Essential Breastfeeding Supplies

Howdy readers and pregnant ladies everywhere,

I’m sorry the blog has taken a back-seat. My new baby is driving up in the front for the next few weeks. Until we’re fully up and running again (mid-March), I didn’t want to hold out any longer on a blog post that I thought was very important: Essential breastfeeding supplies!

1. Lansinoh Lanolin – BUY THIS (I know Magee will have it on hand for you but I’m not sure about other local hospitals and I know for a fact that some other hospitals (ie, Inova Fairfax in Virgina) will NOT have it [at least they didn’t when I delivered there]): http://www.lansinoh.com/products/hpa-lanolin

This is a MUST for ALL breastfeeding Moms. The first thing anyone will ask you when soliciting breastfeeding information is, “Do you have lanolin?” It’s just wonderful for sore and cracked nipples.

2. My Very Brest Friend – http://www.mybrestfriend.com

This pillow that attaches around your waist is AWESOME. I didn’t buy one until I got home from the hospital, but I swear it’s amazing when it comes to positioning your baby for breastfeeding. Before the pillow, I was using several bed pillows and using my arms and hands freely (after all, holding a little baby would be like exercise, right? Wrong!) Within 3 days I was complaining that I was experiencing carpal tunnel syndrome too. Do yourself a favor and buy BEFORE baby arrives and bring to the hospital; this way, if/when you have the constant access to nurses and lactation consultants, you can already be using the supplies you would use at home and thus they can REALLY help you.

3. Ameda Breast Shells: I got these from the hospital from my first delivery (in Virginia) but didn’t receive them until the third day when I was complaining of sore nipples. Why the heck nobody told me about it before 3 days still annoys me because it’s a godsend. It’s the “cup” for women. Buy or don’t buy – at the very least I wanted to tell you about this product because if you have sore nipples (and you will) – you should know this exists so you can ask for it. (PS – on Amazon it has low stars but only 2 reviews and I’m of the opinion that the negative review is from someone who had lactation issues to begin with)

4. Nursing camisoles and/or nursing bras – buy at least 4 or 5 and buy a size bigger than you would think because your boobs are going to EXPLODE into proportions you never dreamed of post baby (i.e., if you’re thinking about buying a medium, get a large; if you think you’re a 36C, buy a 38D, etc.). Post-baby, comfort is key. I would also recommend you avoid anything with underwire because that’s really uncomfortable and your booby area is going to be already uncomfortable from breastfeeding. This stuff can be expensive, so shop around and save your receipts because you can always send your Partner to the store to exchange for a different size and/or return if you never use. (And use coupons! Buy Buy Baby, for example, will usually send 20% off coupons which isn’t too bad since they carry some Medela nursing “clothes” that average anywhere between $25-$40)

5. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads – good to have on hand, but you won’t use too much at first (ie, within first 2 weeks) because the thought of having anything rub against your nipples is going to sound like pure torture

6. Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads: like little ice packs for your nipples. The downside is that they’re only good for 72  hours (and for roughly $10 that seems like a lot) – but nice to have on hand for those days when you really feel like breastfeeding is more pain than pleasure no matter how healthy for your baby. (Yes, I swear you will have at least one day like that) Anyway – these can get you over the hump.

7. Breast Pump – do your research, buy what fits your needs and budget, etc. Either way, if you’re breastfeeding, it will be an integral supply. It helps stimulate production, relieve engorgement, lets you create your own supplement for baby and or break from breastfeeding too. I think you get the idea … Please note breast pumps are now also covered by many insurance companies. If you have insurance, you will want to look into this; you might simply need to ask your doctor for a prescription.

8. Simple Wishes Hands Free Breastpump Bra – because if you are using a pump, I guarantee you won’t want to be holding bottles for 20 minutes at a time. You might even want to stash this in your hospital bag because there is a chance you’ll be using the hospital’s pump for some reason or another and when you’re exhausted, being able to rest – even while pumping – is pretty sweet.

Anyway – I put this list together long ago because there are some things I had on hand before baby arrived and some things that I didn’t learn about or purchase beforehand because I wanted to wait and see what I would need. In the end, I learned it was better to just get everything on the forefront because sometimes there are many roadblocks when it comes to breastfeeding (and it’s different for all people … just remember you and your baby are your own, unique team! Anyway …) and having these resources on hand will seem like the smartest thing you ever did in your greatest moments of need.

If you so choose to breastfeed, I hope you enjoy this list and good luck!

PS – Save the receipts for everything. This stuff can get expensive when you put it all together (more expensive than I thought even when I thought hard and did the math) but if you wind up NOT using something or needing something different, so long as you have your receipts, depending on where you purchased the item, you can exchange or return. I would say the most expensive items will be a breast pump and nursing clothes.

PPS – Once you’ve established whether or not you’ll be breastfeeding, you might want to consider investing in some nicer nursing clothes. You might consider lounge items but as someone who sells nursing clothes – and owns several items now – I can tell you confidently that they’re worth their weight in gold. Being able to dress like a human and have easy access to your boobs is good for the mind, your body and baby. 😉