So you’ve decided to breastfeed, but now you need to know what stuff you should buy to make this a smooth ride. I’ve been there Mama and I’ve put together a list of 15 products to make breastfeeding and pumping easier. Take a peek below to see all the cool stuff!
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When you are breastfeeding it’s pretty tough to get you and baby in a comfortable position without having baby propped up somehow. Using a regular pillow can work, but the Boppy is shaped to help support baby safely and comfortably. It also makes feeding baby more comfortable for you too! There’s nothing worse than having to bend over and hurt your back to get to baby. The reason I love the Boppy is because you can use it for more than just breastfeeding. Baby can sit propped up on it or lay on it for tummy time. It’s a must-have for sure!
2. Nursing Bra
If you’re going to be nursing your sweet little baby, you have to be comfortable and you also will need a bra that is convenient. You will need a nursing bra. Nursing bras like this one are both combined. This one is comfortable and soft, and opens up to easily feed baby when you are on the go. It also has no underwire so it won’t hurt you while you sleep. Bonus is that it can be worn as a maternity bra too as your breasts start to grow while you are pregnant.
3. Nipple Cream
Once you start breastfeeding, you will quickly learn how sore your nipples can get. Especially the first few weeks. My saving grace was Lansinoh’s Lanolin nipple cream. This stuff works wonders and gives immediate relief. It’s safe for baby so you don’t have to wipe it off when baby nurses. I have tried other brands and honestly Lansinoh was my favorite and worked the best.
4. Hot/Cold Breast Pads
So these are not an absolute necessity, however I highly recommend them. The Lansinoh Thera Pearl Breast Therapy pads are extremely helpful when you are breastfeeding or pumping. These pads can be frozen and put on your breasts to relieve engorgement and pain or heated to help relieve plugged milk ducts and encourage milk let down. You can also wrap these around the flanges of your pump while you are pumping to help with your let down which can speed up your pumping time(and trust me this is awesome because sitting and pumping is no fun at all!) I LOVED these while I was pumping.
5. Nursing Pads
One thing you will learn pretty quickly is that your boobs are going to leak…. ALOT! Especially when your baby(or anyone’s baby) cries. If you don’t nurse for an extended period of time they will leak. They tend to leak a lot at night when you are asleep. You are going to need some good coverage. I tried many different brands of breast pads and by FAR the best one is the Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads. These come in different levels of coverage(just like sanitary pads). I always got the ones that had the maximum coverage. The thing that makes the Lansinoh different is the honeycomb design on it that pulls the moisture away from the skin so that you stay dry. I tried other pads like the Nuk ones for example and wound up with a SOAKED t-shirt and bra. My bed was saturated when I woke up. So not only did I have to change my shirt and bra; I had to wash all my sheets. No fun at all! Another thing I liked was that the pads are individually wrapped which means they stay nice and clean. The Nuk ones were not wrapped at all 🙁 These were my definite favorite nursing pads.
6. Nursing Reminder Clips
This is not a necessary thing to have, but it sure does help! These nursing clips clip to your bra so that you never forget which side you nursed on. This especially helps at night time when you are sleepy and are easier to forget. The person who created this is a genius.
7. Breast Pump
Whether you are going to be going back to work, or just going to spend any time away from your baby, you’re going to need a good breast pump. I exclusively pumped my second son and let me just tell you how important it is to have one that you are comfortable with and that has a good suction. I personally used and LOVED the Medela Pump in style Advanced Breast Pump. It has really good suction and is small and discreet for carrying to work or out on the go. To find out ALL the reasons I love the Medela Pump in style breast pump take a look at my post Why I chose the Medela Pump in style advanced breast pump.
8. Breast Milk Storage Bags
Once you start to pump, you have to have something to put the milk in! These Lansinoh Breast milk storage bags are an absolute essential for your breastfeeding journey. I have tried different brands of bags and I like the Lansinoh ones best because they are durable and BPA-free. I’ve had some that had holes in them once I froze them and if that happens you just have to throw the bag out which is wasting that precious liquid gold you worked so hard to pump out!! I would also recommend the Medela pump and save bags as they work really well too and the cool thing about these are they actually connect to the Medela Pump in style advanced breast pump which means less clean up washing pumping bottles and parts. I also liked the Target brand bags too. They are cheaper in price and still do a good job of properly storing your milk.
9. Breast milk storage system
Sometimes you will need to store milk for immediate use in the fridge and its so much easier to put it in a container than a bag. Medela makes these adorable little storage sets that you can use in the fridge or the freezer and as a bonus they also come with bags too! You just pour the milk in the container and stick it in the fridge and when you’re ready to use it take it out to warm. When it comes to pumping, you can never have too much storage. This was one of my most wanted things when I had my second son.
10. Deep Freezer
So this one isn’t necessary, but if you are going to try to build a good milk stash for when you go back to work you are going to have to have somewhere to store it, because you will quickly run out of room in your freezer. Getting a smaller one like this one is a good idea if you don’t have a lot of room for a freezer, but need the storage space for your milk.
11. Medela Quick Clean Bags
These are a God send! When you pump a lot like I did you are CONSTANTLY washing pumping bottles and parts. I was washing so much that my hands started getting completely chapped and my skin was breaking open (YUCK!) With these Medela quick clean bags all you do is stick the parts in the bag with water and heat them in the microwave and they clean waaayyy better than washing them yourself. They kill 99.9% of bacteria and germs. You get 5 bags per box and each bag is good for 20 uses. Trust me these are worth the money (and your hands staying soft lol).
12. Extra tubing, valves and membranes
When you are pumping full time you will put some wear and tear on your good ol’ breast pump. One of the first things you will need to replace is your tubing and valves and membranes. These are parts that you use to pump your milk. The tubing can easily get moisture in them and get moldy. A good tip to make sure that they dry out every time is to let your pump run about ten to fifteen minutes after you are done pumping to ensure all the moisture gets out. It’s always good to have an extra set available. Another thing that will go quickly is the valves and membranes. The little membranes get tiny holes in them and can stop you from getting a good output so you definitely need to have a spare on hand.
13. Hands Free Pumping Bra
One of the best products to be made is the hands free pumping bra. I can’t tell you how many times BEFORE I invested in a hands free pumping bra that I was bored out of my mind and frustrated because I couldn’t do ANYTHING else while I was pumping. Once I got one I could do so much more. If my baby needed me to hold his hand( my boo always wants his hand held) or if I wanted to change the channel on the TV or eat something I could finally do it and not have to hold those little bottles. These are the absolute best!
14. Nursing Cover
Nursing covers are great for when you are out in public and have to nurse your baby or even if you are out in the car and have to pump. I love these ones because they double as an infinity scarf and can be used even after you are done breastfeeding. They come in a bunch of different colors to choose from too!
15. Breast like bottle
If you are going to be pumping, you’re baby will be drinking out of a bottle at some point. I found it extremely helpful to have a bottle that was as close to the boob as possible. I used the Avent Natural Infant Baby Bottles and my son had no problems with using them at all. They have lasted and I’ve never had to replace the nipples at all. They are BPA free and come in this really cute blue color( you can also get them in clear and pink). They are a great investment for your baby.
I hope that this list has been helpful to you. I wish someone had told me about all the cool stuff before I had my son and started breastfeeding.
Know about something that I DIDN’T put on my list? Let me know in the comments!
And while you’re here check out my post on how I built an awesome milk supply using a pumping schedule.
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