If you read my previous post, you would know that I am such a huge breastfeeding advocate for many reasons. And because of this, although I’m no expert, throughout the years I had many friends asking me what I thought a mom would need if she decides to breastfeed. Well to be honest the main thing is your boobs and a baby but I guess there are a few essential items which personally helped my breastfeeding journey and they kind of made the whole experience of breastfeeding more enjoable.
Breast pads: with my second baby somehow I forgot how much your boobs actually leak when you breastfeed and at the beginning I convinced myself I could do without them. WRONG! Unless you like walking in public with two big stains on your top (which happened to me more than once!) then you definitely need them. And please don’t go for the cheapest ones as you really would like something soft on your delicate skin
A comfortable nursing bra: this is a must! Not only choosing the right nursing bra makes breastfeeding easier but when your breasts all of the sudden become ginourmous, it’s essential that you choose a bra that offers great support. One of my favourite (cause you need at least 3 in my opinion) is Anita Maternity one which has a flexible underwire and it’s very soft to the touch. The bra allows you to unclip just one side so your baby has an easy access to your boob, plus it has a wide band which ensure a good support which it’s great news for your back. When you choose a bra make sure you get ther correct size so opt for a professional fitting service where they can advice you how to pick the correct cup size which is essential to avoid blocked ducts.
A breastfeeding pillow: when I was breastfeeding, I found having a pillow to support my baby just fab. The first few days I didn’t have one and my back hurt like crazy even my arms which were holding the baby were sore. My mum went to buy a round nursing pillow and what a difference it made! Breastfeeding all of the sudden was very comfortable either if I was sitting on a normal chair or on the sofa, feeding was definitely much more relaxing.
Nipple cream: especially in the first few months of his life, your baby will be attached to your breast most of the time, therefore it can happen that your breast will feel sore and show cracked nipples (ouch!). Although I didn’t have major problems, I found Lansinoh cream worked very quickly to relieve the odd pain and I could carry on breastfeeding without feeling sore and knowing that the cream was fine for the baby too.
Breast pump and a bottle: after giving birth, if you are lucky, you will have tons of milk and sometimes it’ll perhaps be too much so if you want to avoid the feeling that your boobs are about to pop, then it’s better getting a breast pump to release a bit of tension in your breasts. Whenever you need, using a breastpump will up the supply of more milk too.
Muslin squares: I used a lot of these, like a lot! For burping, to catch a bit of spit-up which with my daughter was never ” a little”, to wipe your baby’s mouth after a feed. They are great and trust me you will still use them when you start weaning your baby, to dry dribble when baby is teething, to soak any kind of spill, just get them.
Nursing shirt/dresses: the beauty of breastfeeding is that you can feed your baby whenever and wherever you are so to make it more practical, having a top which opens pretty easily is a must. I especially love the tops which like the nursing bras, have clips which allow you to drop down just one side. I’d include night gowns with buttons as well for all the late/night feeds.
One thing I bought but hardly used was a rocking chair. I really, really wanted a rocking chair and I bought a lovely wooden one with white cotton covers, it came with a little stool to rest the feet . Unfortunately it did not make the breastfeeding experience more comfortable, I found the arms where just too low so I literally had to lift the baby up to nurse him. The actual seat was pretty small and if I wanted to stretch my legs a bit more, I’d have fallen off the chair. My rocking chair just looked good in my bedroom and that’s as far as it went because it really didn’t do the job to me and I sold it after only one month.
I hope you will find my suggestions quite useful. I’d like to add that you really should use whatever item you feel is right for YOU and just breastfeed the way you find it more comfortable for you and for your baby.