Breastfeeding a tiny little human is the most rewarding and challenging thing I have ever done. One might assume that breastfeeding is this harmonious, natural thing that both mom and baby will instinctively know how to do. Sometimes it is. And yet very often it is not.
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Breastfeeding is a journey, and like any journey you should prepare ahead of time. Get all your supplies prepped and have them on hand so when the time comes and you NEED something, you’ve got it covered.
I am an avid breastfeeding supporter. When I had my first daughter breastfeeding did not come naturally for me. I had a horrible lactation consultant, no friends or family members who had breastfed and practically no help with figuring it all out. The amount of anxiety I had, trying to make breastfeeding work was intense! I don’t want this to happen to anyone else who wants to nurse their little ones.
This list below contains all of the MUST have items for a new Breastfeeding mom. Or if this isn’t your 1st rodeo, check it out anyways. There are a few new items that have been introduced since I nursed my 1st baby that I included on the list as well.
A breastfeeding mom can get hangry (hungry and angry)
A breastfeeding mom need lots of extra calories, lots of extra hydration. Feed yourself. You need easy and healthy snacks. With my first daughter my letdown caused me to feel nauseous. I had to have a snack (even in the middle of the night) to fight the urge to puke. Prepackaged, healthy granola bars were my favorite. I discovered Kind bars when I was nursing and they are still my go to snack.
For hydration this Kingso water bottle is awesome! It is BPA free, stainless steel and leak free. It does not sweat!! It keeps drinks cold for 9 hours and hot for up to 18! So you can take it to bed and never have to get up at night to get a refill. I got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond in some really cute prints but you can grab one on Amazon too.
Breastfeeding can be painful.
In the beginning you have to deal with milk coming in which frequently ends up causing engorgement. Boobs that feel like bowling balls! Awesome! Clogged ducts are fun too. Did you know that you have milk ducts in your armpits and those can get clogged too? Some women even lactate from their armpits. Yikes.
These awesome Lansinoh Thera Pearl 3 in 1 Breast Therapy pads are a lifesaver. They can be heated or cooled. The best part is you can just stick them in your bra. No need to use a huge heating pad that heats up your whole chest. Seriously. This is a must have item!
These weren’t around when I had my 1st baby but I loved them so much with my 2nd. I gift these to every new mom I know.
Breastfeeding can be REALLY painful.
Cracked nipples… Do I really need to go into detail here? Both my daughters had trouble latching. After the issues with the first one I can assure you that its much better to have supplies on hand and not have to ask dad to run out for creams or soothies.
These are Lanosinoh soothies gel pads for breastfeeding moms. You are made of this awesome cool (like temperature cool) gel and they just stick over a sore nipple and well, soothe it. They are good for 24 hours so you might want to get a few sets.
Lanolin cream from Lanosinoh is also a fantastic product to have on hand!! Its safe for using even while nursing and you don’t have to worry about wiping it off. This is my favorite brand although there are tons of others out there. I’ve tried a few more but some left permanent greasy spots in my bra. Not cool.
Grace Story: I hardly ever refer to the above product as Lanolin, I totally call it nipple cream. They give you this stuff for free in the hospital (but you will go through it like its candy). I ask my husband to call the nurse and ask them to bring me some “nipple cream” assuming he knew what I meant. He called and really asked for “nipple cream” The nurse laughed and he was so embarrassed.
Breastfeeding can get messy.
There is literally nothing worse then being out in public and having leaky boobs. Unless its winter time and you have to walk around with a wet bra and shirt…. that’s way worse. I hated using the disposable pads because they always stuck to my nipple. Supper horrible having to get yourself detached.
Reusable nursing pads are awesome. These from M&Y come in two sizes, if you are unsure just go with the bigger ones. You can also get the fun colors or just plain white. I love that this set comes with a bag to wash them in!!
I do REALLY love to shop small and there are TONS of shops on Etsy that sell these pads. So many cute patterns to choose from.
Breastfeeding can get Uncomfortable
Sure a baby starts out weighing under 10 pounds but that baby starts growing pretty fast. Holding and feeding a new baby can really start to take a toll on a breastfeeding moms back, neck and arms. Nursing pillows really help take the pressure off mom. Plus its a great tool to help older and younger people hold the baby!
The Boppy Nursing Pillow is my favorite nursing pillow. Firstly it’s very popular so you can get it anywhere. Amazon, Target, Babies R Us. Secondly it works wonderfully, from newborn until whenever…. I am still using it when I nurse my 15month old. It’s also a great little propping pillow when the baby starts to sit up. It comes in lots of different patterns and textures. It’s just an all around lifesaver.
I always recommend that you take your nursing pillow to the hospital with you as well. Its a great support to help your visitors hold your brand new baby!