When it comes to breastfeeding you naturally have all you need to get started. But there are some items that you might decide to purchase that will make breastfeeding a more enjoyable (and do-able) experience for you and your baby. Here is my list of the top 10 items for a new breastfeeding mother:
1. Breastfeeding reference books to read at the end of your pregnancy. Trust me when I tell you that you won't have time, energy, or free hands to read them after baby arrives. I thought Ina Mae's Guide to Breastfeeding was a great resource. Dr. Sears' The Baby Book has a nice section on breastfeeding. Many other moms recommend the La Leche League's Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. Combine your reading with a breastfeeding class at your local hospital to help your partner feel more comfortable with breastfeeding and to reinforce what you have read.
|My Breast Friend|
3. Nipple cream. I'm not sure I would have been able to continue breastfeeding if it wasn't for nipple cream. I rotate between Lansinoh's lanolin, Earth Mama Angel Baby's Nipple Butter, and plain ol' breast milk. Use this from the beginning even if you feel like you are okay without it for the first couple days. I did not because I thought I didn't need it and suffered with blisters and bleeding that developed several days later. Nearly 7 weeks later I still use these when Elliot is nursing heavily or as a barrier from the water in the shower.
|organic unrefined coconut oil|
|EMAB Boobie Tubes|
- Earth Mama Angel Baby Boobie Tubes (reusable cold/hot option)
- Ameda ComfortGel Hydrogel Pads (4 day use disposable option)
- The First Years Nursing Care Instant Relief System (reusable gel pad/disposable sleeves)
When I surveyed my mommy subscribers, the Lansinoh brand was overwhelmingly the preferred choice and so far they have been working great for me. Be sure to ask your OB/midwife/hospital if they have any samples.
Freeze the bags flat and with minimal air for orderly storage. Check out this pin for an up-cycled way to keep your freezer and stash organized.
8. Breast pump. If you are going to be returning to work outside of the home or wanting to build a freezer stash of breastmilk then you will likely want to invest in a quality breast pump. I use the Medela Pump in Style and have been happy with it thus far. I have only used it pre-labor (natural induction method) and several times for relieving extremely engorged breasts. The Simple Wishes hands-free breastpump bra is worth every penny if you are going to be pumping on a regular basis.
If you are going to be a SAHM and only need a small breastmilk stash or want something for quick engorgement relief, a manual pump will likely be all you need.
- Medela Pump In Style breastpump
- Simple Wishes hands-free breastpump bra
- Medela Harmony manual breastpump
|Glamormom Long Top|
I asked my subscribers for favorites and the Bravado and Glamourmom were preferred brands. I have the Bravado brand and although they are pricey they are supportive and great quality. I also have a Glamourmom and Le Leche League tank ordered. I will update this blog post once I have tried them out. For an economical option, Wal-Marts Bestform line is "okay." Personally, I don't feel like this brand gives enough support but decent enough to have one or two cheap tanks in your wardrobe. Old Navy also has nursing camisoles but I have not been impressed with them.
- Bravado Essential Bra Tank
- Bravado Nursing Bra
- Glamourmom Nursing Bra Full Top Long Top
- Bestform Nursing Tank
10. Comfortable place to nurse. You will spend A LOT of time nursing. Please have one or two comfortable places set up for nursing before your baby's birth day. A rocking chair or glider is great for both nursing and for comforting a fussy baby. A reclining chair is also great for practicing laid-back breastfeeding/biological nurturing. Set up a little basket at each chair with breast pads, nipple cream, burp rags, muslin blanket, and nursing pillow. Put the lights around your nursing locations on a dimmer switch. Keeping the lights dim will help keep your baby (and you!) in sleep mode during nighttime feedings.
Were there any other items that you felt were essential as a new nursing mother? What were your must-haves? Please comment below to help others that come to this page looking for advice.
If you are on Pinterest, I'd greatly appreciate a pin.
If you are having challenges breastfeeding, visit this site to locate a lactation consultant near you.