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Are you a new mom experiencing nesting fever? Do you feel like you need too many baby items? Are pumps, bottles, and burp cloths making you overwhelmed with choosing breastfeeding essentials? Are you looking at your bank account and wondering how are you going to afford it all?
I was in the same boat. However, after my first birth, I quickly realized that I didn’t need half the baby clothes I ended up with.
Preparing for breastfeeding is the same way. You don’t need much to kick off your breastfeeding journey.
Here is a list of fifteen awesome breastfeeding essentials that will help you get started. Not only will they make your breastfeeding journey more comfortable but help it run a bit smoother.
Here are some things to consider for your breastfeeding essentials list.
- Do you have health insurance? If so, will they cover your breast pump?
- Are you planning on going back to work?
- Will you breastfeed and pump? breastfeed only? or pump only?
1. The first breastfeeding essential you need is a breast pump
Truth be told, I loathe pumping! I am an avid believer in breastfeeding on demand. So I very rarely use a pump unless I am at work (a few times a month).
I know this tactic isn’t for everyone, so do what works for you.
Regardless, in the beginning, a pump is essential in increasing your milk flow. Also, it helps reduce engorgement.
If you have insurance you can check to see if they will cover it for you. Otherwise, I have included it here for you to check out.
One reason I like the double electric one is that I can multitask while pumping. I can deal with kids and then be done pumping on both sides in about 10 mins.
2. Nursing bras
Finding a comfortable nursing bra is necessary. Avoid wearing regular bras. In particular, you might experience swelling and soreness once your milk comes in.
For this reason, you don’t want to squeeze yourself into your smaller bras. Doing this might cause mastitis.
Find some supportive, comfortable, and not so tight nursing bras. Their easy access makes nursing anywhere a breeze. I like the bravado brand. You can also try some of their tanks as well to give you easy access.
3. Nipple cream
A really good lanolin-free Nipple cream will help reduce sore, cracking, and blistering nipples. This may be an issue for some women. Especially if you’re struggling with breastfeeding in the beginning.
Many people say breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt. But, at first, it can. Every woman is different. Our breasts’ shape and sizes are unique. The engorgement alone makes it hurt, even with the perfect latch.
Starting out, this nipple cream did wonders for me. Particularly during the cluster feeding madness.
4. Stay hydrated!
As a busy mom, you hardly have time to use the bathroom, let alone drink water. Pay attention to your body’s cues. Don’t ignore your thirst.
Having a good size non-toxic, BPA free water bottle in your nursery or near your pump will remind you to hydrate.
5. Nursing pillow
Surprisingly, You may find that you like nursing in a position outside of the norm. A nursing pillow helps facilitate your positioning.
Furthermore, a nursing pillow offers you comfort when you’re nursing for long stretches of time.
Some babies like to nurse on just one side. For this reason, a Haakaa is great to use on the side baby isn’t eating off of. It helps to reduce your engorgement on the other breast. You can also use it in conjunction with a manual pump.
7. Breast milk spill, aisle one!
Milk storage bags are a must-have. First and foremost these are BPA free. They collect your liquid gold and keep it safe from spills.
Also, they are a great way to organize your stash and to keep it sanitary too.
Make sure to label your bags with the date, so the oldest would be used first.
Just collect, seal, label, and pop in the freezer or fridge ( just note the ideal time to keep fresh milk in the refrigerator is 72 hours. But it can be used up to 3- 8 days. This time is less for premature babies. So check with your doctor.).
8. Milk storage adapters
These adapters are great. It allows you to do your milk collection straight into the milk storage bags. Hence, skipping out completely on transferring it from a bottle to a bag. Therefore, reducing spillage and leaking. Thus, making sure baby receives every drop of golden milk goodness.
9. Nursing cover
I nurse in public somedays, and some days I prefer my nursing cover. It all just depends on the situation, people around, and my level of confidence that day.
If you want your privacy while nursing in public then I recommend investing in a nursing cover.
10. Earth momma boobie tubes
The Earth Momma Boobie Tubes were my saving grace in the first few weeks of nursing.
For one thing, You can warm them in the microwave. Then just place them in your bra for an amazing warm compress. The warmth will help promote milk flow, reduce clog ducts, and assist in let down.
On the other hand, place it in the freezer if you have swelling and soreness from engorgement.
Not to mention, you can also use them at the end of your breastfeeding journey for weaning.
Let’s check out more breastfeeding essentials below.
11. Postnatal vitamins
Staying as healthy as you can is important while you’re caring for your newborn. It’s a happy and exhausting time. You might not be eating or sleeping well.
Finding the perfect bottles will make any new mom go crazy. There are so many to choose from. Since you’re breastfeeding, you have to think about the syle of the bottle. Is it good for breastfed babies? What are the flow rates of the nipples? My brain hurts just thinking about it.
As I’ve mentioned, I breastfeed on demand, so I don’t use bottles a whole lot. But these came in handy on my workdays.
13. Burp cloths
These muslin burp cloths are perfect to help with the spill and cleanups from pumping and nursing. Moreover, if you have a husband like mine who gets weird around poop and vomit. Then these are great. They are wide enough to give you more shoulder coverage for spit ups.
14. Breast Pads
In particular, I find the organic bamboo reusable ones, affordable and great for the budget-conscious mom to be.
15. Lactation Cookies
Many nursing moms go through a period where their milk supply may appear to be lower than normal. For this reason, lactation cookies are a great way to increase your milk supply. Moreover, there are so many recipes you can make your own or try some well-known brands.
Remember you don’t need much to breastfeed your newborn. Just a few breastfeeding essentials and a whole lot of patience and love.
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You can find more tips on Breastfeeding below.