around your waist and kind of rest your little one on it while you feeding him.
I got myself Clevmama 10in1 while I was still pregnant and I found it very helpful for my back pain. I used it later for nursing until my daughter reached around 4 months of age. It’s definitely worth the price because of it functionality- we’ve also used it as a pushchair pillow and for tummy time when she got bigger.
5. Nursing pads
Another essential for first few weeks of breastfeeding. Since it’s common to have engorged breasts until your milk supply stabilises itself, it’s useful to have nursing pads inside of your nursing bra.
They will soak up any milk that leaks out on its own. Lansinoh is a reputable brand selling all kinds of breastfeeding accessorise.
If you’re more an eco-friendly person, you may want to buy these reusable pads.
6. Nipple shields
This is something that saved my cracked, bleeding nipples at the most difficult time (just when I thought I’ll have to quit breastfeeding for good).
Nipple shields are not really recommended for the long-run because using them can affect your milk supply (your baby could start sucking in the wrong way). But for critical moments and when used for a short time, they are a great pain relief and a real life-saviour!
7. Nipple cream
Another must-have for the early days of breastfeeding. It will bring relief to your dry, sore nipples and make them heal faster.
During first weeks of breastfeeding my baby, this Lanolin Nipple Cream literally became my best friend; at some point I had to use it after each feeding. It may seem small, but a little goes along the way- meaning this cream is super efficient and will last you for a long time.
8. Breast pump
If you happen to get breast engorgement (very common at the beginning) or you need to leave your baby with someone else for a few hours, you should have a breast pump.
Manual breast pumps are cheaper but they pump milk much slower than electric ones. Also, double electric pump (such as Medela) together with a hands-free bra, let you do other things while you’re expressing.
9. Milk storage bags
If you’re going back to work and planning to freeze milk or have to pump frequently for any other reason, you’re gonna need milk storage bags.
They’re very handy as they can replace bottles and you can keep your breast milk in them for the same amount of time (up to 7 days in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer).
10. Muslin squares
You’re gonna use them on a daily basis so make sure you buy many. They are perfect for burping your baby and for any other dribbles and spillages.
You can also use muslin cloths as a breastfeeding cover, extra sunshade during walks or even as a comforter. I used to put one of them near me for the night so it would ‘absorb’ my smell. Later my baby girl loved sleeping with it next to her cheek.
11. Breast compress
Great solution for engorged breasts- since they can feel sore and swollen (which often leads to plugged ducts or matisis if you don’t act fast), this breast therapy pack will bring you a huge relief.
You can create your own breast compress using a wet muslin cloth (warm or cold), or you can get cabbage leaves (washed in a cold water) and put them around your boobs- from my experience this works wonders!
12. Nursing chair
If you have enough space in your baby’s room, having a nursing chair or a rocking chair is the most comfortable way to breastfeed your little one.
Many of them come with a nursing stool which gives you an extra comfort and is a great option if you’re not so tall or if you had an episiotomy during delivery.
The nursing/rocking chair can be also an alternative to a nursing pillow since the chair already provides support for your arms.
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful.
If you have any questions or you’d like to add something to my list of breastfeeding essentials, please put it in the comments below.
Until next time!:)