There is a common misconception that breastfeeding is easy. It’s really not. There is a ton to learn and not a lot of time in which to learn it once baby arrives. There are some things that make breastfeeding a lot easier. I would recommend getting these before you have your baby. Here is my list of breastfeeding essentials. By the way, these items would be a perfect baby shower or new mama gift if put them in a cute basket.
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- Work with a Lactation Consultant: Yes, it’s worth every penny. Speaking of pennies, if you have insurance there is a good chance that it covers a lactation consultant! Take advantage of that. I visited one when Aiden was five months old. I really wish I would have gone sooner, if for no other reason than for her to tell me I was doing it right. We worked with one while we were in the hospital, but it was more general information and they were working with all the other new moms so there was not a lot of personal attention. You can find a lactation consultant through your OBGYN, pediatrician or by using the International Lactation Consultant Association’s consultant finder. If you are part of a local mom’s Facebook group you can ask for recommendations there too.
- Lansinoh Therapearl 3-in-1 Hot or Cold Breast Therapy: These are great. You can heat them up to encourage let down, or freeze them to help with soreness. They are reusable so that gets extra points in my book!
- Coconut Oil: This stuff is a lifesaver. I have written about it a few times, but seriously, if you are breastfeeding you need it! You can use coconut oil directly on your breasts after feeding to help with sore or irritated nipples.
- Reusable nursing pads: There are two types of nursing pads. Disposable and reusable. I prefer the reusable ones because the disposable ones remind me of wearing a period pad…They also have the added advantage of being better for the environment and are easy to clean. I love these fun unique nursing pads, or you can get plain ones.
- Nuroo Nursing Scarf: I love this nursing cover. It looks like a scarf so it is not so obvious, and you can wear it several different ways. This is a must if you plan to leave the house and nurse your baby.
- Nursing tanks: These tanks from Target are the best. They are very comfortable while providing easy access for feeding. They also have sports bras that make breastfeeding easier. While you are at it, you should get a hands free bra for pumping. My favorite is the Rumina. It’s like a sports bra so you can wear it all day and not worry about coverage issues. I find that it runs a bit small so size up!
- Water bottle: When I am breastfeeding I cannot stop drinking water. I am constantly thirsty, but water is also very necessary for milk production. This motivational water bottle from Etsy is perfect — I find it’s always easier to drink more water if you have a cute water bottle and I love the water tracker.
- NursElet: This nursing bracelet is genius! When you are feeding your baby you use this to hold your shirt up so it’s not all over the place. I don’t know about you, but I had some back pain from being hunched over and trying to hold the shirt up. The NursElet solves that problem! When you are not feeding, you wear it on the wrist of the arm of the side of the last breast you fed on, so you know where you left off. Like I said, genius! It is also made in the USA by a mom which is wonderful because I love supporting mom-owned small shops. The NursElet also comes in lots of great colors and patterns– so cute!
- Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers: I read this book during my pregnancy and I am so glad I did. It provides a lot of great information.
- Kelly Mom: This website is great. It has everything you need to know about breastfeeding!