When you are pregnant there are all kinds of things to decide, baby names, doctors, birth plans, nursery designs, just to name a few. One thing I knew I wanted to do was breastfeed, assuming I was able to. So I did a lot of research on what I would need to make nursing happen efficiently. After 3 months of successful breastfeeding, I have decided what I would want to make sure I had for all of my babies when they arrive.
Knowing how much time I spent reading blog posts, online reviews, and looking at products in store, I thought it might be helpful to share what I have decided is necessary for me. There are a lot of variables and a lot of it is preference but you’ve got to start somewhere, and I have done a lot of research to find the best-priced options as well. So hopefully this helps narrow down the options a little!
Soft, high quality breast pads
There are a lot of options here. The first thing to decide if you want disposable or reusable. I went disposable because I didn’t want to worry about another thing to wash at the right time so that I always had clean ones when I needed them. But it could be more cost effective to go reusable. My dislike for laundry won out here though.
I use Lansinoh Ultra Soft Disposable Nursing Pads because they are wonderfully soft and I have never leaked through them. Other kinds I tried either rubbed or I leaked through them after a couple hours. I don’t like to have to change them constantly so I always went back to the Lansinoh Ultra Soft.
2. Nursing Pillow
So having a newborn is hard. I have a history of back pain to begin with and leaning forward to breastfeed hurts. The pillow brings the baby up higher to where you need him and takes away some of the weight of holding him off your arms, shoulders, and back. Nursing can take 45-60 minutes or more in the beginning each time. Plus burping the baby, bouncing him, and whatever other time you spend holding him, your arms will start to get tired fast.
I have the Boppy Nursing Pillow. Boppy is by far the most advertised and readily available nursing pillow there is. The Boppy does everything I need it to. I also got an extra Boppy Pillow Slipcover so that I would be able to have one on it at all times.
3. Nipple Butter
After reading a lot about different nipple balms and butters, I ended up deciding on Bamboobies Boobease Natural Nipple Balm. I hate to say it but the first thing that attracted me to this one was the fun name. Then I read about it and realized that it was a fair price and had everything I wanted, being organic and safe for the baby.
I used it after I nursed Tobias for the first couple weeks and it worked wonders. It helped with the pain and discomfort. I never had and cracking or bleeding so I have to assume it did it’s job!
The only thing I dislike is the little face lotion like bottle. It makes it difficult to get out. I usually got more out by getting it under my finger nails than any other way. But aside from that I have no complaints!
4. Breast Pump
**First I just want to say that most insurance companies cover a breast pump for you minimally if your doctor gives you a prescription for one. So call your insurance company to see what they cover because it may also be some of the accessories and parts that go with it too.**
I got my breast pump for free from the hospital because my insurance will cover whatever kind my doctor prescribes be it handheld or hospital grade. So I have the Medela Pump In Style Advanced. It is a high quality double electric pump. It comes with everything you need to pump milk. There are a lot of other accessories you may want depending on your situation but this gets you started.
UPDATE 2019 I highly recommend the Spectra S2 Breast Pump. I got it with my second and I like it better than the Medela. Both worked well and were easy to use, but the Spectra, in my opinion, was more customizable.
Grab some Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags so you can save what you pump and you are more than set to go. It’s up to you if you also want to use Medela bottles to feed your baby, I don’t because I got bottles before I got my pump and they are not compatible. I use Avent Classic bottles and I just work it out.
5. Something to soothe your breasts
You will want something that will be able to be cold or warm to help relieve engorgement, mastitis, clogged ducts, or whatever you are unfortunate enough to have to deal with. Any kind of relief is wonderful.
I bought the Lansinoh TheraPearl Breast Therapy on a whim and I am SO glad that I did. I kept them in the freezer and popped them right inside my shirt when I needed them. If I wanted them to be hot I set them on the kitchen counter to warm up for about 15 minutes, popped them in the microwave, and they were set to go. It really was a game changer the first few weeks of breastfeeding for my comfort level.
6. Nursing tanks
Having some kind of nursing clothing is extremely helpful. My mom bought me 2 Gilligan and O’malley nursing tank tops while I was pregnant. They are wonderful. I practically live in them at home and brought them to the hospital with me and never turned back. I will wear other tops when we go places but at home and overnight I love these.
**A word of caution.. the black one fits differently than the grey or beige ones despite being the same size. It doesn’t have as much fabric across the bust area. I don’t wear my black one at all because even looking at me straight on you can see the sides of my boobs and it makes me uncomfortable. I suggest trying each color on before you buy them just to make sure they fit the way you want.
But I still recommend them because they are great quality and only $19.99.
Of course, every mom and baby are different so you have to do what works for you. But for mine and my son’s needs, these are the items that work the best.
Let me know what products you like or what products you avoid!