10 products that make breastfeeding easier

Breastfeeding can be very rewarding but it may also take a while until you start enjoying it. While I was at the hospital after giving birth, I was lucky enough to get advice from nurses and lactation consultants who were just the best. They recommended different products, all very useful, and they also gave me samples. Some other breastfeeding accessories, I’d learn about them after, mainly through friends.

  1. Bras. I totally recommend going to your closest lactation consultancy center to get this one right. You may know the obvious things, like you need wireless bras and stuff, but they can measure you and tell you which size of bra you’re going to need both before giving birth and after. They can also recommend the best models. I tried 4 different types of nursing bras and only one felt good: Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra. The main reasons why I liked this bra are:
    • Opens on the front, but at the strap level.
    • Adapts well to your shape (some had really rigid cups)
    • Very soft
    • This brand has many different colors and patterns
    • They are durable (you’ll be washing them pretty often)
  2. Pump. If you’re planning to keep breastfeeding when you go back to work, you’re going to need a pump. Even if you don’t, you may still be interested in pumping for other reasons, e.g. your partner being able to feed and bond with the baby. If you’re not planning on using a pump frequently, a single breast pump may be enough. Otherwise, you may be better of with a double electric breast pump like the one in the image.
  3. Hands Free Breast pump Bra. This was a life saver for me. I was using it at work to be able to keep typing my computer while pumping. Equally useful at home, but really needed at work. A friend recommended the model I’ve linked from the title, which I really liked. You want to look at a bra that it’s rigid enough to hold the bottles, but still lets you breath 🙂
  4. Lanolin cream. If your  nipples are sored, and they will (at least the first couple of weeks), you can apply lanolin cream which will help both with the pain and also preventing chapping and bleeding. And you don’t have to wash it before breastfeeding. I got a sample of the Medela one at the hospital, tried another one at home (can’t remember the brand), and went back to this one. Awesome product.
  5. Washable and organic nursing pads. Washable or disposable, nursing pads are a must, specially during the first few weeks when your body is learning your and your baby’s feeding schedules and your breasts frequently leak unexpectedly.
  6. Nipple Shields.  These were an authentic gift to me. I got one at the hospital, a nurse gave it to me to help with the latching (to make sure the baby sucked the areola, and not just the nipple). Some other nurses didn’t recommend it, but the lactation consultant explained that used properly, it could be a very useful tool. It turned out to be true. I used it during a month or so, more in the beginning, and almost never at the end, mostly because my baby wasn’t having problems latching anymore. The trick is don’t let them get used to it! Other people use this to get some relief, since it provides a barrier between you and your baby’s mouth.
  7. Breastmilk storage bags. Ok, you’re pumping lots of milk but… what do you do with it? Breastmilk doesn’t last much, so unless you’re planning on consuming it right after you pump it (or in a few hours) you may want to freeze it. If you do, these bags are perfect. I was very hesitant about plastic bags being resistant enough. These ones are. The maximum amount of breastmilk that I was freezing was 4 oz or 5 oz (rarely more), and they hold perfectly. You don’t want to freeze more than that in the same bag, otherwise it may be too much and you may end up wasting part of it (once you thaw it, you can’t freeze it again).
  8. Boppy Nursing Pillow. This helped during a few months, at some point the baby was too big and it wasn’t comfortable anymore. But then we started using it to help her sit on her own, and we had also been using it for tummy time. This pillow has many different uses, so it ended up being a good investment.
  9. 2-in-1 Baby to Toddler Scale. How can you be sure if your baby is eating enough? You can count wet diapers (6 to 8 a day is normal), but how can you be certain that you’re doing it right? Get a scale, and you can weight your baby as often as you want. Probably not the first thing you’d buy, but hey, why not if it makes you feel better. There are some models like this one which convert into a toddler scale, so at least you can use it a little longer.
  10. Nursing t-shirt. When I started breastfeeding I realized I hadn’t planned for nursing clothes. I don’t really own buttoned shirts or ‘v neck’ t-shirts, so I didn’t really have many tops to comfortably breastfeed. If I wanted to be able to go out, I was going to need to buy some new clothes. Yay! The one in the image turned out to be my favorite. Main reasons being:
    • It looks like any other t-shirt
    • I hate ‘v necks’ (they don’t suit me at all)
    • Easy to get ready, just pull up
    • Pretty good coverage, you won’t get cold

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