When I was pregnant with my first child, I remember all the doctors and nurses going on and on about the benefits of breastfeeding. One benefit that would always come up was that breastfeeding was free and would save you more money compared to formula. While this is true since all you really need to breastfeed is a baby and a breast, I later found myself finding so many more things to purchase. Some items were useful and others were not. There are many items I wished I had heard about before I gave birth. Here are some items you may find helpful.
1. Nursing Pads
You will absolutely need these! Especially in the beginning. I do not know if there is anything more embarrassing than leaking breast milk. You can choose from disposable nursing pads or cloth ones, but make sure you pack these in your bag for the hospital. Later on, you will find that you may not need them as much or may be able to do without them all together, but definitely have them in the beginning.
2. Sleepy Bra
This will be helpful in keeping those nursing pads in place while you sleep. It is also very comfortable and feels like a t-shirt. Not something you want to walk out of the house with as it does not provide much support, but nice for bedtime.
3. Nursing Bra
When you are out and about, you will want to nurse with comfort. Get some bras that allow you to nurse without totally getting undressed. You may have to buy new bras anyway while you are pregnant because of your size change, so make sure you get a good fit and one that allows for nursing with ease.
4. Pumping Bustier
For all the mamas who use a double electric pump, you need this! I could not believe this did not come with my electric pump. After I got one of these, I got another for work, and another for a friend, and another for a baby shower. Who has time to be sitting there holding the bottles while pumping? This make things so much easier. You are free to multi-task while pumping or incorporate manual expression for maximum production.
5. Booby Tubes
These are neat little darlings that can be heated up in the microwave and then placed in your bra or pumping bra to help the milk flow. They can also be put in the freezer to help ease the pain for mommies who are dealing with engorgement.
7. Nursing Shirts
While not totally necessary, they are pretty cool. There are tons of specially designed shirts that are made for nursing mothers.
9. Milk Storage
For milk that will stay in the refrigerator, labeling lids were the best. It’s so much better than masking tape. Just turn the lid to the date and time of day it was pumped. If you plan to keep the milk over a week, it needs to go in the freezer. You will need special bags for frozen milk. Also, a good ice pack will keep milk cold and fresh for up to 12 hours.
And the one thing I didn’t really need
This is one thing I thought I would use often. However, I soon realized it was not as useful as I thought. The more I nursed in public I realized that the cover irritated my baby and she was always trying to pull it off. It serrved more as a distraction than as a tool for privacy. My toddler now uses it as a super hero cape so it has not gone to waste.
Ladies, what would you add to this list? What items did you find to be essential when you were breastfeeding
Angele is a wife to a wonderful creative husband, mother to two beautiful intelligent daughters and a lover of art, education and laughter. She is the creator and author of ABC remix.