Breastfeeding isn’t always easy but I’m here to make it a little bit easier as you prepare to nurse your new baby. As a mom of three, I’m sharing 10 breastfeeding essentials. These are my favorite items for nursing moms.
Note, I’m a nursing and a working mom, so these items are right for me but may not be what you need in your situation. I’d love to hear what you loved / didn’t need in the comments below.
I welcomed my third baby last month and breastfeeding, while easier than with my first, was a bit more challenging than it was with my second baby.
For starters, my nipples hurt again! Thankfully I knew this would pass and was able to pull supplies from my toolkit that allowed me to continue on with a little less pain.
If you find yourself struggling to nurse your baby, I highly recommend scheduling a visit with a lactation consultant, even better if they are registered as an IBCLC.
I visited one with my oldest baby and learned a ton of tips on latching, as well as received peace of mind for how many ounces he was typically getting during a feeding. Most hospital networks will have one and most insurance will cover it.
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10 Breastfeeding Essentials: Must Have Items for Nursing Moms
Always bring baby to breast and not the other way around. I learned this the hard way with neck and back pain. A nursing pillow to the rescue!
This pillow helps support your baby and takes some of the weight off. This was a lifesaver as I learned to nurse a newborn, especially in the cross cradle hold. Some moms prefer a Boppy, as it has a longer shelf life; it can be used to support baby sitting or for tummy time. I liked how flat and supportive the My Brest Friend pillow was to support baby's body.
While I love reusable nursing pads, sometimes disposable ones make more sense, such as when you are traveling. I try to keep some extras in my purse and car for those times when I do forget to put nursing pads in.
Nipple cream is essential, especially during the early days when your nipples are toughening up. My favorite is Motherlove Nipple Cream. It's one of the best and goes on without being sticky. There is no need to wipe away before baby nurses and can also be used when pumping.
With my third baby I was not as prepared as I should have been and actually had to order these via Amazon Prime Now as soon as I got home from the hospital.
These cool hydrogel pads are a lifesaver for sore nipples and are reusable for 24 hours. These cooling pads really helped my bloody and bruised nipples during the first few weeks and I highly recommend them to any mom who is hurting.
This latch assist is a miracle worker for those with flat or inverted nipples. It draws out your nipple so baby can latch and something I used with all three of my babies for the first few weeks until my nipples drew out on their own.
A breast pump is essential for moms returning to work, but also for stay at home moms who might want or need the freedom to be away from baby for longer periods of time. It's also important if you'll be exclusively pumping for a baby who won't latch or supplementing with pumped breast milk. An electric breast pump is a no-brainer and works far better than a manual pump (at least in my case).
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most insurance plans to cover the cost of a breast pump. Check with your insurance on breast pump coverage to see which options are available. I used a Medela Pump in Style for my first two babies but I'm excited to try the Spectra with my 3rd as it's all the rage in my Moms' Facebook groups.
You'll for sure want to invest in some comfy nursing bras. I loved the ones that slide over for night time nursing (like these). I'm excited to share this little known bra, which is a huge time saver for those who need to pump and nurse.
If you are heading back to work or pumping to build up a freezer stash, you will want this bra. This option provides the ability to be hands free for pumping without needing to switch bras. Pumping is boring, not to mention uncomfortable to hold onto bottles while pumping. Being hands free allows you to scroll your phone, read a book, or even work on a computer.
You'll want to invest in some nursing friendly tops. While you can simply wear a nursing tank under any shirt, it's nice to invest in a couple of cute tees like this one. Believe me, having a nursing friendly wardrobe will reduce the stress of what to wear, especially when you are heading out into public.
Aside from these products you’ll want to make sure you have a water bottle and snacks handy. I swear as soon as I start nursing I am so thirsty. There are so many fun ideas for breastfeeding stations if you search on Pinterest.