There are millions of baby related products out there, but when it comes to breastfeeding, all you really need is a good milk supply and a hungry baby. I compiled a list of my favorite breastfeeding products because, while I could have still done it without them, they all provided me with one important thing – C O M F O R T
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1. Nursing Pillow
I received this Jolly Jumper Boomerang Nursing Pillow as a gift at my baby shower and it has become a staple in my house. It’s more than just a breastfeeding pillow.
During pregnancy it was the perfect shape to both support my stomach and tuck between my legs while sleeping.
I loved it for breastfeeding because it was so versatile. I could fold it half if I needed firm support under just one arm, or lay it across my lap.
The little fold at the end of the pillow case acted as a pocket – perfect for stashing emergency washcloths (ok, let’s be honest, for my cell phone)
The shape was just right for propping baby up at any age. Whether I laid baby on their back or tummy, I found that the “V” shape was better for supporting them than the “U” shaped pillows and I could easily bring the sides in for more security.
It’s so soft! This may be a disadvantage to some who are looking for firmer support in a nursing pillow but I loved how flexible it was compared to a Boppy.
2. Breast Pump
Like many first time moms, I didn’t buy a breast pump before the baby was born because I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to breastfeed but I ended up inheriting a brand new Medela Swing breast pump from a friend. It worked, as in, it got milk out of my breasts. And while the suctioning sounds it made were quite intimidating, I was very happy to have it. But I didn’t have anything to compare it to.
When I was pregnant with my second child, I sold my single pump and upgraded to a fancy double electric pump because I assumed that two was better than one (and it was a great deal). But alas, you get what you pay for and it had no where near the sucking capacity of the Medela. (Didn’t matter anyway because my daughter refused to take a bottle so I never needed to pump milk.)
I went back to the basics with the third one. I knew for certain I wanted to go with Medela again but this time I chose the Medela Harmony manual pump because it had this little feature to help stimulate the nipple which would initiate a let down (super important when your nipples aren’t as sensitive anymore). The manual pump made it easier for me to control the rhythm of the sucking. It was convenient enough to use in the car on long road trips! It’s no-nonsense, no batteries or plugs, easy to wash and portable.
3. Nursing Pads
I had an excess milk supply and an overactive let down reflex which meant that I leaked milk A LOT. Because of that, I tried SO MANY different brands and types of nursing pads before deciding that these Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads in particular were beyond compare.
They are super absorbent. They resembled a full diaper when they were soaked, but they didn’t leak no matter how much milk spilled into them. Like a sanitary napkin for your boobs.
They have a sticker on the back so they stay in place! So simple, but so important.
You can’t see them through your bra. They’re not bulky or “papery” and they don’t have weird lines or patterns on them.
They’re individually wrapped. Not in pairs which is great because I often had to change just one at a time. They’re also easy to throw in the diaper bag, purse, gym bag, even small enough to keep in your pocket
Sometimes they included a free gift (sample) in the box like breast milk collection bags, or individual packets of baby wipes.
4. Nursing Bra
I bought way too many nursing bras. I thought I was going to need them all but what I wore almost every day while I was breastfeeding is one of these tank tops with the built in shelf bras.
If you’re going to buy them, buy them in bulk because you’re going to get milk and baby spit up on them, and you’re eventually going to have to do laundry, but you’re going to want to put another one on right away.
The built in shelf bra is important because you need the support and also something to hold your nursing pads in place (those stickers can’t do it all).
They’re comfortable enough to sleep in.
I wore them as a base layer under all my other shirts so that when I had to nurse in public I just pulled up the top shirt, and then pulled the tank top down to expose the nipple. All that was visible between the two shirts was a small opening (covered by baby’s head anyway) and I didn’t have to fuss with an annoying nursing cover. Not that I cared, but most people couldn’t even tell I was nursing.
5. Breast Shells
No one even told me these existed, I found them by accident. You see… I had incredibly sore nipples (remember the cracked nipple + mastitis?) and anything that brushed up against them felt like razor blades. I was on the hunt for something to help and someone advised me to try nipple shields which I didn’t buy but found these Avent Isis Comfort Breast Shells instead.
I believe the actual function of these things is to prevent flat nipples during engorgement.
They have so many handy breastfeeding-related “functions” like shielding your sore nipples from sandpaper shirts.
They are comfortable enough to sleep in. I would often wake up soaked in breast milk when my babies would sleep in longer stretches so these were a great solution.
The size and shape of them make it easy to collect leaking breast milk. When I was nursing (or pumping) on one side, I would pop one into my bra on the other side to catch the milk that would leak during letdown.
If you sterilize them, you can save that “collected” breast milk because every ounce counts.