I’ve been wanting to do this post for a while. Breastfeeding has been a huge part of my life over the last 2 years. With E, we successfully breastfed for the first year, until she cut me off. With Baby A, we are currently exclusively breastfeeding, and plan to do so at least until she is a year, if not longer. With both girls I had damage in the beginning and was able to nurse through it. I’ve been a working mommy having to pump at home to get a supply built up for when I went back to work 3 days a week, and then pump in the office. I am stay at home mommy 4 days a week exclusively breastfeeding. I’ve traveled 3000 miles away while I was breastfeeding, had to pump in the airport, the airplane and at the hotel multiple times and managed to bring back about 80 ounces of breastmilk for E. You can read about that here.
So I feel like I’ve experienced quite a few different stages and situations with breastfeeding. So I decided to put together a list of my favorites, hoping to help someone!
You can find all of the items here- these are affiliate links, just click on breastfeeding favorites on the right column. I have personally used all of these items, all of the reviews are my own. I was not paid to review or given any of these products- I purchased them all for myself.
Let’s Start with Everyday Breastfeeding:
1. A nursing cover. If you plan to feed in public, you will most likely want a nursing cover. This is the one I have, and the brand is Balboa- I love it! It has a little pocket to hold your nursing pad, or a pacifier or whatever you need.
2. Reusable nursing pads. You can choose the disposable ones, but these are much more comfortable, and in the end, much cheaper. I throw them in the wash with the girls clothes and don’t have to worry about buying more. They are also organic and do a great job of catching early letdown. These are from Etsy- where there are a ton of choices.
3. Burpcloths- for some reason my girls are messy eaters! I have a forceful letdown, so often both girls would either let milk drip out of the side of their mouths or pull away while milk continued to come… either way my bra usually ended up soaking wet. So I always have a burpcloth with me and tuck it into my bra to keep me dry.
4. Fenugreek- if you’re having trouble with supply, try this and/or milk thistle. It will make you smell like maple syrup, but it does help with supply issues. I took it with A before going back to work to make sure I had enough of a supply built up.
5. A good nursing bra- I have two favorites: one from Target and one from Bravada. The ones from Desintation Maternity are way too bulky for me. The Target one is perfect for everday use, and the Bravada one is great for sleeping or lounging.
On to Pain Management- and believe me, there will be some pain!
6. Nuk cooling/heating pads- I loved these in the beginning. They are great for clogged ducts and sore breast, just warm them or stick them in the freezer and use as needed.
7. Gel Pads- These are a life saver. I had damage with both girls- with E I was able to use a nipple shield, but A didn’t like it, so I had to nurse through the paid. I wore these for a couple of days while my nipples were healing. They felt great and help protect me from rubbing against my bra and making me more sore.
8. Lanolin- a must have, use regularly in the beginning.
If you plan to pump or are going to be a working mommy:
9. Simple Wishes Hands Free Bra- this is a great investment, only about $35. I used to wear it in the morning while pumping and doing my make-up. Occassionally, with my first Freestyle pump, I would walk around the house doing chores while pumping. It just gives you freedom with your hands.
10. Lansinoh Cleansing and Conditioning Cloths- These particular cloths have a touch of lanolin in them, so I use them at work or after pumping to wipe myself down. They leave you feel fresh and clean, not like you’ve just been attached to a pump for 20 minutes.
11. A GOOD pump- invest in one. I have used both the Medela PIS (with E) and now have the Medela Freesytle Advanced. I like them both for different reasons. The PIS is mobile, there is a rechargeable battery and you don’t have to be plugged into a wall… it is great if you are going to be traveling and pumping a lot. I feel like the Freestyle has a little but better suction though. Each work great for me! I am able to get 2-5 oz out of each breast each time I pump.
Storage and Travel:
12. Simpliss Breastmilk Storage System- this is a great storage solution for milk bags- which I used. I didn’t like using the bottles to store in my fridge, they just took up too much room. So I would pump into a bottle- put it into a storage bag or freezer tray depending on how I was going to use it, and store it. You can rotate the bags as needed and it holds 6 full bags of milk. It also comes with a little funnel.
13. And of course- milk storage bags: I prefer the Lansinoh for the price and quality they are the best I’ve found. I ordered them on Amazon’s subscribe and save program and got three boxes at a time for about $14 with free shipping.
14. Silicon Freezer trays- I will create a post about how I store all of my milk. I invested in these Annabel Karmel freezer trays and seriously LOVE them. I use them now to freeze my milk, and when A is older will use them to freeze homemade baby food. They have lids which make them easy to stack, and after the milk is frozen you can pop out the cubes and put them in freezer bags. Then when needed, only take out a few cubes at a time.
15. A Soft cooler- if you plan to travel and pump, this cooler was perfect. I was able to pack it in my suitcase on the way to NY, then use it as a carryon when bringing back all of my milk. I had no leaks and not only was my breastmilk still cold after the 12 hour trip, but there were still chunks of ice frozen.
So, those are my most used items- there are more of course. A boppy would be another one, I just didn’t use it that much so I didn’t include it. Hope this helps, is there anything I left off that you used regularly?