In honor of World Breastfeeding Week I am bringing you some of my favorite breastfeeding essentials. What works for me might not work for you, but hopefully my insight will help you find what is best for you!
First thing you need is a baby, and some lactating breasts. Hopefully you can check both those boxes! If not, you might be in the wrong place 🙂 In reality baby and lactating breasts are all you really need. Everything else is fluff, fancy, comfortable and useful fluff, but fluff none the less. Here is my essential fluff! I have tried many different products in each category and am only telling you about my absolute favorite ones. If you don’t see something on my list, leave a comment about it and I will definitely let you know my thoughts.
A comfortable, supportive, well fitting nursing bra. If you are pumping as well you will need a pumping bra. I personally LOVE the Arden All in One Nursing and Pumping bra. Like LOVE it. I gift it to all of my pregnant friends. I tell every new mom about it. I LOVE this bra! It is a nursing and a pumping bra, and it is cute! You can read about my experiences with it and decide if it is the bra for you, but take my word, it is.
You may also need a sleep bra. With my first baby I leaked everywhere all the time. I needed a bra on at all times, with nursing pads inside, in order to not make a mess. I LOVED Pea In The Pod’s nursing sleep bras. They are so soft and so comfortable. With my second baby I preferred to sleep sans bra but still wear these around the house. And out of the house if I am being honest! They are not super supportive, they don’t make my breasts perky, but they are comfortable and offer some support. I wear them out more often than I would like to admit!
Since I leak so much, nursing pads are a must for me! Cake Maternity Cup Cake pads are super soft, super absorbent, reusable, washable nursing pads. I love that I can add as much or as little padding as I need depending on the time of day. I do not have to have day pads and night pads, I simply add more padding at night! Plus they are soft and eco friendly. Can’t go wrong there!
My oldest was lip and tongue tied, and we used a nipple shield for over 2 years. (Read all about that here!) While I was nursing her the NippleNest was a must have. If you do not use a nipple shield this will not be a must have for you, but if you do use one, BUY THIS NOW! Seriously, it will take so much stress out of your life! NippleNest allows your nipple shield to dry inside of it and keeps it from getting yucky in your diaper bag or even on your counter. I wish I had it from day 1 of using the nipple shield.
I absolutely love my nursing pillow, Luna Lullaby Bosom Baby. I have used this with my oldest, 3 1/2 years old, and with my youngest. The pillow is still super supportive and useful! My husband cuddles up with it, my toddler lays in it, and it makes a great maternity pillow! But I digress, the Luna Lullaby Bosom Baby nursing pillow is, by far, the best nursing pillow ever created. I also give this to all of my pregnant friends. It allows you to have support in any nursing position and is super comfy! It is great for tandem nursing!
Nursing clothes are a must. When baby wants to eat, baby wants to eat NOW! I love my Savi Mom nursing shirts. I love them so much I own one in every color. Yup, that’s love! Super comfortable, easy boob access and hides the postpartum belly. Love is all around!
My final essential is good snacks and LOTS of water. It takes a lot of energy to make milk, mama needs to eat good quality snacks and drink gallons of water! I love my Energy balls, they are super easy to make, taste great and will help boost your supply. I make a double batch and, between my 2 kids, my husband and myself, they last 2-3 days tops.
The final, final essential is support. Every breastfeeding mom needs support. La Leche League, some friends who have successfully breastfed, an online support group, supportive family. Whatever and whomever it is, find them and cling to them! Breastfeeding moms need all the support they can get. Saturday is The Big Latch On. Find your local one, meet some mamas, find your tribe!
While it is not an essential for every mom, those who need to pump will most definitely find a pump is essential. I have tried over 8 different breast pumps and my favorite, hands down, is the Spectra S2. The S1 is great too, similar to the S2 but has a portable battery. This is the only pump you need!