My sisters and I have five, soon to be six, children between the four us and have nursed them all! We Compiled this list of our favorite things needed to have a successful breastfeeding journey.
*Just assume most of this can be found on Amazon because Amazon = Mom Life*
Nipple Cream / Lanolin
It is no secret that breastfeeding can take it’s toll on your nipples. They were design to feed babies and will adjust, I promise, but in the mean time, lather them up with nipple cream! Please, do not try any of the old tricks to make them adjust faster like rolling them in your fingers or chaffing them with a towel. That’s just unnecessary self-torture! Just give them time and TLC. My hospital gave me Lanolin cream that can be found at any pharmacy but you can even opt for a more natural cream like CJ’s butter.
Before your milk regulates (usually around 12 weeks), it will leak. It will leak at night while you sleep, when you hear your baby cry, when you shower, when you bend over, whenever it feels like. Nursing pads are great for saving yourself some embarrassment! I found that disposable pads kept me feeling drier for longer than reusable but I have steered away from a lot of disposable products over the years #SemiCrunchyMama and I loved Bamboobies nursing pads! Change them often to keep your boobies dry, and wash them with normal laundry.
THIS is the best piece of breastfeeding equipment. After my older sister recommended one to me, I found it my mama duty to recommend it to all my new and expecting mom friends. Each mama got a completely unsolicited message from me telling them they needed one if they planned to breastfeed. #SorryNotSorry It is a soft manual pump that works with suction to attach to your unoccupied boob while you nurse and catch the letdown and leakage that would otherwise soak your little and be wasted! This little gadget helped me stock my freezer with milk before I even started pumping regularly. It even boosted my supply when it started to decline. Milk is produced on a supply and demand basis so using this gadget tricked my body into producing more. It’s also handy for taking out when you’re going to be away from your baby for the evening and might need to pump just a little for comfort’s sake.
Nursing / pumping Cami / Bra
While you’re nursing, your breast will change size throughout the day, meaning just because your cute molded-cup bra fits now, does not mean it will fit or be comfortable in a few hours. Also, it is way more difficult to nurse in a traditional bra than one might assume. I really liked this style from my favorite mom-store, Amazon! They were soft and comfy but supportive enough. They were easy to slip down to bare the breast and I didn’t have to fumble with clasps. They also held my nursing pads in place well. If I was going for a tank top or lower neckline, however, I preferred something like this because it was shaped more like a traditional bra.
For pumping, this bra is very similar to the nursing bras but has the feature to hold your pump flanges. The great thing about this pumping bra is you can wear it all day, unlike some that you put on just to pump. Although, I found that I was able to slip my pump flanges into any bra or cami just enough to hold them steady with one hand so most of the time, I wore only my nursing bras.
Target makes well fitted tank tops that have a lower, very stretchy neckline and are perfect for layering so you can have boob access with the “one up, one down” method – pull the top shirt up, pull the neck of the bottom shirt down to expose the boob. Your belly and top-boob stay covered and discreet. You can also accomplish this with any nursing cami. Layering is a nursing mama’s be friend!
Water bottle with cover / straw
Nursing makes a mama extremely thirsty. Not surprising though, since you have a tiny parasite literally sucking fluid from you. Don’t ever be ashamed to ask your partner for water after you have gotten baby situated. That is how they can do their part! But if you’re posted up on the couch and trying to keep 25 things within arms reach, a giant cup that does not spill easily but it still one handed is a must! Your hospital will probably supply this cup while you’re admitted. Take that sucker home, mama! You earned it.
*On that note, take home everything in your hospital room – the bulb syringe, the pads, the socks, the baby blankets, everything. Better yet, if they bring you 6 diapers, put 5 in your take-home bag. They’ll bring you more, squirrel those away too! Anything the hospital has provided or opened for you cannot be used for another patient (no sense in wasting it) and you will be billed for it either way!*
The Boppy is very popular but my fresh-from-the-box Boppy was too fluffy and too tall to fit baby to my breast comfortably. Plus, I felt like I had to hold the silly thing in place and, with C’s early latch issues, I did not have an extra hand or patience for such nonsense. I much preferred my Brest Friend nursing pillow! It felt utterly ridiculous being strapped to this pillow, and I had to put a pillow behind my back to sit up, but after the first day, I called it my magic baby docking station. It stays put, positions baby just right each time, and (although NOT recommended) in a pinch, you can even stand up and move without disturbing baby! Once I was a seasoned breastfeeding mama, nursing on the go with no pillow at all was like second nature to me but in those early day, I truly believe I would not have made it without this pillow!
Just remember, your body was designed to nourish that tiny life and you CAN do this! Also, you have right to feed your baby however and wherever you have the right to be – unless you live in Idaho, we are still waiting for them to get with it. So whether you’re in a movie theater, a restaurant, the mall, or Bass Pro Shoppe, nurse on, mama! You’ve got a world of women supporting you.
I hope this list is helpful to at least one new or expecting mother! Be sure to catch my other mom-lists!