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Nursing a baby is such a beautiful experience, but it can also be trying for many different reasons. You have to stay hydrated, well-fed, ensure that you are getting enough supply for your baby, or managing when you have an oversupply and develop mastitis. Let me just say this one thing… it is worth it!
Whether you’re exclusively breastfeeding, pumping, or switching between breastmilk and formula, the following items will help make your journey a little easier. I’ve exclusively breastfed my 3 little ones, but by no means am a pro. If you want to learn more information about breastfeeding I recommend enrolling in this class by Milkology The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class.
Now the following list is my recommended items for breastfeeding at home or going out and about. If you are going to be pumping at home or going back to work, I have a must-have pumping accessory list you can find here. Here are some of my must-haves to make your breastfeeding journey easier!
It is extremely important to stay hydrated when nursing or pumping. If you become dehydrated, your supply will dwindle and feeding can become difficult. I personally love this water bottle. Keep it by you when nursing, but remember to be drinking steadily throughout the day to stay well hydrated.
Another must for successful breastfeeding is healthy snacks. I was always extremely hungry when I was breastfeeding and felt like I was eating all day. I made my own nursing bites (post to come soon) and stocked up on healthy snacks. They even have nursing cookies & teas to help increase your milk supply if needed!
Swaddle Blankets or Nursing Cover
I used these swaddle blankets as a nursing cover when out in public. They’re large enough that you can tie them around your neck to keep yourself covered, and it’s nice to always have them around as they can be used to cover your baby in the car seat too! There are nursing covers that double as a car seat cover that conveniently stay all the way around you so your baby can’t try to peek out and play.
Boppy Nursing Pillow
Having a nursing pillow, in the beginning, is so nice to take the pressure off your aching back. I always used the Boppy Nursing Pillow, but if I were to have another, I would invest in this My Breast Friend pillow as it looks more supportive than a Boppy.
Do you leak when you breastfeed? Check out this silicone breast pump that you can attach while you’re feeding on the other side to collect milk. It’s easy to use and helps build your stock of milk for use in the future as well. Collect milk and store in milk storage bags and keep it in the freezer for months!
Nursing Tank Top or Bra
A good nursing tank top or bra is extremely important to have in your wardrobe to make nursing easier. Kindred Bravely has many great options on their website, I highly recommend you check them out. The nursing tank tops are my favorite to wear under all of my clothes for when in public. I have tried quite a few, and the most difficult part is the fact that they’re so expensive! I tried cheaper ones, but ultimately my favorite is the Kindred Bravely Sublime Tank.
For the bra, the Kindred Sublime Low Impact Sports Bra is my favorite. I love the soft feel of the fabric, gentle compression, and ease of nursing in them. They even have a busty size, which really helps with finding a comfortable fit. Most I tried before wouldn’t stay in place and would ride up, but these fit snugly around the ribs and stay in place. Note: You do want to hand wash or use a garment bag and air dry these to help preserve the fabric!
Nursing pads were an absolute must-have as I leaked constantly when breastfeeding. I felt like Katy Perry singing “Fireworks” whenever my baby would detach. I tried organic reusable pads, but unfortunately, I leaked too much and would soak through them too quickly, so I opted for the Lansinoh Nursing Pads instead. These worked great all day or even through the night.
There are thousands of other items out there that help make your nursing journey easier, but these are my absolute must-have items. Do you have any other must-have items that helped you in your journey?