Breastfeeding can be such a special experience for moms and babies, but it is important to set yourself up for success! Here are a few of my favourite must-have items & tips to help you on your journey!
Seriously, the most essential item I had when breastfeeding my babies. Getting your baby positioned properly is key to a good latch, and a nursing pillow will make this WAY easier. This also allows Mama to get more comfortable which is so important when it comes to your neck and back muscles. You nurse your baby for a lot of cumulative hours, and setting yourself up with good posture will help you in the long run.
Keeping your nipples in good condition is important, and if they get cracked or sore, a quality nipple cream is going to be a lifesaver. I would recommend having cream on hand with lanolin in it is a great idea. It is great for protecting and soothing your nipples and doesn’t need to be washed off prior to feeding. If you have nipple trauma, and regular nipple creams aren’t cutting it, move on to Dr Jack Newman’s All-Purpose Nipple Ointment, this has medicinal ingredients that will help you heal quickly. You will need to get a prescription for this from your physician for this one.
It’s a good idea to have these, especially until you learn how your let down works. Some women can get away with no breast pads, but others find they leak milk if the babe is due for a feed, or if they hear another baby cry. There are disposable and reusable cloth options on the market, depending on what you prefer.
NURSING BRA OR TANK
Another essential item here. You will likely live in your nursing bra, so finding a comfy one is crucial. I have heard amazing things about the new Knix nursing bras, but there are so many different brands out there. Consider one that you will wear at night too, they are great for easy access!
A quality breast pump can be a real asset on your breastfeeding journey. If you are struggling with low supply, pumping will be important. I would recommend an electric dual pump. Pumps are also great if you are wanting to build a freezer stash. It is totally possible to hand express or use a manual hand pump too, but if budget allows a quality electric pump is a really nice addition.
I can’t say enough positive things about the HAAKA pump. These pumps are so great for catching those extra drops of precious breastmilk while baby nurses on the opposite side, they are a great alternative to hand expression, as you can put some suction on them as well. Take a peek at their website for more uses, but I’m finding these are quickly becoming a staple in new parents homes!
ANTENATAL HAND EXPRESSION
Looking for something you can do prior to having your baby to increase your success rate for breastfeeding? Consider Antenatal Hand Expression (AHE). With your doctor permission at 37 weeks and a few small supplies, you can start building your freezer stash with your precious colostrum. AHE allows you to become familiar with your breasts, and you learn how to hand express. This can be a game-changer when it comes to nursing your newborn. If you would like more information on this, check out our Antenatal Hand Expression Online Course. Contact your local Mama Coach for the link. The course will provide you with all of the supplies you need to collect and store your colostrum, and will show you exactly how to do it!
My biggest tip for you is this: Don’t suffer alone. Reach out for help early on if you are struggling with breastfeeding. As Mama Coaches we are happy to provide support to you on your breastfeeding journey- no matter where you are on it.
Best wishes to you on your breastfeeding journey. I hope it is all that you have imagined, and that you are set up for all the success! YOU GOT THIS MAMA!