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The Ultimate List of the Best Breastfeeding Accessories
Have you ever put the word “breastfeeding” into the Amazon search bar? You’ll get over 20,000 results!
Doing a search for breastfeeding accessories on Pinterest is not much better. There’s one item I see on a lot of those lists that makes me cringe. I’ll tell you which one that is a little later in this post.
The truth is that you can spend a lot of money on breastfeeding accessories. But you don’t have to.
I wanted to know which breastfeeding accessories were mom’s favorites. I asked moms in breastfeeding support group and on Facebook.
This is what they told me.
These are the items to put on your baby registry.
Accessories for Breastfeeding Ease and Comfort
Breastfeeding pillows are probably the most popular breastfeeding accessory on the market.
I always tell moms that breastfeeding shouldn’t cause a sore back. Let’s be honest, when you first have a baby there are a lot of things that are going to be sore. Your back shouldn’t be one of them.
A breastfeeding pillow will help you position your baby at a comfortable height so you don’t have to hunch over when you breastfeed.
Boppy is the most popular breastfeeding pillow.
A pretty awesome addition to the Boppy lineup is the Boppy two-sided pillow.
It has one firm side that is good for newborns. The other side is softer for your baby as she grows.
It has a belt to keep your baby nice and close to you, but gives you the option to remove the belt if that’s not your jam.
If you’re like me and like variety, you’ll want several covers. (Fun fact, I have over 100 pairs of shoes! Eeeek! I told you I need variety).
If you’re looking for an organic pillow the Nesting Pillow is filled with buckwheat hulls and covered with organic cotton.
My Brest Friend gets top reviews. It is nice and firm and has good back support.
I once saw a mama in a grocery store breastfeeding her baby in a front carrier the entire time. Baby was content and mama got her shopping done. Gotta love a multi-tasking mama!
She was using an Ergo . If you want a wrap type carrier the Boba or the Moby are good options.
For moms whose arms get tired or who have wrist pain from carpal tunnel syndrome this is a breastfeeding accessory that can make breastfeeding more comfortable. (Video)
While breastfeeding in a front carrier is probably not something you’d attempt in the first week of breastfeeding, it will get easier as your baby gets older.
This is one of my personal favorite breastfeeding accessories. I have seen what a difference it can make when a mom brings her feet up just a bit.
Don’t breastfeed on your tiptoes! Get a nursing stool like the my brest friend nursing stool.
Who hasn’t had that moment when you looked down and saw two wet spots on your shirt?
A lot of mamas leak when they are breastfeeding.
You have three different options in terms of dealing with leaking.
- Disposable pads. Lansinoh pads are the most popular.
- Washable pads. I personally found these both more comfortable, economical and ecological.
Milkies is a pretty clever breastfeeding accessory. You put them in your bra when you are breastfeeding, or between feedings and they collect any milk you leak. This can be helpful for moms who leak a lot and for moms who are trying to get every drop of milk for their baby if they have a low supply.
Pumping Breastfeeding Accessories
There is nothing worse than feeling like your breasts are going to explode if you can’t get some milk out of them.
An extra hand pump is a great breastfeeding accessory for unplanned emergencies, or when you just need to pump off a little bit of milk.
Emergencies, they happen.
The electricity may go out, making your fancy electric pump useless. If you get stuck in traffic on the way home from work, you may need to pump a little off just to help relieve the pressure. When your breasts are really full it often helps a baby latch more easily if you pump a little off first.
For manual pumps, I like one handed pumps. The Medela Harmony has a very cool feature where it lets you pump quickly to stimulate a let-down. Then you switch to the longer part of the handle to get longer periods of suction to express your milk once it has let-down.
The Haaka Manual Breast Pump gets a special mention. This inexpensive, low tech, manual breast pump is a mom favorite.
It is most commonly used when mom attaches it with suction before she starts breastfeeding and it catches all the milk she leaks when breastfeeding. It enhances milk expression by the suction. It can also be used without breastfeeding.
It is at such a great price point that you may be able to consider getting two or three and keeping them in strategic places. Keep one in the car, one in your diaper bag and one at the bedside or next to your breastfeeding chair.
Hands free pumping bra
This was a game changer for breastfeeding mamas. There’s no denying, pumping takes time.
A hands-free bra can make frequent or exclusive pumping manageable.
Even if you are only pumping once or twice a day, what mama doesn’t need to multi-task? One of these will allow you to do something else while you pump. You can hold your baby, work at your computer, use your phone.
Simple Wishes has the most reviews on Amazon and has a 4.5 star rating. Simple Wishes can be used with or without straps. It is available in two sizes, xs-l and l-plus. and two colors, pink and black.
The Spectra pump has become very popular pump. The bottles it comes with are wide-mouth. These adapters will allow you to pump right into regular bottles or into bags, saving you the step of transferring the milk. Sometimes a little time saved can make a big difference.
Breastfeeding Accessories for Sore Nipples
Sore nipples happen. Even when you do everything right, they can still happen. A lot of moms give up breastfeeding because of sore nipples (Source).
Gel pads for sore nipples
Gel pads were another breastfeeding game changer when they came on the market. They can make the initial period of breastfeeding when sore nipples are common a little more comfortable.
The Ameda ComfortGels are the only brand that I recommend. They aren’t too sticky, which makes a gel pad uncomfortable to take off. They don’t have cotton backing that can get wet when you rinse them off. They don’t fall apart. They can last up to six days.
If you buy two pairs you can keep one in the fridge when you are breastfeeding and have a nice cold pair to put on when your baby is finished.
If your nipples have any cracks or bleeding, get a lactation consult ASAP. If sore nipples don’t start getting better after four days or don’t resolve within two weeks get a lactation consult. Sometimes it’s a quick and easy fix. Honestly, I’ve had moms tell me I changed their life after I helped them make some easy adjustments to the way they were positioning and latching their baby.
Shells for cracked nipples
Sometimes when nipples have cracks they need something that protects them from anything rubbing against them between feedings. I have had moms who used these and they definitely have helped speed up healing time.
The shells for sore nipples is the best option if the crack is located on the top of the nipple. The shells for inverted nipples can be best for the mom with a crack at the base of the nipple. The shell will help keep the nipple protruding and allow it to heal. Talk to a lactation consultant to see if this is the best type of shell in your situation.
Silverette nursing cups are made from 925 silver and are used by moms to help sore nipples. Silver has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties (Source). Although not a lot of moms have heard of them, the moms who have used them said they made a huge difference.
This is the item that I said makes me cringe. I see this on a lot of essential breastfeeding accessories lists.
You should only use a nipple shield under the guidance of a lactation consultant.
A nipple shield is a tool. If it is the right tool for a mom, that’s great, as long as she is using it correctly. There is technique to applying it.
Nipple shields possibly can interfere with your baby getting enough to eat. They can result in poor emptying and stimulation of how much milk you make.
A lactation consultant will help you avoid the risks of using a nipple shield.
There are a lot of breastfeeding accessories.
Some can make the difference between a happy and comfortable experience. Some can be a waste of time, or worse, cause frustration.
This list should help you figure out which breastfeeding accessories are worth your time and money.
Do you have a favorite breastfeeding accessory that is not on this list? Let me know what it is in the comments. Share with my readers how it helped.