It’s easy to get caught up in all the products available on the market for breastfeeding. While breastfeeding is considered “free”*, there are definitely some products you will want to consider buying to make your breastfeeding experience easier. I tried quite a few different products before finding the ones that I felt were actually worth the investment. I hope these must haves for breastfeeding help you!
My BrestFriend – early nursing days
The first few days of nursing were really tough for us. Newborns are floppy and I was healing from a c-section. This nursing pillow allowed me to position my daughter easily for nursing. I ditched this after probably the first week when I felt comfortable having her across my body. This pillow was great for doing the football hold nursing position.
I did a lot of research about breast pumps while pregnant. Of course Medela and Spectra are really popular and well known brands, but I decided to try the Motif Luna. I read through the limited reviews I could find online and they were all positive. I wanted a pump that was quick, efficient, and quiet. This pump met that criteria.
When I was in the hospital, I had to start pumping since my daughter lost just over 10% of her birth weight and they had me use their hospital grade Medela pump. It was confusing to use. The Motif Luna pump is much more straightforward for me. My pumping sessions last 10 minutes and if you’re curious (because I know I was when I first started pumping), I use settings: Massage 60 cycles, 05 level; Expression 46 cycles, 05 level.
I went through Aeroflow Breastpumps to get my breast pump and it was paid for by my insurance.
One last note about this pump, I had to use my warranty since it wasn’t saving my settings in the memory when I unplugged it and I felt that the motor wasn’t always working 100%. I reached out to their customer service and they replaced my pump within the same week. Great customer service and fast turnaround.
Nipple butter and lanolin and coconut oil
This was the magic combo for me to survive the early days of nursing. I still believe to this day that my daughter has a mild tongue tie that was enough to cause a lot of discomfort for longer than usual. Earth Mama Nipple Butter and coconut oil were my go-to’s most of the time. When I felt a lot of discomfort, I would reach for the lanolin. After every shower, I would apply coconut oil and then lanolin. By 8 weeks old, I wasn’t needing any of these as often. I still use the nipple butter for pumping. I recommend trying these and seeing what works for you!
Sleep nursing bra
I had ordered sleep nursing bras from Amazon while pregnant. Once it was time to wear them, they seemed too stiff for me to comfortably nurse in. I decided to try the sleep nursing bras from Walmart and I love them. They are soft and I can comfortably nurse in them. I removed the padding that comes with them.
During my pregnancy, regular bras became really uncomfortable and I needed to move up a size, so I decided to purchase nursing bras to be ready. These nursing bras are so comfortable. I bought the two different styles. These are so comfortable, affordable, and they are easy to unclasp for nursing.
Soothies Cooling Gel pads
These were a blessing to have. The early days of nursing were so rough for me and this was the only thing that would soothe the soreness at times. I highly recommend having these on hand because you will definitely want them if you experience soreness.
Reusable Nursing Pads
Speaking of nursing pads…you will want pads that are reusable. I didn’t leak much, but when I did, it was at night and I used these nursing pads. Reusable nursing pads are better because they are more breathable and less likely to cause thrush. I would just throw them in with my normal laundry or the cloth diaper laundry.
Everyone loves the Haakaa because it effortlessly collects breast milk from the side babe isn’t feeding on. However, I had a lot of trouble with the Haakaa. I have a “just enough” supply and I didn’t really leak, so the Haakaa never really collected much for me. The reason I do believe the Haakaa is a must have though is because it can help release clogged ducts. I kept getting clogged ducts for the first several months. I would put epsom salt and warm/hot water in the Haakaa and then attached it. It’s supposed to draw out the clog. It definitely helped! I’m so glad I had this even though I couldn’t use it as a milk collector. I’m hoping it will work better as a milk collector for my next babe. Also, do yourself a favor and get the Haakaa with the suction on the bottom and lid to avoid spills!
PS. Breastfeeding is not “free” 😉 I’ve read that a year of breastfeeding can add up to at least 1,800 hours. I believe it. You will spend money to make nursing more comfortable or easier. You will spend your time nursing your baby. Your body will make the milk and provide all the nutrient baby needs for the first 6 months of life. It’s hard work, but it is worth it if it’s working for you and your family.