My decision to breastfeed was a personal choice. Everyone is different, every baby is different and no one should be pressured into choosing one way or the other just to satisfy someone else. I respect all moms regardless of their decision to breastfeed or not.
Aubrey has been breastfed since she was born. My goal is to make it to 2 years breastfeeding her. Breastfeeding wasn’t always a pleasant experience for us. Between latch issues and not producing enough because my body was recovering from me going through Pulmonary Edema, we struggled for the first weeks after she was born and had to supplement with formula 1/2 of the time. Right before she made 1 month my supply started to regulate and we worked past the latch issues.
During these past 8 months I have learned and figured out some things that have worked extremely well for me while breastfeeding. I am not a specialists or a doctor but I have discovered some things that have helped me along my breastfeeding journey.
I hope that my list of my essentials can help any other mother who is breastfeeding their little.
1. Nursing Bra
You will want to invest in a good nursing bra. Make sure they are comfortable and provides easy access for baby. I purchased a set of cotton nursing bras because I knew they would be more comfortable for me than ones with underwire.
2. Nursing Pads
During the first few months of breastfeeding I needed these. Nursing pads help with leaking and they are very absorbent. There are also reusable nursing pads that are washable. I personally preferred the regular throw away nursing pads.
I made sure to keep a few packs of my nursing pads in the diaper bag. I would have random letdowns and even letdowns when I would hear a baby crying and didn’t want it leaking through my shirt.
When we finally got past the latching issues and Aubrey was nursing more regularly I used this 2-3 times a day for a couple of weeks. This cream was a lifesaver, my nipples had gotten raw, sore and started cracking and the lanolin helped to heal them. I really like that it is 100% safe for my daughter and could be used while nursing.
4. Nursing Pillow
My nursing pillow was very helpful in allowing me to hold onto my daughter more easily when nursing. It saved my back and arms from getting tired and sore. After a while we no longer needed to use it for nursing and we started using it for tummy time and helping our baby sit up.
5. Rocking Chair*
We purchased a comfortable reclining rocking chair for my daughters nursery. I knew that I was going to be spending a lot of time in one spot and I had to have something that was comfortable. We purchased a reclining rocker because we could use it in another room once we were no longer breastfeeding.
*This rocker recliner is very similar to the one we have.
You don’t have to have something that reclines but make sure that you have comfortable padding so that you don’t get backaches.
6. Mother’s Milk Tea
While struggling with production issues I started drinking Mother’s Milk Tea in hopes that it wold help to boost my milk supply. I started drinking it twice a day and after the second day saw a major increase in my supply. The taste is not all that great but I added lemon juice and honey to my tea and it helped with the taste.
7. Breast Pump
My breast pump is one of the best breastfeeding essentials I have. I used my electric breast pump quite a lot when we were having latching issues. I was able to pump and bottle feed. The only drawback for me with this pump is that its bulky and not portable.
I tried a manual pump and it was effective but tedious to use. Honestly, my thumbs got sore from manually pumping.
I eventually bought a portable Breast pump that is just as effective as my stationary one. I love that this one is portable as well as small and compact.
**Most insurance companies cover the cost of a breast pump and some even send milk storage bags. Also, hospitals offer pumps available to rent.
8. Breastmilk Storage Bags
These bags are used for storing extra milk. You can effortlessly put them in the refrigerator or freeze them and save them for months. The Lansinoh storage bags are the best I have used. I have tried other brands and my experience was that they leaked. I have never had any leaking or any other issues with the Lasinoh bags.
9. Water Bottle
Breast-feeding has me thirsty all the time. Once my daughter is nursing, its almost impossible for me to move around. So I always make sure to have a bottle of bottle with me whenever I am nursing.
I like to have some kind of entertainment when I’m nursing because sometimes my daughter will nurse for a while. I either play on my phone browsing through Instagram, read a story on my tablet or a physical book. It keeps me alert and I can make sure that she is eating and not falling asleep.
**Make sure to have a charger nearby for your cell or tablet just in case.
I would love to know your thoughts on my list of breastfeeding essentials. Do you have any essentials that are not listed above?