Earlier this week, I shared How I Breastfed for 18 Months. Even though it was a sensitive topic, I think it’s important for new moms to know they are not alone in this crazy journey.
Today, I want to share my Favorite Breastfeeding Essentials. These products have made the last year and a half of my my life so much easier. They may not all work for you, but I would absolutely recommend these without any hesitation to any mom who wants to breastfeed.
If you are struggling with soreness, go straight for this Motherlove Nipple Cream. It costs a bit more than the traditional Lansinoh, but it is worth every penny. One jar lasted my whole breastfeeding experience. The consistency is thinner than the other options, so it goes on gently without rubbing (which is painful for already irritated skin). One of my lactation consultants suggested this product and I will definitely use it again with the next baby.
I went through several months of being sore and I think part of the reason was because I started using the disposable nursing pads. They are designed to absorb leaking milk, but if you have cracked or sore nipples, the disposable pads are like rubbing plastic on an open wound. Save yourself the pain and opt for the Cotton Nursing Pads from the start. I purchased two sets so that I could wear one and throw the other in the wash. This one from Amazon comes with a mesh laundry pouch so you never have to worry about losing them in the wash.
These Motherhood Sleep Nursing Bras were pretty much the only bras I wore day and night for almost a year. They are incredibly comfortable and you don’t have to mess with snaps or closures. I got a few of a different kind that had a racerback, but they put too much strain on my neck. Make sure whatever bra you choose doesn’t have an underwire, as that can hurt your milk supply.
4. Boppy Pillow
There is so much discussion about which breastfeeding pillow is best. I’ll admit I have never tried anything other than the Boppy Nursing Pillow, but I LOVE it! Even though it’s designed for little ones, we used it right up until the end. Because I am tall, it made it easier to hold her up to the proper position when she was little and when she started to grow, it was a source of comfort for her. She knew exactly what it meant when I got the Boppy down. Another perk is that it made traveling and transitioning while on vacation so much easier because she had something familiar in an uncomfortable situation. I definitely suggest bringing this to the hospital when you deliver the baby. We didn’t because I felt silly lugging in something so big, but I had a lot of trouble positioning the pillows correctly in the hospital. Once we got home and I had access to my Boppy, it made a huge difference. If I were to do it again, I would risk looking silly to learn to breastfeed correctly in the hospital with the same tools I would have at home.
If I were to pinpoint one thing that allowed me to keep breastfeeding past that first week, it would be the Hospital Grade Pump we rented from the Hospital. I know that insurance will pay for a home pump (which we also took advantage of), but we struggled with thrush and tongue tie for the first couple of weeks. I hurt so badly that I couldn’t breastfeed at all, so we exclusively pumped for about 3 weeks. If I hadn’t used the Hospital Grade Pump, there’s a really good chance my milk supply never would have increased enough to satisfy her and we would have had to stop breastfeeding earlier than I wanted. Note: We didn’t buy this pump – it was the pump the hospital had available to rent on a one month or three month term.
Those are my Top 5 Breastfeeding Essentials – did you have anything that made breastfeeding easier for you? Share your recommendations in the comments below!
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