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THE BEST BREASTFEEDING ACCESSORIES
When an expectant mom is preparing for the arrival of her baby she wants to know what she will need for breastfeeding. The lists can be overwhelming. I want to share what you really need. This list is what other moms have said were the best breastfeeding accessories to have.
Have you ever put the word “breastfeeding” into the Amazon search bar? You’ll get over 20,000 results!
And searching on Pinterest is not much better. (There is even 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 find out which breastfeeding products were mom’s favorites. I asked moms in my breastfeeding support group and on Facebook.
They were honest and shared what they used again and again.
This is what they told me.
These are the items to put on your baby registry.
YOUR LIST OF BREASTFEEDING MUST HAVES
ACCESSORIES FOR BREASTFEEDING COMFORT AND EASE
Breastfeeding pillows are probably the most popular breastfeeding accessory on the market. When you nurse your baby it shouldn’t cause you to have 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.
How does a breastfeeding pillow help?
Using a breastfeeding pillow will help ensure your baby is at the proper height for feedings. That way, you don’t have to hunch over when you breastfeed. Hunching over several times a day is going to make your back hurt. Ouch!
Which is the best breastfeeding pillow?
Boppy is the most popular breastfeeding pillow. Mothers love its perfect shape and the way it helps them support their baby. That perfect shape is going to be an extra bonus if you had a C-section.
Because every mom has a different style you can start with a Bare Naked Boppy and and then purchase the very popular Minky cover to make it your own. The covers are available in an array of colors so you can personalize it to your style.
If you like variety, you’ll want a few different covers. Then you can swap them out when you are ready for something new. Having more than one cover is nice when there is an accident and you need to wash the cover. We all know that babies do have accidents.
The My Brest Friend also gets top reviews. Moms love it because it is nice and firm and has good back support.
If you’re a mom who would prefer something organic then check out the Nesting Pillow. It is filled with buckwheat hulls and covered with a soft organic cotton.
RECOMMENDED BREASTFEEDING PILLOW
I absolutely love the Boppy Best Latch Breastfeeding Pillow.
It’s like the Boppy and My Brest Friend got married and had a baby.
If I had designed the best nursing pillow the Boppy Best Latch Breastfeeding Pillow is what it would have looked like.
FRONT CARRIER FOR BREASTFEEDING
Your baby is going to need to eat, even when you aren’t at home.
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. They have high quality carriers with a variety of options.
If you want a wrap type carrier check out these great options.
For a super-easy baby wrap get the Baby K’tan It slips on like a shirt. How genius is that?
If your arms get tired easily or you happen to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome a front carrier is a breastfeeding accessory that can make breastfeeding much more comfortable.
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.
To be honest the nursing stool is one of my favorite breastfeeding accessories. I have seen what a difference it can make when a mom brings her feet up just a bit.
It takes the strain off your back and helps you sit more upright.
Being more comfortable can make nursing more enjoyable. I recommend one to all moms.
It is super easy to put together.
Reusable Bra Pads
Who hasn’t had that moment when you looked down and saw two wet spots on your shirt? In that moment you may be embarrassed. But, the truth is a lot of mamas leak breast milk when they are breastfeeding.
There are different options you can use to help with leaking.
- Disposable pads. Lansinoh pads are the most popular. Moms love them because they wear them once and toss them when they get wet. Then they grab a new one. However, over time these can get expensive.
- Washable pads. Investing in pads that you can wash is not only economical and ecological, most moms find that they are much more comfortable.
- Milkies Milk Collection System – if you leak a lot, I mean a lot a lot, you might want to look into My Milkies to capture your precious milk instead of letting it go to waste.
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 also for moms who are trying to get every drop of milk for their baby if they have a low supply.
For safety, make sure you empty them within an hour or two and refrigerate the milk.
Pumping Breastfeeding Accessories
Extra Hand Pump
There is nothing worse than feeling like your breasts are going to explode if you can’t get some milk out of them.
Having an extra hand pump is a great breastfeeding accessory for when you just need to pump off a little bit of milk. It is also great for unplanned emergencies.
Emergencies, they happen.
- If the electricity goes out it will make 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.
Most moms use it by attaching 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
There is no denying that pumping takes time. Time is one thing that all new moms are short on.
The hands free pumping bra was a game changer for breastfeeding mamas.
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 from over 9000 reviews.
- Simple Wishes can be used with or without straps.
- It is available in two sizes, xs-l and l-plus.
- It comes in a choice of two colors, pink and black.
The Spectra pump has become very popular pump. The bottles it comes with are wide-mouth.
The Maymom Breastmilk Storage Bag 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). What mom wants to be in pain? I’m sure you don’t. Fortunately there is a wonderful breastfeeding product for your sore nipples.
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.
BEST BREASTFEEDING GEL PADS
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 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
If your nipples have deep cracks they need something to protect them from anything rubbing against them between feedings.
Shells definitely have helped speed up healing time in moms I have worked with.
The shells for sore nipples are 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 for different breastfeeding problems. If it is the right tool for the right problem using one is great. as long as you are using it correctly. There is technique to applying it.https://youtu.be/cShTrhwhzMs
Nipple shields have the potential to 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.
One Final Thought
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.
The Ultimate List of the Best Breastfeeding Accessories
Andrea Tran RN, MA, IBCLC
Andrea has been working with new families as an RN for over 35 years and a Lactation Consultant for over 25 years.
She has her MA in Health and Wellness with a focus in Lactation.