Thinking about breastfeeding? Check out this post to learn what breastfeeding essentials you’ll need to ensure and easy success!
When I was pregnant with Ryan, I knew nothing about babies. I had no idea how I wanted to raise him, what my vlues were going to be, how we would handle sleep – none of it. But one thing I was pretty sure I wanted to do was breastfeed. I feel very blessed that from day one with both boys, breastfeeding has been a breeze. Ryan latched on (literally) minutes after being born, and Owen has always been a good eater. I nursed Ryan through 2/3 of my pregnancy with Owen and I didn’t even have the normal pain or soreness. Lucky, I tell you.
Since I knew nothing about babies, much less breastfeeding, I found myself searching the interwebs non-stop to soak in any and all information I could. I’m not going to lie – in regards to the ‘practical’ advice, in my opinion you can do all the reading in the world – it probably won’t prepare you. But what I did find useful, were the lists from been there, done that moms with their own personal breastfeeding essentials.
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In my own list, you’ll find some pretty basic and expected breastfeeding essentials, with some different ones that I found super useful but you may not think about.
Nursing pillow – There are a few different kinds of nursing pillows out there and I’ve tried two – a Boppy and a Brest Friend. I would recommend both for different reasons – a Boppy is nice because it’s versatile. It can be used to nurse or lay baby in on a flat surface which is really nice. BUT I felt like it ‘deflated’ very quickly and there was a gap between the pillow and me that Ryan well into a lot. As for the Brest Friend, I LOVE that it has a clip so that it goes all the way around you, so no gap and you can stand up/move around without having to readjust a lot. I love that it’s firmer and bigger, so Owen sits up higher (though my friend has a bigger baby and said that her daughter got too big for it quickly, so keep that in mind) and there is also a pocket which is perfect for a water bottle, your phone, or a spit up rag. I don’t love how single sue it is, though.
Snacks! – You guys, nursing hunger is real. Even though everything has settled more or less 5 months in, I still have days where I’m just hangry all day long. Be sure to keep easy to grab snacks on hand at all times, since there will probably be days when anything more than a quick snack here and there is difficult.
Water cup – In addition to being hungry, you’ll be thirsty like you’ve never been in your life. Grab the biggest cup you can find that also has a straw and a lid. With Ryan I used this Aladdin cup, which is nice since there is a handle, and with Owen I used a Starbucks cold cup. BUT Alex bought a Yeti recently and I’m definitely obsessed. Either way, definitely get a giant cup.
Breast pads – Buy a few small packs of a few different brands and decide which ones you like. I like the Lansinoh brand as well as the Johnson and Johnson brand. The Johnson and Johnson brand is basically a wild card – they’re a little thicker, but I like the shape and how well they protect from leaks.
Breast Pump – If you’re in the US, your health insurance should provide you with a breast pump (as far as I know). I have this one and I like it well enough – I don’t really have experience with other brands so I can’t really give any other recommendation. I will say, I like how you can get these bags and pump right into them for storage, rather than dirtying a bottle and they pouring it into a bag to freeze or refrigerate.
Lanolin – Please do me a favor and don’t buy this – the hospital will provide you with some! I ended up with 4 bottles somehow… and trust me, you don’t use a ton! I have this brand.
Bottles and Pacifiers – Even if you’re adamant about not using them, grab one or two bottles and 2 types of pacifiers. It’s hard to know what your baby will or will not like before he’s here, and you never know if you”ll have to pump and bottle feed a few times for whatever reason. (for example, I needed to take a steroid and had to pump and dump for 4 hours after – inevitably, Owen woke up hungry 30 minutes in and needed a bottle.) Also, more than one paci! Ryan refused a paci after a few weeks, but he when he did he took Avent. But Owen hates those and likes the more traditional style (buy MAM glow-in-the-dark pacis – you’ll thank me.) It pays to have a few options on hand for tough moments.
Nursing Clothes – My top 3 nursing clothes essentials are a nursing bra (I like this Coobi one right after for engorgement <– the most comfortable bra ever, and Gillian O’Malley underwire ones from Target when you want to feel a little more human.) shelf camisoles, and zip up hoodies. Be sure to check you this post of what to wear when breastfeeding in the summer – a lot of the tips are applicable year round.
So tell me – mommas, what are your breastfeeding essentials? Were any of these a surprise to you? Did I leave any out? Let me know in the comments!
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