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If you’re a new mom, breastfeeding may take some getting used to. Having the right supplies and accessories can make the difference and ensure you have as comfortable and successful a breastfeeding experience as possible. In this post we share 10 of our top breastfeeding essentials for new moms.
10 Breastfeeding Essentials
When breastfeeding for the first time, there’s a lot of learning happening – for you and your baby. The last thing you need is discomfort and stress at this time. We selected these essentials because they remove some of the stress of breastfeeding, allowing you focus on what is most important – getting baby the nutrition she needs.
1. Supportive Nursing Bra
Nursing bras have cups that can be unhooked and pushed down, making it simpler to reach your breasts when breastfeeding. A decent nursing bra will give you support and comfort throughout the day. It’s not uncommon for mothers to feel like their breasts are heavy or full while breastfeeding, but this usually subsides after a few weeks as your milk starts to produce.
Choosing a properly supportive nursing bra that is not overly constricting will assist in minimizing pressure on your shoulders and back while supporting your breasts. Too-tight nursing bras can cause mastitis or blocked ducts, according to research published in the Journal of Perinatal Medicine in 2012.
2. Breastfeeding Pillow
Support your infant with a comfortable nursing pillow that raises them to your breast level. Nursing pillows are super handy. There are useful for moms who have larger cup sizes, are recovering from C-sections, or are nursing twins. Nursing cushions can also assist you while you explore other breastfeeding postures, such as the side-lying position, which is a lifesaver for exhausted new mothers!
A nursing cushion should help relieve tension in your back, neck, shoulders, and arms – making feeding time a more pleasant experience for you.
3. Nursing Pads
Breast pads, commonly known as nursing pads, are soft, disc-shaped pieces of material that may be inserted into your bra to collect any milk that leaks out of your breasts. Leaking is fairly common during the first few months as your milk supply adjusts to baby’s needs. If you don’t leak, that’s okay – it does not imply you aren’t producing enough milk.
Breastfeeding is an important part of life and nothing to be embarrassed about, but accidents happen. And we know that leaks can lead to awkward situations and conversations. Avoid all that by getting some nursing pads. Really, it’s just one less thing to worry about.
4. Breastfeeding Clothes
When you’re on the go with your baby, you want nursing to be as easy as possible. In addition to a nursing cover, specialized clothing for breastfeeding can make all the difference. Breastfeeding tanks, blouses and dresses have flaps or openings in the front that keep your breasts easily accessible to your little one.
There have been great advances in the style and functionality of breastfeeding apparel in the last few years. Not only has breastfeeding apparel become more discreet, but it can also be very trendy. You can now find nursing attire in a style that fits any occasion, from formal to professional to casual events.
5. Milk Bags and Storage Containers
At some point many moms will need to pump and store milk. Whether its because of a long trip, preparing to go back to work, or just making it easier for your partner to feed baby while you get a good night’s sleep. Breast milk needs to be collected and stored in specially manufactured storage containers. These containers are constructed to endure repeated freezing and thawing and will keep your milk stash safe and accessible.
Depending on your storage demands, you may use breast milk trays, bags, plastic bottles, food-safe glass containers. Look for BPA-free plastic bags or other containers specifically designed with breast milk storage in mind when choosing storage solutions.
6. Breast Pump
A breast pump is used to extract breast milk from your breasts. They are designed to help extract and collect milk for storage, but speak to any mom who has lots of experience and you will find that there is a lot more to the lowly breast pump. They are used for a range of home remedies – to reduce engorgement, manage excessive milk production, or even boost your milk supply.
You’ll need a good breast pump if you want to return to work. In general, pumping allows you to provide your child the milk they need while they are away from you.
A manual pump may work well for you if you only need to pump occasionally. If you’re returning to work or intend to pump more often, an electric twin breast pump would be a better investment.
7. Nipple Creams, Lotions, and Ointments
Aching nipples are common among breastfeeding moms. Ointments and creams for your nipples may help to soothe, moisturize, and heal cracked, dry, or irritated nipples.
Nipple creams are a bit of an enigma. Several varieties are available, making it tough to decide which one to choose. Many new moms find that lotion with lanolin as its primary component is soothing. Some parents favor natural breast lotions. You may need to test many different ways to determine which works best for you.
8. Nipple Shields
Nipple shields are useful for breastfeeding babies with a weak suck (for example preemies), if you have flat or inverted nipples, or if you are having difficulty getting baby correctly latched.
Nipple shields come in a variety of sizes and need to be correctly fitted.
9. Breast Shells
Breast shells are circular discs that mothers wear between feedings inside their bras. They may be utilized for a variety of reasons. They can be used to improve and correct inverted or flat nipples.
Not to mention, breast shells can also prevent itchy nipples from coming into contact with your clothing. If you’re worried about leaking between feedings, there’s no need to fret; invest in some breast milk collecting shells.
10. Quick-drying wipes and steam cleaning bags for breast pumps
Keeping the breast pump and its parts clean takes a lot of work. Quick wipes allow you to clean the components without using soap or water, which is especially useful when you’re on the go. Steam bags are an easy way to disinfect your pump parts in a few minutes in the microwave.
Having a new baby is an amazing adventure, and breastfeeding can be a significant part of that journey for many mothers. However, it’s not always easy. Difficulties are very common in the early stages of breastfeeding. This can cause anxiety for some mothers who want to do everything they can to be prepared. One way you can prepare is by gathering supplies that can help support and ease your breastfeeding experience.
To give yourself and your baby the best chance for a breastfeeding relationship, take a prenatal breastfeeding class, consult with a lactation specialist pre-birth, and have all your tools and supplies ready to go. Aside from that, try not to worry too much. Every mom can achieve their nursing goals with appropriate care and tools, despite the difficulties they may face.