Hey mamas and mamas to be!
I just had baby number three and I’m a birth worker; so, I find myself always being asked about my breastfeeding ‘must-haves’.
Now, there aren’t any true ‘must-have’ items for breastfeeding. Barring no medical complications, all you need is your breasts, your baby, and a good latch to breastfeed.
However, there are some items that enhance the experience and make things more convenient and enjoyable. So, I thought I’d put together a list of my absolute favorites. Now, this is not just a regurgitated list. This is an actual list of breastfeeding items that I use regularly, and that I often recommend to my closest friends. Check it out.
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- Nipple Butter. This small but mighty item is top on my list because it’s helpful for both those breastfeeding a latched baby and those pumping to bottle feed their expressed milk. I’m on my third breastfed baby and nothing I’ve tried compares to this. It does wonders at soothing sore nipples and also allows for a more comfortable pumping experience.
- The Haakaa. This silicone breast pump is lightweight and convenient. As a mom with tongue-tied babies, I find myself often overfull and with recurrent clogged ducts. I love using my haakaa to remove some of that extra milk left behind. While nursing on one breast, I attach the haakaa on the other to catch the letdown. I also like using it in the bath to help me get rid of those painful clogs.
- My Brest Friend. I have numerous breastfeeding and regular pillows. You should see my room, there are so many! I find myself loving a pillow, and then not so much. So, I like having options. Right now, I’m loving the ‘My Brest Friend’ pillow. Its flat memory foam surface allows my baby to rest comfortably during feeds. I also love the strap which allows the pillow to stay in place. I will say, I use this pillow in combination with many other regular pillows, including two pillows behind my back, one under my knees, and one under both of my arms. I spend so much time nursing, I have to make sure I’m comfortable.
- The Boppy. I’m so sad the Boppy Lounger has been recalled, it was definitely a favorite. But, this original Boppy is also nice. I like it because of its functionality. You can use it as a nursing pillow, to prop your baby up when laying, and to help your baby with tummy time. I also really like the bag it comes in. It makes transporting the pillow easy. This is the pillow I travel with because of its versatility.
- Nursing Cover. I’m on baby number three; so, I rarely cover up. That said, it’s nice to have a nursing cover for those times when you’re feeling uncomfortable or when you just want to cover your baby because there are too many people around.
- Nursing Bras. I really like these bras. They are soft and very comfortable, which is what you want if you have sensitive or sore nipples. The stretchy material accommodates my wearable pump nicely. Additionally, they are also inexpensive, with a nice price point to be able to purchase multiple so you can make sure you’re able to wash them frequently.
- Nursing Tanks. While you may be comfortable nursing in public, you may find that not everyone is comfortable with you nursing in front of them. Having nursing apparel allows you to nurse your baby with limited exposure.
- Milk Bags. Many insurance companies are providing free breast pumps. If you choose to pump, you will need to store your expressed breast milk. I really like these bags, you can pump into a bottle and then transfer your milk into a bag or you can pump directly into the bag.
- Bottle Brushes. I’ve used many bottle brushes over the years. But, I really like these. The silicone doesn’t scratch the inside of your bottles and the deep bristles allow for a thorough clean.
- Micro-Steam Bags. In addition to cleaning in hot soapy water, pump parts and baby bottles should be sterilized. These microwave sterilization bags are super convenient and don’t leave the residue that you may see when boiling your parts.
- Drying Rack. Rule number one of preparing bottles, whether it be bottles of breast milk or formula, is to clean, sterilize, and air dry them separately from your other dishes so you can keep them clean for your new baby. I have a dish basin that I use specifically for baby things (pump parts, bottles, toys). After washing and sterilizing, I put all the parts on this drying rack. This works better than a clean towel because it allows for ventilation so the items can dry completely.
- Wet/Dry Bags. These bags are life savers. They allow you to keep your parts clean when traveling and give you a place to store your used parts. I found myself wasting so many ziplock bags before I purchased these reusable bags. I even store my parts in them when at home. After they air dry, I place them in the bags so they can stay clean and ready for the next use.
- Quick Clean Wipes. These are nice when needing to clean your pump parts while out and about. They do a great job of getting that nipple butter or lanolin off of your flanges.
- Water Wipes. These should be top of the list because I use them for so many things. I use them to clean my kids’ bottoms, wipe their faces and hands, and wipe my breasts before nursing on hot summer days.
- Silverettes. I hate to keep talking about sore nipples because nipple damage definitely means something is wrong and should be a sign for you to seek professional help from a breastfeeding specialist or a lactation consultant. That said if you do have nipple damage these work wonders for healing them. They are real silver, so they aren’t cheap, but the healing properties are well worth the cost. Plus, they never need to be replaced.
These are 15 items that I love! I hope you found this list helpful. If you make any purchases, be sure to stop back here to comment your thoughts. Subscribe to our newsletter for more recommendations, tips, and tools to support you along your childbirth and breastfeeding journeys.