If you’ve decided to try breastfeeding, make sure to keep these breastfeeding must-haves nearby to feel as prepared as possible.
Learning how to breastfeed can be overwhelming, especially as you’re recovering from birth. There are many changes that happen to your body while breastfeeding, and having a few simple tools can help make nursing go smoother.
Also, if at any point breastfeeding becomes overwhelming for you, know that it is okay to end your journey when it’s best for you. Your mental health matters, mama.
Note: deciding to breastfeed is a personal choice, and we believe that fed is best. Make the decision that is best for you and your baby.
Our top six breastfeeding must-haves
1. Patience with yourself and baby
…but know when to ask for help.
Remember that you and your baby are both learning a new skill together, and it may take more time than you anticipated. If you suspect your little one is struggling to latch correctly or you have any other concerns, reach out to an IBCLC lactation consultant in your area.
There is nothing wrong with asking for support – ever!
2. A portable nursing station
It’s helpful to create a small basket of nursing accessories to have close by at all times. We love the pockets and removable insert on this one! Some things to consider adding include:
- High-protein snacks
- A water bottle
- A good book
- Portable phone charger
- Organic nipple cream (we love this brand)
- A small tap light
- Soothing gel pads
- Washable nursing pads
- A manual pump with lid
3. A trustworthy nursing pillow
With so many different nursing pillows on the market, it’s can feel tough to choose the right one. Also, depending on the type of birth you had (vaginal or cesarean), you might have unique needs when it comes to your pillow.
Check out the below nursing pillows:
- My Brest Friend: this pillow wraps around both your front body and low back for extra support
- The Boppy: a classic nursing pillow that’s multi-use and comes in a variety of colors and patterns
- Eterly Butterfly: because of the page-like pillows, you get extra-custom support with this one
- The MiniMoon: we chose this pillow because it’s organic and extremely versatile
Also, if you’re struggling with getting comfortable, consider trying different types of breastfeeding holds to find what works best for you and your little one.
4. A manual pump like the Haakaa
This manual breast pump collects milk from the breast baby isn’t nursing on. You can use it to collect colostrum-rich milk in the early days and then freeze it for later use.
We suggest getting the updated version of the Haakaa with the small base and lid as it’s sturdier and less likely to tip over. There’s nothing worse than spilled liquid gold!
5. A few comfortable nursing bras
Much like nursing pillows, nursing bras very much a personal preference. The bra you end up liking the most depends on your preferences and the size of your breasts. When buying a nursing bra, some important things to look for are no underwire, soft material, supportive but not too tight, and easily accessible for nursing.
Some well-known nursing bra brands to try:
We also scowered Amazon for the best budget-friendly nursing bras and were so impressed with what we found.
6. Clear communication with others
While not always easy (especially when you’re sleep deprived), having a clear and constant stream of communication with your partner is essential.
Remember that being specific in your needs when asking for help can save a fight or two. When someone asks how they can support you, give specific action items like washing the dishes, walking the dogs, starting the laundry, etc. Not only will the other person feel helpful, but more importantly, you’ll feel better-taken care of and less stressed.
Also, when you ask your partner to bring you a drink or snack while nursing, make sure you ask them to open it for you beforehand. Trust us on this one!
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Founded by new mom and self-care author Carley Schweet, Hello Postpartum aims to help fill in the gaps in postpartum care and support. At Hello Postpartum, we aim to create an accessible community where everyone can access postpartum education, research-backed articles, and support tools.