Breastfeeding Essentials. Top 10. (Especially for new Moms!)

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to breastfeeding. I had envisioned breastfeeding to be simple and satisfying as it is portrayed in the media. For a lot of women it probably does come easy, but I created this list because it didn’t come easily to me. I thought I had prepared myself months prior by attending classes and reading book after book. What I really needed was an experienced Mom to sit me down and say, “Here’s what you need in case things don’t go as you plan.” I hope I can be that Mom now and share with you the products I have found to be essential for breastfeeding.

1. Water. Plenty of it! As much as you can muster! I think you all know that more water = more milk!

2. Medela Contact Nipple Shield. Maybe I was just one of the select few who experienced pain from breastfeeding in the first week? Blisters and all... This helped ALOT. It created a barrier while the nipple could heal and toughen up. It also helped with feedings at first because when my milk came in I had plenty of it, enough that my baby would gag! These shields control the flow to baby's pace and allows your milk to adjust to baby's needs. The lactation consultants will never tell you that, I love them dearly but don't let them sway you otherwise. A shield was also mandatory when I was engorged and my baby had a hard time latching to the stiffness! We were able to wean off well in no time too (I'll cover how that happened in another post). Pack one just in case is what I say! It'll save you and baby some tears if things don't go the way you plan. Pay close attention to the sizing, you'll want to measure the diameter of your own nipple. Medium size is 24mm, anything smaller is size Small. Any doubts, amazon has good reviews!
Find here: (also at Walmart)
More info here:

3. Disposable Breast Pads. It can be a messy situation to get the hang of breast feeding, seriously, leaking at baby crying, after unlatching, during showers etc... Plus a good tip is to lather up the pad with some lanolin during that first week (see #8). About day three you'll be really glad you can just throw these away instead of washing them!
Find it here: (also Walmart, Target, etc)

4. Walgreens Infant Gas Relief Drops. We went through a lot of different brands of gas drops and this one was our favorite, she liked the flavor of it what can I say. Also the syringe and bottle are the best, just tip the bottle upside down and insert the syringe and pull down. And yes I did taste all the others... This one tastes like vanilla pudding (the others were yucky fruity flavor). Any gas drop out there is basically the ingredient simethicone and what simethicone does is bind all the small bubbles to make a big bubble, so it is easier and quicker for baby to pass. Do not underestimate how much time is spent burping a baby! We liked giving it to our baby before feeding, the directions say after feeding or as often as your pediatrician recommends. 
Find it here: 

5. Medela Double Breast Pump. This day and age is great you guys. I admit that pumping is a bit awkward at first but the sooner you get over that the sooner you realize the many possibilities available. I pumped at first because I got engorged and plugged. I produced more than my baby was eating and I needed to drain, BAD. It just so turned out that pumping turned out to be quite the blessing for my husband because that meant he could feed our baby a pumped bottle at night time to help me out. The husbands REALLY want to help us and bond with the baby ladies, please let them! Also, don't freak out at the word "bottle", your baby will still latch fine if you're breastfeeding throughout the day, they are smart! I'm in the category of having them know both ways of eating (Side note, the "Sleep Lady" author Kim West said that she fed both her breastfed babies formula at night because it takes longer to digest, thus helping them to sleep longer and get them used to it in case something ever happened to her and/or her milk supply!) It would make the transition easier on the baby for sure, so would having a freezer full of pumped breastmilk! You never know what could happen!) Medicaid covers a breast pump completely. They do run expensive otherwise though... Maybe see if a friend has one to borrow BUT please buy all new bottles and tubes etc. 
Find it here: (also at Walmart)

6. Health-O-Meter Grow With Me Baby and Toddler Scale. I'd say this is the most reassuring breastfeeding device ever! Having this little scale (it really is pretty small) you can do weighed feedings. So you simply weigh your baby before you feed, then breastfeed, then weigh again and viola, you can see how much they drank! I literally went berserk before I had this wondering if my baby was getting enough or getting too little... This scale is heaven sent and on sale at amazon (also heaven sent). The scale also converts into a toddler scale by removing the infant tray. Plus is has a zero out feature and shows two decimal places over.
Find it here:

7. Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags. Simple enough, if you are pumping and have extra, freeze it! Follow the rule of 4. Freshly pumped breastmilk can be set out on a counter for 4 hours, in the fridge for 4 days and in the freezer for 4 months. Do not however take refrigerated breastmilk and put in the freezer. *Only freeze freshly pumped breastmilk*. Let it freeze lying flat and once frozen you can store it much easier!
Find it here: (also at Walmart)

8. Lansinoh Lanolin Cream. You are going to want this for sure during your first week at least. Your nipples "may" get dry, cracked and blistered... And hurt... Sorry ladies it's the truth, aren't you glad I'm telling you though?! Not everyone experiences this but have it on hand just in case ok? It has the consistency of Vaseline but it does no harm to the baby. So right after a feeding apply liberally to the nipples (and apply breast pad over if desired). Fun tip, since this was always by my side I used it as Chapstick as well and loved it!
Find it here: (also at Walmart)

9. Dr. Browns BPA Free Baby Bottles. Just trust me when I say we've tried other bottles... Save you and your baby the frustration of trying out new bottle after new bottle and just stick with this one! The parts inside this bottle make it so the air bubbles get sucked out before they go into your baby's mouth. You literally cannot see any bubbles in the milk while your baby is drinking, whereas all the other bottles you could see bubbles plain as day. Sure the little parts will get frustrating to wash every time, but grab a bottle brush and a nice drying rack and it'll all be worth it.
Find it here: (also at Walmart)

10. Prenatals. Any brand will do, I just posted the chewy kinds because I know a few women who's stomachs couldn't handle the regular kinds, no fault to them. If that is you please don't skip out on them, try these instead. This will insure your baby is getting proper nutrition especially in that first week when there is so much going on you may forget to eat a meal! 
Find it: pretty much anywhere!

Thought I'd add one more! (Not pictured though)
11. Nursing Bra. I don't really have a "favorite" because I currently have a few different ones and there are so many I still want to try BUT I do know they come quite in handy when feeding or pumping. Don't begin to think that you don't need one... I hear Target has some nice ones!

No comments:

Post a Comment