I loved breastfeeding three of my kiddos. And I’ve been breastfeeding for over a year with my 2-under-2. My oldest, however, was breastfed the least amount compared to his younger sisters. The reasoning? I was young and didn’t have the resources, knowledge, or support that I had for my younger two. Not to mention the tools and accessories for breastfeeding have changed in the past 6 years.
When expecting my now 18-month-old, I knew going in I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for as long as I possibly could. It’s a mindset most mothers have while preparing for their expected babies. The part we don’t consider – the trials that come with breastfeeding. So if you’re considering breastfeeding or just starting, here are my must-haves:
A Haakaa will always be first on my list because this little bad boy right here is a LIFE SAVER! Clog ducted, haakaa. Need a drip pan for your unused boob during feeding, haakaa. Fast let-down, haakaa. Want your baby to get more hindmilk, haakaa. It literally has a ton of uses and it only cost $13 on Amazon. It has different variations if needed, like a stand or a top, but the basic one can do wonders for your mama.
Heat/Cool Compression Pads
I honestly don’t think I would have survived weeks 2-3, when engorgement was at its peak, without Lansinoh 3-1 Breast Therapy Packs. Right before the baby eats or you pump, apply your heat compress to help loses up your ducts. When you finished feeding or pumping apply the ice pack compress to help ease any pain. You can also use them to relieve clogged ducts and mastitis. These compression pads will do right by you and you reuse them even after you’re done breastfeeding.
Nipple Balm/Nipple Cream
If nipple balm is not on your registry or in your house and you breastfed there is something seriously wrong. Just like applying lip balm on your lips to keep them healthy and moisturized, you need to do the same with your nipples. Dry and cracked nipples are extremely painful and put you at risk for infections. Apply the balm after every pump or feed to keep your nipples healthy and moisturized during this time. And no need to worry, nipple balms are completely safe for babies, and tons of options if you want something organic-based, like the Honest Nipple Balm.
While nursing bras seem like a no-brainer item to have, shopping for one is a different story. There are a variety of nursing bras out there to choose from. When picking a bra it needs to be comfortable while accessible. I prefer a seamless nursing bra compared to padded ones simply because their too tight. You want to avoid wearing tight bras while nursing as they could cause clogged ducts/mastitis or even decrease your milk supply.
A Nursing Pillow
Unlike a regular pillow, nursing pillows are shaped in a curve to fit against your body and help support the baby while feeding. Using a nursing pillow allows you to take pressure off your back, neck, and shoulders. And trust me, if you plan to breastfeed for as long as possible you also want to be comfortable. I have a Boppy and have used it with my youngest two and have no complaints with it.
And Lastly, Support
When they say it takes a village, they mean that. And your village could be your partner, your parent, a best friend, a lactation consultant, your doctor, or even a Facebook moms group, or all of the above. Breastfeeding takes a toll on your body and your mind, having people there to talk with is essential. The support I’ve gotten from my family and friends is a huge part of my success. From my significant other feeding me while nursing to my best friend making me lactation cookies when my supply was down, my support has pushed me through those hard times. The Breastfeeding & Pumping Support Group on Facebook has been an amazing group for me as well with women going through the same experience as me.
Sending good vibes to all the mamas on their breastfeeding journeys. ❤️
XOXO – A Busy Mama