Simply put, breastfeeding is hard. I can confidently say it’s probably one of the hardest and most frustrating things I’ve ever done. I had planned to nurse my firstborn, but being as inexperienced as I was, it just didn’t work out. When kiddo number two came along, I was determined to make breastfeeding work and I did; but the first few months were hard. And now with kiddo number three, here I am nursing again. Even after successfully breastfeeding my second child for over a year and a half, getting started with my youngest has still been difficult. The good news is that there are products available that make the process a lot easier and these are my six essentials for a breastfeeding mom.
~Thank you to Lil’buds for providing a sample for review. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own.~
1. Nursing Bras
This may be a no-brainer, but breastfeeding moms will literally live in their nursing bras. There are some nights I don’t even bother with pajamas and just wear my nursing bra to bed. This is one essential that doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, either. In fact, the ones I am using now were purchased at Burlington for around $8 each. They’re comfortable, cute, and serve their purpose.
What I look for in a nursing bra are that they’re made of a soft material, are stretchy, supportive, and easy to clip and un-clip with one hand. It’s pretty amazing what a mom can do with one hand.
2. Nursing Pads
It’s only a matter of time before a breastfeeding mom starts to leak. It can happen when you get too full, when you hear your baby crying (or another baby crying), one side can leak while feeding on the other, etc. Leaking happens!
My absolute favorite nursing pads are Bamboobies. What I love most about Bamboobies is that their unique heart shape make them less noticeable in my bra. The round shaped nursing pads, even those with cinched middles, show horribly through my bra and shirt.
3. Nipple Cream
The first week, at least for me, has been the most painful (until teething starts). You and baby are trying to work together to get a proper latch, but sometimes it takes a bit to get it together. An improper latch causes dry, cracked nipples and man do they hurt. Nipple cream will help to heal your nipples and prevent them from becoming dry and cracked in the future. Any brand of nipple cream will do and they should all be safe for baby to put in their mouth.
4. Breast Comfort Packs
When milk supply starts coming in, your breasts always feel warm; but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use some more warmth or even cool compression to help ease some discomfort. Lil’buds breast comfort packs can help with both!
Want to warm your milk ducts to ensure you get the most out of pumping or feeding? Need some relief from clogged ducts, mastitis, engorgement, pumping, etc.? Lil’buds can be heated in the microwave for a warming effect, or chilled in the freezer for a cooling effect. And since they’re filled with flax seed, they’re an all-natural product.
After feeding my little one I love using my Lil’buds out of the freezer. The cooling effect feels nice when my breasts are warm all the time from milk production. Their shape is perfect for slipping right into my nursing bra. No matter where I want coverage or how much coverage, I can use one or both at the same time and they form well to the curves of a breast.
5. Breast Pump
Even if you are exclusively nursing from the breast, it’s a good idea to have a breast pump around. Pumping can help build up your milk supply initially and help relieve engorgement in between feedings. It can take a few months for your body to equalize to the point it only produces as much as your baby needs, based on how often they come to the breast. But until you get to that point, there’s a chance you may overproduce or even under-produce. Pumping can help with that. And for those moms who overproduce all the time, a breast pump will be your best friend. I can only imagine how much engorgement would be caused when the milk builds up.
I’ve tried fancy and expensive breast pumps in the past, and personally I don’t find them necessary. Right now I’m using the Lansinoh Double Electric Breast Pump and it’s doing just fine. I like that it’s small in size, so it’s easy to take wherever I need to. It doesn’t need it’s own separate carrying bag, like some others. It may not look like much, but it also has different settings and it doesn’t cost $300+.
Last, but not least, water. Not only does water intake help with milk production, but when I get to feeding or pumping I get a thirst like no other. So I find it helpful to always have water nearby when breastfeeding.
Do you have any other breastfeeding essentials?
*I received a sample of Lil’buds to help facilitate this post. This post contains affiliate links, in which I will receive a small commission for your purchase. As always, opinions are still 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand. Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand. Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.