Okay, in all honesty, all you really need to breastfeed are breasts and your baby. (This does not include pumping, donor milk, etc., etc.) That being said, it’s nice to have some of these items when you’re first starting out. To make life easier for you, I’ve narrowed down my list to 10 Must Have Items for Breastfeeding.
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10 Must Have Items for Breastfeeding
1. A solid nursing bra
This is important! Make sure your bra fits properly (not too tight as this may affect your milk ducts). Avoid bras with underwires (nursing bras shouldn’t have them anyway, but just be aware). Personally, I prefer to go braless when I’m at home! Makes breastfeeding a lot easier.
AMAZING VALUE ALERT! Three pack of bras, comes with bra extender, clips, and hook and eye closure (so you can do and undo your bra with one hand).
Don’t want to deal with doing and undoing a bra? Check this bra out!
Wrap front allows for easy access (just pull up or down). Super comfy too!
2. A few nursing tops
I like to give myself options: tank top with built in bra, tank, short sleeve, long sleeve. Then I take it a step further: simple wrap/v front, wrap/v front with a “shirt” on top, side openings…give me all the options!
I absolutely LOVE Bearsland tops! Super comfortable, versatile, and stretchy.
Smallshow is also another comfy brand.
3. Nursing Pads
I am super lazy about wearing these but honestly…they’re great. Especially if you’re in public and start leaking! I’ve included links to my two favorites…disposable as well as reusable.
4. A Manual Pump
Even if you rarely pump (like me), there may come a time when you desperately need to. This little contraption is great in a pinch, lightweight, and easy to disassemble and clean.
5. A Milk Catcher
Unless you are tandem nursing (and even then), you will probably (at some point) drip on the side that isn’t currently being nursed on. A total game changer was when I discovered the wondrous Haakaa. This one even comes with a cute stopper!
6. Milk Storage
Once you’ve pumped or caught your precious liquid gold, you’re going to want to store it properly! These are awesome because they are sturdy, can stand up once filled, and are easy to pour out of once the milk has been thawed.
7. Nipple Butter
Two years in and my nipples were like toughened warriors…but in the beginning…they needed A LOT of TLC. This is great for soothing chapped or sore nipples.
8. Hot/Cold Pack
These go hand in hand with the nipple butter. Bonus that it can be frozen or heated!
9. Nursing Pillow
I love the Boppy because it’s so versatile. In addition to using it to support babe while you are nursing, friends and family can use it on their laps to hold baby. (This came in so handy for people who wanted to hold Nugget or Peanut but were nervous.) I’ve used the Boppy for tummy time or to help prop baby sitting up. It’s so comfy, I’ve even caught Hubs and Sox using it during naptime!
Another great option is My Brest Friend (love the name!).
10. Nursing Cover
Nine times out of ten, I will nurse without a cover now. For one, neither of my girls appreciated having their heads covered while drinking. They end up kicking it off (LOL!) and it’s one extra (sometimes cumbersome) step for me. When baby wants to eat, baby wants to eat NOW. I am 100% for the normalization of breastfeeding. If it makes you feel uncomfortable, please don’t look!
When I first started breastfeeding in public, it was all so new and overwhelming to me. It was nice having a little “security blanket” of sorts.
You don’t technically need a nursing cover…but sometimes they come in handy. So I like to always keep one in the diaper bag.
This one is super cute, can be worn as a poncho type thing AND doubles as an infant carseat cover. (Talk about versatile!)
This one is like an apron for your upper body…with a bit of extra breathing room for babe.