Breastfeeding your baby is no easy feat! No matter what society tells us, learning to breastfeed does require patience.
1. Haakaa: This thing will honestly change your life. Not only is it a hand pump, but it can be a total game-changer for building supply! The Haakaa is a silicon bottle shaped hand pump that attaches to your breast by suction and that’s how it removes your milk. I’ve seen nursing parents say things like, “This boob just can’t make more than an ounce,” but when we put the Haakaa on, 3 ounces collected! It takes a time or two to learn how to attach it, but once you master it, you’ll never forget.
2. Hand Pump: I know, I know, the Haakaa is a hand pump so why do you need this? Well, because I suggest using this over an electric pumps for so many reasons like you’re in much more control and the convenience factor is through the roof. You can easily stick a hand pump in your purse and that’s not true about an electric pump.
3. Breastfeeding pillow: This is one that everyone needs, but it’s a matter of finding the right one. There are two that I love. First, the My Breastfriend nursing pillow. It’s firm and wraps all the way around you and is supportive of tons of nursing positions. Next, the boppy. This one wraps around your front, but not all the way around. It’s not as firm so many women need to put a blanket or pillow under it. However, it’s a must-have for your baby to be lounging space and can be a fun addition to tummy time! If you decide to get a different nursing pillow over the boppy, then I suggest ordering the Boppy Lounger (for a safe space for baby and supporting tummy time) rather than the open-bottom boppy.
If you're looking for more information about breastfeeding basics, check out our Breastfeeding Bundle here!
4. Silverette cups: Don’t be deterred by the price. Hear me out, these Silverettes are an investment, but they are pure magic. Silver holds tons of great healing properties like antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. This can be fantastic in preventing things like thrush. They also help heal cracked and sore nipples. They are cooling (you can even throw them in your fridge for extra relief!) so they might just be the answer to your sore nipple problems!
5. Nipple Cream: This one is weird because I go a bit rogue. Instead of traditional nipple butter, I recommend and use Primally Pure Baby Balm for sore nipples. I actually use this baby balm for so much--healing pimples, dry skin or dry patches on my skin, on my cuticles and on cuts & scrapes. It’s made of all organic ingredients (you can eat almost all of them) and smells so good. I also love Motherlove Nipple Cream.
6. Storage bags: These are a must for all that milk your Haakaa is going to collect, plus anything that you pump to build a stash! Don’t underestimate your body before you even give it a chance to do its’ job. Even if this is not your first child you are breastfeeding, this journey will be different than last time. You’re older, it’s a different baby, and you’ve already done this before. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be challenging. I digress.. You are going to want to be able to store the ounces of milk that you pump and the way you do this is storage bags. Here are my fave bags. I suggest taking a sharpie and writing the date + AM or PM like this: 11/4/19 PM. I also love this affordable lie-flat stackable system! Stackable systems are such a space saver if utilized correctly.
7. Sunflower Lecithin: This is a supplement that I always suggest talking to your doctor about if you get more than 1 clogged duct. The way I look at it is, they are preventable. This can be a combination of lots of things like not wearing bras that are too tight and watching your sugar intake, and not going too long in between pumping/feeding sessions. If you have one clogged duct, I give our bodies one slip up. If you’re having recurring blocked ducts, that isn’t right. I mean, just listen to the name--blocked ducts or clogged ducts. Sunflower Lecithin can be so helpful in preventing this. Talk to your doctor about using Sunflower Lecithin to help support healthy breasts and a smooth breastfeeding journey.
8. LaVie Massager: Mastitis is a bitch! The biggest culprit causing mastitis (that we see) is clogged ducts! These two pesky speed bumps can sneak up on you and really throw a kink in your breastfeeding journey (temporarily). You can get a clogged duct from various things like going too long without nursing/pumping, wearing bras that are too tight or that have underwire, and not draining your breasts completely at each nursing/pumping session. You can check out HeHe Clogged Duct Rescue Kit here! One of the best tools for releasing a clogged duct is a vibrator! We love the LaVie massage, but a traditional vibrator will do the job, too! Here’s one for $6 (plus batteries) that has been a lifesaver many times in many homes we serve! If you don’t already have a well stocked bedside table, now’s the time!
9. Nursing Comfort Pads: I love these because they do both, hot and cold! These are lifesavers--- or should I say nipple savers?! Either way, you will not want to breastfeed a baby (or exclusive pump) without these handy things! I also recommend buying a pair or two of these and storing them in your freezer for the first few weeks as your nipples adjust to al the “action” they are getting right after birth.
Sidenote: It’s normal for your baby to feed every 1-2 hours in the first two weeks of life. It’s also normal for your baby to stay latched and nurse continuously for a few hours at a time--this is known as “cluster feeding” and your baby will do it for many reasons. First, they are adjusting to this new life “on the outside” and will find immense comfort in nursing (you’re not creating any bad habits so comfort nurse away at this age). Second, they are sloughing off all the neurons that they no longer need while creating new neural pathways for skills they do need since being born.
10. Nursing Tanks + Nursing Bras: There are so many options when it comes to finding a nursing bra (and tanks!). I definitely recommend purchasing one bra from a few (three to four) different brands and seeing which one you best after your baby is here. Why would you want to wait? Well, your breasts are going to change. They are not filled with milk now, but they will be. They aren’t sore or learning to regulate a milk supply right now, but they will be. They aren't being taken out of your bra every 1-2 hours right now, but they will be. Your milk supply will absolutely impact which bra is best for you, so it’s wise to just wait. The same thing with pumping bras (this allows you to be hands free while you pump because the bra hold the pump in place on your breasts). This Momcozy bra is a multi-use bra that is a nursing and pumping bra, plus it’s so soft! This bra is like a sports bra, but made for nursing! Finally, this nursing bra has thicker straps to accommodate bigger breasts or anyone who needs support for their back. This Motherhood Maternity bra is nursing friendly and appropriate to wear under dress clothes if you’re making the return back to work.
11. Bamboobies Breast Pads: Breast pads are always something that women ask, “Do I really need them?” No, you definitely don’t need them, but they do play a supportive role in this breastfeeding story. Imagine this: you're walking in the grocery store and you notice that people are staring at you. You think they must be noticing your darling new baby. As you’re headed down the bread aisle, another mother with her 2-year old, gently whispers “It’s time to change your pads,” as you walk past one another. Immediately, you think your postpartum bleeding has bled through your pants like a middle schooler in math class. You hightail it to the restroom only to discover the front of your shirt is soaked with breastmilk! You think to yourself, “How did I not feel that?!” So… you don’t need breast pads, but they are handy. I particularly love Bamboobies or these bamboo breast pads that are so soft and come with a handy wet bag to store used breast pads throughout the day.
12. Legendairy Milk Supplements: This is one of my go-to’s, my first defenses, my staples. I absolutely love Legendairy Milk and I have seen their supplements completely turn around so many nursing parents’ journey. Their supplements are made from organic herbs and ingredients! I also love that they are a US-based, women-owned business. They have 10 different formulas for you to choose from to achieve your exact breastfeeding goals! Their supplements support things like increasing the fat content in your milk and increasing supply as well as supporting the mammary glands! I’ve linked a few of my other favorites in our Amazon Storefront so you can simply add to cart and be on your way!