So many of you have asked what my breastfeeding essentials were with Wyatt. Although I am no pro simply because I am having my second, many of you have asked me to do a post on what helped me successfully nurse for 16 months. Aside from tons of support, there are certain breastfeeding essentials I have sworn by to aid in that success. I have not been paid for my opinions in this post – these are tried and true items that have been immensely helpful. While I may try a few new things this time around, these are the staples that helped with my first experience.
You’ll notice I left an obvious product off of my feature photo – a breast pump. I will be doing a separate post on Getting Pumped About Pumping since so many of you have recently returned to work and asked for advice to help with this huge transition. In the mean time, look into what pump your insurance covers for free and be sure to take advantage of this wonderful program that can save you hundreds of dollars. Additionally, have a spare set of parts specific to your pump in your pump bag. Again, more on that in a post coming soon!
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I promise this will be some of the most crucial $10 you will spend as a nursing mother. This product was a lifesaver at the hospital for the first days of nursing. I applied it between every single feeding the first few weeks and by day 10 the initial discomfort of nursing subsided. I highly suggest using this product with disposable nursing pads (see #2) so that you do not stain your brand new nursing bras and tanks. This product was also great on baby’s dry lips the first few days of nursing (the hospital staff informed me that Vaseline can cause diarrhea when ingested so I used the Lanolin and even breast milk on chapped baby lips!)
These were great as barriers in my nursing bras and tanks for multiple reasons. The first few days I was building up my milk production so I was not leaking yet but they provided lanolin stain protection (see #1). Additionally (this is a biggie!) they helped prevent nipple irritation from rubbing on fabric when first getting used to nursing. Lastly, they provide great sweat absorption. In the weeks after delivery I experienced intense night sweats and get very warm when nursing as my body rids itself of pregnancy fluid build up. The best part? They are washable! Disposables are great but you’ll spend a ton of money buying box after box.
I got these at Target after we were home from the hospital, but wish I knew about these back when I had my shower! I would actually suggest getting 2 sets – one for the freezer and one to warm in the microwave. Using them cold helps with swelling. Personally, I loved them right before bed as they allowed me to sleep on my left side (lots of swelling) comfortably. Remember those night sweats from #2 above? I use them to cool off while nursing – pop them in your bra on the other breast. I used them hot for blocked ducts throughout the day (great after a hot shower). The third use is in conjunction with a breast pump.
I did tons of research when I was pregnant with Wyatt and this bottle did not disappoint! The munchkin LATCH line prides itself on being as close to the breast as you can get. We did not experience any nipple confusion and using them allowed me a little freedom to pump and have others feed Wyatt. The bottle quality was fantastic. We will be reusing them for the new baby.
Edited to add – Lincoln took about 10 weeks to take to any bottle. It is amazing how different children are! He has not been a fan of what worked for Wyatt. We have been using the Lansinoh Momma with great success. The Comotomo was also suggested as a great bottle for breatfed babies.
One of the golden rules of reheating breastmilk is to NEVER use the microwave – it breaks down the nutrients in the milk and heats unevenly which may result in a burn. The kiinde kozii warmer is perfect for use with all storage bags and bottles and heats to the perfect temperature while preserving the nutrients of the goods.
My neighbor introduced me to this awsome invention. You slip it into your bra when you nurse or pump on the free side. When your milk lets down, it can be pretty forceful – why waste all that good stuff in a pad? The milk saver collects the milk from the free breast during letdown. You can easily transfer this saved supply to a storage container or bag. It was truly amazing how much “free” milk I got this way that would have otherwise been wasted.
Staying hydrated is essential to breastfeeding success. This water bottle is large so I know I won’t run out quickly if I am doing errands. I know that if I fill it about 3 times over the course of the day, I have met my goal.
In addition to my yummy Lactation Bites, this tea was a daily staple. I would have one in the morning with my breakfast. It is filled with boobie friendly goodness and did not have a funky taste.
I loved using my Boppy but I think Ev used it even more than I did. He is really tall so the Boppy helped prop Wyatt up to make bottle feeding easier. I often used it as lumbar support too, or as a cozy little nest for Wyatt to hang out in. I honestly didn’t use it a ton with breastfeeding other than those first super-fragile weeks. It can be great for dad too!
As a blogger mom, I love being able to pump and keep my hands free. With this bra, you are able to multi-task!
What are your breastfeeding essentials? Leave your additional suggestions in the comments below or over on Facebook! Again, I will be doing a separate post for pumping so stay tuned.