1. Bottles- Yes, I know I said bottles. One of the main pieces of advice I have for new mom’s is TAKE BREAKS. This will require the use of a bottle. Your nips might get sore, you may want to go out and do something away from baby, or your spouse wants to have some bonding time. Whatever your reasoning you will want to have at least one bottle on hand. I recommend these bottles as they have worked for me and many other mom’s.
2. Lanolin– YOU. MUST. HAVE. THIS. This product is crucial when it comes to breast feeding. Your nips get very sore and this product works wonders to keep them in tip top shape. If you forgot to get it, ask for some at the hospital.
3. Breast Pump– I can already hear the question, “Why did I need a breast pump if I’m breast feeding?” You need a breast pump for several reasons; First, you need one because sometimes that beautiful little baby doesn’t want to eat and your body says that they do! Sometimes you and baby are not in sync. Your milk will drop and you will be uncomfortable. Especially in the first month when you and baby are trying to find your feeding/eating rhythm. Second, sometimes baby won’t eat as much as your body is producing. This is a tricky situation to be in. Breastfeeding is all about demand and supply. If you demand, the more you will supply. Again, this goes back to you and baby finding your rhythm. In the very beginning (Like, the first month) your body may make more milk than your baby wants/needs. This can lead to mastitis or other extremely painful complications. It’s good to have a breast pump on hand to keep these medical problems at bay while you and baby are figuring this whole breast feeing thing out.
4. Nipple Shield– I have successfully nursed without a nipple shield. Especially if you are a first time mom it may be a good idea to ask for a shield at the hospital. It’s hard to know your size when you are just standing at the store trying to figure out your registry, this is one of those products you can put in the back of your mind to help with breastfeeding if you are having problems or you have especially sore nips.
5. Breast milk Storage bags– I go into why a breastmilk storage plan is important here. But for now, all you need to know is to put these little gems on your registry. They are one of those items that it’s nice to have even if you don’t end up using them. It’s better to have them and not need them, than need them and not have them.
Nursing Attire– If you are really serious about nursing your baby, nursing attire is a must. I love using nursing tanks in place of nursing bra’s. I’m fairly large chested so the nursing bra’s aren’t as comfortable to me as just using a nursing tank. Nursing tanks also cover the every attractive “post baby belly” that we all WANT to show off, right? I love the convenience of nursing attire especially if you are planning on nursing outside of your home. There are lots of ways to discreetly nurse in public. I’m truly not comfortable whipping out my ladies even in a room full of other nursing mom’s. I like my privacy in that way. Which is why I highly recommend investing in at least a few nursing tanks or (if you have the resources) a full on nursing wardrobe.
7. Boppy or Brest Friend– I actually own both of these nursing pillows. The Brest Friend is an essential if you are having challenges breast feeding. If you are blessed to have a baby come out and be a champion at nursing you can get by with just the Boppy. The Boppy also makes for an amazing napping pillow, you know, for when you are sleeping when the baby sleeps. 🙂 My husband actually uses the Boppy as well. It offers great support for his tired arms when it’s his turn to stay up with the baby that will only sleep when being held.
8. Milkies– I have not personally used this product because they were not around when my youngest was born, but i feel I need to add this product to my “Must Have” list because I tend to be an overproducer when it comes to milk supply. I think of all the leaking, and soaked breast pads that I had in the past and it makes me so sad that I wasn’t able to save that milk. Now, there is a way to save that milk and give it to baby at a later time. I have a great system for freezing my milk as well so anything that comes out, a baby will drink. You can read more about my milk storage process here.
9. Breast pads– If you are nursing, you need these. Trust me. Your milk will drop at very inconvenient times. You will leak. It will be embarrassing if you do not have a breast pad in place. Enough said.
10. Soothing Gel Pads– These are a life savor. Even after I have my champion eater I was still sore at times while my body adjusted to breast feeding again. He had a great latch. Didn’t eat too much or too often. But there were times when I was still sore and these were exactly what I needed to keep my nips in good shape so I could continue to be successful at breast feeding.
Did I forget anything? What are your must have items that are needed for breastfeeding?