I wish I had this list of breastfeeding essentials when I started nursing.
Please let me start by saying, I believe fed is best. Babies and mamas alike need to be happy, so whether its formula or breastmilk, pumping or breastfeeding, football hold or standing on your head, you have to do what works for you!
That being said, just like with so many other items surrounding babies, I was overwhelmed with breastfeeding supplies. After two kids and a lot of trial and error, I have comprised a list of the top five things that helped me find success in my breastfeeding journey.
1. Nursing Pillow
Before having kids, I thought these things were a total gimmick. I mean, come on, do I really need a pillow just to feed my baby? Answer: YES. A nursing pillow is absolutely a breastfeeding essential. I make big babies, like, incredible hulk big. Holding all that weight upwards of ten to twelve times a day gets heavy. The Boppy pillow saved me. I preferred using a “football hold” to feed my kids thanks to my large chest. The Boppy made it possible and is, therefore, on my list of breastfeeding essentials. When we moved into a two story house I even picked up a second one so I would have one on each floor and it was totally worth it. Bonus- when your kiddo is learning to sit you can put it behind them so they don’t topple over like a ton of bricks.
2. Nipple Cream
Alright ladies- I know I’m not the only one. Nursing, especially in the beginning, was PAINFUL. I didn’t realize that my first had a bad latch and, by the time I did, my nipples had paid the price. Luckily a friend recommended one of my favorite products that made it to the top of my breastfeeding essential list and I still use today- Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter. Yes, it’s a mouthful but this stuff is amazing! It smells great thanks to the coconut oil which also helps in the healing process. Best part- it doesn’t need to be wiped off before nursing. I saw this as a huge benefit, especially at 2am.
3. Nursing Cover
Now I know this one isn’t on everyone’s breastfeeding essentials wish list. If you’re comfortable nursing without one, mad props to you! Between the football hold requirement and my previously mentioned large chest, I just wasn’t. I struggled with a muslin blanket for a few weeks before I stumbled across this nursing cover on a diaper run. The Bebe Au Lait nursing cover is genius! The adjustable collar has a small plastic hoop, allowing you to see your little one as you nurse. They come in a regular cotton as well as a muslin material which was seriously amazing during the hot summer months. My nursing cover allowed me to feel comfortable wherever I was and allowed my kiddos to focus on the task at hand.
4. Reusable Nipple Pads
I realized very quickly into my nursing journey, thanks to an oversupply, that I needed to find nipple pads. I tested out a few disposable ones before realizing they just weren’t for me. There was something about the feeling of, for lack of better term, a menstrual pad on my nipples that made me less than happy. A friend loaned me a few sets of bamboo cotton nursing pads and I was instantly hooked! They have amazing absorbency and are so soft…a true breastfeeding essential! I very rarely leaked through even in the early days when I was engorged. Pro tip: always keep an extra set on you, even when you’re not with your kids. A crying baby in Target set me off and luckily I had an extra set in the car.
5. Nursing Bras
Finding decently cute nursing bras for a large chest is no easy feat. Everything I found either offered little to no support, or was just plain hideous. After A LOT of very expensive trial and error, I hit the jackpot of all breastfeeding essentials at Allure Intimate Apparel. Not only do they have a great selection of nursing bras, they can also convert any regular bra into a nursing bra. Yes, that’s a thing and yes, it is amazing! The ladies there are also so kind and professional. The experience of shopping at Allure is something I look forward to, which I don’t often say about bra shopping.
Breastfeeding is a personal journey. It can be overwhelming in the beginning especially but these ten items saved me. I hope they will help you too!
What was your most used breastfeeding essential?