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My favorite gifts to give to new or expecting mothers are things they may not have known to register for. When people get married, I buy from the registry. But for babies? You legit don’t have a clue what you really need until the baby arrives! I especially like to purchase things they will help the new mama be successful with breastfeeding. I’ve said it many times: breastfeeding ain’t easy. And by having some essential items you can better set yourself up for success (you can also read this post for my tips to help create a successful breastfeeding experience!)
Here are my favorite breastfeeding supplies, along with why I love them 🙂
1. Boppy: My Boppy pillow is a must-have for every nursing session. I know different women are built differently but for me I always struggle to get the baby high enough on my body and the Boppy provides that cushion to bring the baby to my breast with ease. It also is just very comfortable and makes the nursing session a more cuddly experience! While it’s possible to nurse without using a Boppy pillow, I know I always prefer to have mine on hand! Here’s a link to the boppy.
2. Lansinoh Cream: There are many different types of creams on the market but I’ve always been a fan of the Lansinoh brand. I pack it in my hospital bag and use it! My nipples tend to crack easily so airing them out and applying the cream often really helps prevent that from happening as well as heal it when it does occur. I continue to use it after each nursing session for several weeks (or longer!) and continue to keep it handy just in case.
3. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is like “the thing” right now! It has SO many uses and benefits and I have found it to be a wonderful tool to use while breastfeeding. It works very much like lansinoh cream for the healing process. I discovered it when I had thrush (you can read how I used it to treat the thrush here!) and continued to use it up until I weaned my baby at 13 months. I applied it before each nursing session. Not only does it have health benefits for the baby but it helped create a barrier to prevent thrush, helped make an easier latch, and prevented biting from occurring! Coconut Oil is the jam!
4. Booby Tubes:
4. Booby Tubes: This is one of those items that you don’t even realize how much you’ll love it until you need it. It works similar to a sock full of rice, but it’s in the lovely shape of a breast. It fits over the nipples and can be comfortably worn under a bra. It can be heated or kept cool (I like mine cool so I keep ’em in the freezer). They are excellent to use when engorged (use them warm to encourage let down prior to feeding), work out a clogged duct (you can read more about that here!), and for the weaning process!
5. Milkies: Breast milk is liquid GOLD so you want to be able to save and store as much as possible. You use Milkies by wearing it on the breast you aren’t nursing from. It collects the milk that leaks and really helps to boost that stash! I make sure to mark all the “Milkies milk” since it’s all fore milk rather than the more nutritious hind milk and then I mix the “Milkies milk” in with milk I’ve pumped! It’s a HUGE help when you need milk stored up for travel or for going back to work!
6. Nursing Cover: Right now there is a huge movement to normalize public breastfeeding. While it’s great to see women who are proud of nursing their babies, I’m personally a fan of a nursing cover. I don’t nurse in public often (I prefer to pump a bottle to bring along with us) but I found myself needing the nursing cover many times throughout my breastfeeding experience. I like to even have it at the hospital so I can nurse while people are visiting. I especially use it when pumping! I’ve taken it in the car and pumped while my husband is driving and also have pumped sitting in my seat on a plane while watching a movie thanks to my cover! I love the kind with the wire that creates a gap so you can see your baby (or pump) with ease!
7. Breast Pads: Something people don’t often talk about is the leaking that occurs between feedings. I actually typically start leaking while still pregnant and continue to leak some even after I fully dry up! I’m a milk making machine haha! I’ve used MANY brands of breast pads and this is one area where name brand is worth it. The worst feeling in the world is having your sore nipple stuck to a cheap breast pad and having to rip it off. NOT fun! I love the Lansinoh brand of pads! I wear them in my bra at all times, making sure to change them out often as it’s an easy breading ground for thrush to develop. (Worried you might have thrush? Here’s how to combat it!)
8. Pump: I’m a firm believer in a top dollar breast pump. So many women WANT to continue to breastfeed but struggle when returning to work. A good breast pump can make all the difference! Yes, the Freestyle is crazy expensive but it’s SO worth it. I have had to pump all over the world and am so thankful I’ve had such a great pump to make it an easy experience wherever I am! It’s handsfree too which is great for us busy mamas who always have our hands full.
9. Milk Storage Bags: This is another area where name brands kinda matter. Cheap storage bags = ripped bags = wasted breast milk! I like the Lansinoh brand once again for my storage bags. They lay flat which is great for freezing them and storing them! When I was pregnant with my first baby I did a lot of research on the best bags and everywhere I looked Lansinoh was the recommended brand for the least leaks!
10. Feeding Tracker: I know there are apps for everything now but there is just something about physically writing things down. In the early days of breastfeeding it’s important to keep track of so many things: diaper counts, when the last feeding was, how long the baby nursed, which side you left off on. I feel in LOVE with this little book and love to give it as a gift to others as well. It is also great for writing down all those precious newborn moments that you are afraid you will forget and can be very helpful for establishing a schedule (see how I start Babywise from birth here!)
11. Nursing Bras/Tanks: I have a couple “good” nursing bras that offer more support to wear when going out and about but for the most part I LIVE in comfortable nursing bras. I love, love, love these particular ones because they are so comfortable and because they are cut like a regular bra so I can wear them under clothes and they won’t show. Even though I’m done nursing now, I’m still wearing them to sleep in at night because they are so comfy!
My hands-down favorite nursing tanks are from Target (these!). I have every color I think! They are awesome to wear around the house or under other clothes too. They offer easy access but still give some support!
I know many people may have different experiences with breastfeeding but after nursing three babies I have found that these items really make a difference in my ability to ENJOY and be successful with breastfeeding! What are your “must have” nursing items??? Any I missed?