When it comes to breastfeeding, the most important thing is to remain determined. Breastfeeding can be a challenge for many women. Between cluster feedings, growth spurts, and comfort nursing, you can feel like a dairy farm sometimes. Here are the ten best breastfeeding accessories, to make it easier on you and keep you determined!
Top 10 Breastfeeding Accessories
Why Do You Need a Breast Pump?
Even if you never plan on using a bottle to feed your child, you’ll still want a small breast pump, just in case. Some reasons for needing a pump can include: relieving engorgement, away from baby, and baby having trouble latching.
If you’re away from your baby for a few hours, you’ll want to pump for missed feedings. You pumped for missed feedings so you don’t become engorged and get mastitis; also, if you don’t tell your body that you needed to empty at that time, your supply will drop.
Types of Breast Pumps
There is many different sizes, brands, and kinds of breast pumps out there. Honestly, it can become overwhelming at times. First, you’ll want to decide what kind you want, then size (meaning double or single). Before you pick a brand, i recommend doing some thorough research.
If you’re not going to pump that often, a single manual pump would work for you. Although they can be exhausting at times, it’s convenient to be able to use it anywhere. Manual pumps don’t require batteries or a plug in. The haakaa is a good choice for a manual pump. You place it on your breast, and suction it. After its suctioned on, it pumps you, letting you be hands free!
If you’re going to be away from your baby often, whether it is for school or work, i would suggest an electric double pump. This kind of pump will be helpful by saving you time. You can do both sides at once, and some even come with a bra to let you be hands free. If you plan on exclusively pumping, this is also a great choice. The Spectra is a good pump to consider.
Why Do You Need a Nursing Pillow?
Nursing pillows are a godsend in my opinion. It takes stress off of your back, and your arm won’t fall asleep during that long nursing session. All you do is place the pillow around your torso, and place the baby on top of it. You’ll have some mobility of your hands with a nursing pillow. If you’ve ever had a two or more hour nursing session, you’ll understand why this is a must have.
The most popular brand of nursing pillows is Boppy. I absolutely love my Boppy. It’s comfortable for my baby and me. I even double its use by sitting her up in its opening so she can relax and hang out. Boppy pillows come in a variety of colors. You can also purchase extra covers for them to switch it up once in awhile!
Why Do You Need a Nursing Cover?
You’re eventually going to have to feed your baby in public, it’s inevitable. If you’re more reserved and feel uncomfortable nursing in public, a nursing cover would be good for you. I personally never bought one. I did look into them a lot though, just in case I decided I would need one. I’ve only ever covered up twice while out, and I just draped a receiving blanket over her face.
Types of Nursing Covers
1. The Poncho
The poncho cover is lightweight and covers your front and back. You can usually pick from multiple designs and fabrics. It’s easy to fold up and put into your diaper bag. The downside is that it can be difficult to see your baby if they unlatch.
2. The Apron
The apron cover looks just like an apron, it is a large square of fabric with an adjustable strap for around your neck. The apron is good if you like to keep an eye on your baby while they eat. One downside to the apron cover is that it doesn’t cover your back.
3. The Scarf
The scarf is the one I would buy if I were going to buy one. You can wear it just like a normal scarf, and take it off and unfold when it’s time to nurse. Some come with buttons and others let you tie it around so that your baby is cradled. With many designs and fabrics available, you can find one to match outfits!
What are Nursing Bras?
Nursing bras are just like other bras, except they have clips on the straps. You unclip it and fold the cup down so that your breast is easily accessible. Many come in different styles and colors, so that you don’t have to surrender style. You can usually choose from ones with underwire, no underwire and sports bra looking ones. Nursing bras were made to make it easier to access your breast and feed your baby faster.
What is a Baby Sling?
A baby sling, or also known as a baby wrap, is just what it sounds like; it’s fabric that you wrap around you, in a certain way, to carry your baby. There are many brands out there, so do your research before you choose one. A lot of them come in many different fabrics, colors, and designs. Some brands even come in different sizes.
Why Do You Need a Baby Sling?
If you place your baby into a baby wrap, it would give you the ability to feed your baby while having your hands free. Hands free feeding is good because you can get other things done. Let’s face it, some days you feel like you need to have eight hands just to get everything done. Plus, it keeps your baby nice and close to you. Babies love to be held close and cuddled. This accessory is a win win for any mom.
What Are Breast Pads?
Breast pads are placed inside your bra so that you don’t leak onto your clothes.Whether you have a strong let down or not, you will leak. It seems that you always leak at the most awkward times too.
Types of Breast Pads
Cloth breast pads are made to be reusable. Ideally, you can buy about six to ten of them, and hopefully never have to buy more. You place them in your bra, and let them do their work. When they are pretty full or soaked, take them out and replace. Many of them are machine washable so that you don’t have to hand wash. On Etsy, they have a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, designs and fabrics. You can even make your own!
Disposable breast pads are available at almost any store that has a baby department. They usually come in two choices: heavy duty and thin. I opted for the heavy duty because I would soak through a shirt within ten minutes. I use the Nuk brand, and I’ve never had an issue. They have adhesive on the back so that it will stick and stay in your bra all day long.
Milk Storage Bags
What Are Milk Storage Bags?
Some breast pumps come with bottles that you can place into the freezer or fridge without transferring your pumped milk. For the pumps that don’t, you’ll want to buy some storage bags.
Why Do You Need Milk Storage Bags?
Even if your pump does come with freezable bottles, I would suggest still buying bags. As convenient as it is to just set a bottle in the freezer, it takes up a lot of space after a while. When you use bags, you’ll want to make sure all of the air is out before you seal it. And then place it flat down in the freezer to freeze. You’ll save a lot of space! Plus, most come with a spot to write what time you pumped, what day and how much is in each bag.
What Are Nursing Clothes?
Nursing clothes were designed with you in mind. You spent your whole pregnancy waiting to fit back into your clothes. Now that the baby is here, you need to pick your outfit based on how easily accessible your breasts are. Nursing clothes let you keep your personal style, while still making it easy to nurse. You can choose from dresses, shirts, vests, nightgowns, tank tops and many more clothing options!
Why Do You Need Nipple Cream?
Unfortunately, many mothers experience cracked, sore, and bleeding nipples while nursing; especially during the first few months. If you’re having any issues with your nipples, you can try nipple cream to soothe your pain. Always read the directions before use, you want to make sure it isn’t toxic to your baby if left on too long. Also, if you are having any issues with nursing, you can always contact an IBCLC.
Why Do You Need Nursing Vitamins?
Even though you had to take prenatals your entire pregnancy, you’ll still want to take them if you’re breastfeeding. Your baby will still be taking important nutrients from your body through your breastmilk. Continuing prenatals or starting new vitamins made for nursing mothers will help keep you healthy as well.
Being a mother is a full time job. If you’re breastfeeding you can feel exhausted sometimes, just as every mother does. These accessories are meant to help you and make it easier, Keep nursing mommies!