It feels like just yesterday that my baby sister and brother-in-law announced that they were going to be parents. As soon as the announcement was made, we hit the ground running and started making preparations for the arrival of baby. This included new purchases, even selling their old home and purchasing a new one, and doing research to make sure that the new mommy and daddy to be would be as prepared as possible when their new bundle of joy arrived.
It was just days after they moved into their new home and we completed some rather extraordinary renovations that my sister’s water broke and we were on our way to the hospital. Though there were bumps along the way, she had a safe and happy delivery and a baby boy joined our family.
Before even leaving the hospital, the baby had met most of the family and my sister had been barraged with advice. The one thing I shared with her was the importance of sleeping when baby sleeps. As the mommy of a little one that suffered from colic when she was little, this was the best advice that I could offer. They took him home and he slept like a champ. However, there was one area where my sister struggled … breastfeeding.
To put it mildly, breastfeeding can be difficult. Really difficult. They hunkered down and went into battle armed with the best information that they could gather in a short period of time. At the end of the day, they were successful. After watching their trials and tribulations, I wanted to do what I could to help other mommy’s that may be in the same position or those considering breastfeeding. What better way to do that then offering a list of some of our must have items?
10 Must Have Accessories for Breastfeeding Moms
(in no particular order)
NURSING SHIRTS and/or JAMMIES
Okay, so this may seem like a no-brainer to some but I am betting a lightbulb just went off for others. Accessibility and comfort are a part of breastfeeding and when I use those two words, I’m talking about for the mom, not just baby. Think about your daily attire, is the shirt that you are wearing now something that would allow your little one to eat with ease? Most of the shirts that I wear don’t have buttons. They don’t adjust easily and they would definitely make breastfeeding difficult.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be something extravagant or expensive. A simple tank top would work. Again, it’s about comfort and accessibility.
This one is a no-brainer and in our minds, a definite must have. Please see above for a detailed description. It’s all about comfort and accessibility. We would suggest that you purchase more than one. We also recommend that you have bras for daytime wear and sleeping. There is a difference and you’ll thank us!
In my world, this is simply called a Boppy, although I am sure there are other brands that sell a similar product. I had one for my daughter and it was a huge lifesaver. This allows you to position baby comfortably during feedings so you will have use of your hands. I would recommend a Boppy to breast and bottle feeders alike.
When my daughter was born, I attempted to breastfeed but was unsuccessful. However, I still kept washable nursing pads on hand. Why? Oddly, our bodies still react to baby. When she would cry or at various times my breasts would still leak. Not enough to feed her but enough to cause havoc.
Let me just note that not all products are created equal. As someone that suffers from sensitive skin, it is important to find a product that works for you. In my case, EcoNursingPads worked like a charm. They offer reusable and washable nursing pads that are made from super soft organic bamboo. This means they are not only super soft and more absorbent but they are also eco-friendly (bonus!). EcoNursingPads are also hypoallergenic and have a leakproof layer. As an added bonus, the more you wash them, the softer they get. Though some may find the idea of reusable nursing pads a bit ick, I would recommend giving them a try. I tried one time use pads and felt like I was just chipping away at our bank account. Not only are reusable nursing pads friendlier to our wallet, they are friendlier for the environment too.
Inhale and exhale, I’m about to make everyone a little uncomfortable. Breastfeeding can hurt. It can cause your nipples to hurt. Think chaffing, cracking, bleeding, and… yeah, you get the picture. It makes sense, a baby is suckling your breast a lot and often and that is a big deal.
There is a solution that is recommended by doctors that is safe for mom and baby, lanolin. Even better, it is hypoallergenic and does not need to be removed before breastfeeding. Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve is absolutely amazing! I believe in this product so much that I add it to every gift basket that I create for baby showers when I know the momma hopes to breastfeed.
The name says it all. Nipple shields are used to protect the nipple during feedings. The shield is soft, thin, and flexible to allow for easier use. It is also designed for baby’s comfort and maximizes skin-to-skin contact.
BIBS and/or BURP CLOTHS
I don’t recall my nephew being as messy as my daughter was but he still burped and he still made a mess at times while eating. For feedings, my sister and I both took the same route. The baby was armed with a bib and mom was armed with a burp cloth. Did you know that cloth diapers make fantastic burp clothes? They are super absorbent and do an amazing job! Just food for thought and we recommend you keep a number of extras on hand. 😉
BREAST PUMP and SUPPLIES
Inevitably, there will come a time when you will need to be away from baby and your little one will need to eat. It may be as simple as being out of the home running errands, the need to return to work, a night out, or maybe your SO and you take turns feeding. Regardless of the reason, a breast pump is a must. Be sure to pick up the needed supplies that go hand in hand with pumping!
Hopefully you didn’t hit the X when you saw this one! I’m not telling anyone how to live or suggesting anything. I just know that there were times when my sister said she felt more comfortable feeding when she had a nursing cover. I’ll leave it at that and move on.
WATER and SNACKS
I know we mentioned no-brainers earlier but this one really isn’t. New parents are tired. They say having a baby changes everything and it does… EVERYTHING! Your whole world is turned upside down, in a good way, but it is upside down all the same. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to eat in the beginning. I was exhausted, always had something to do, and all I cared about was making sure my little one was taken care of. Remember, in order to feed your little one, it is necessary to eat and drink. In order to ensure that your milk comes in and continues to flow, it is necessary to take care of yourself. Be sure to drink plenty of water and eat healthful foods that will fuel baby as he/she grows to be big and strong.
We realize that everyone is different and everyone has different experiences. These are just our recommendations of products that will make breastfeeding a bit easier. Above all else, we recommend finding a calm, comfortable place for feedings that will allow you to enjoy this special time with your little one. Time flies and these precious moments will be over before you know it. Enjoy!
Have a breastfeeding tip? Leave it in the comments below.
Disclaimer: This post is written in collaboration with EcoNursingPads.com. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own. Please note, this post contains affiliate links.