Breastfeeding Shae has been one of the most special experiences of my life! The joy and closeness are indescribable. Some of my dear friends are about to embark on this journey for the first time, and so I wanted to share some resources and my favorite breastfeeding essentials! I hope that you enjoy your experience as much as I have!! Much love to you.
My Nursing Essentials
- Nursing Cover
I love my Bébé au Lait nursing cover. You can find them around town or on their website. It would be lovely to have an extra cover for when one is in the wash and I need to use it! Etsy is another great place to find covers in an enormous variety of fabrics! Important things to consider are the size (plenty of coverage) and weight of the fabric, because the last thing you want is a slight breeze or the baby’s movement to uncover you (i.e. the ones I found at Target!)
- Nursing Bras
It is worth investing in good nursing bras, since you’ll wear them full-time. 3-4 seems to be the most recommended number to have on hand to allow at least one at any given time to be 1) worn, 2) in the laundry, 3) clean. Considering their purpose, they need to be washed quite a lot. I would recommend going to a store that carries good nursing bras (such as your clinic’s breastfeeding store or stores that carry high quality nursing merchandise such as Hot Mama or Peapods) to have an expert fit you (your size will be different then your usual bras to allow for your varying change in milk supply) and allow you to try as many options as you want. I LOVE my Bravado Silk Seamless Nursing Bras!
- Breast Pads
I have to say that Gerber Nuk reusable and disposable pads are my favorite – very thin and discrete. I’d primarily go with reusable, but even if you have a need for disposable, I think this brand is the way to go. (I used them through about the first 10 months of nursing.)
- Nursing Pillow
My Brest Friend is the #1 recommended choice by lactation consultants. I really like my deluxe pillow. I found that I used it primarily when Shae was a newborn, though I still occasionally use it now.
- Medela’s Tender Care Lanolin
I preferred Medela’s Tender Care Lanolin (especially to Lansinoh). It has a very smooth and silky application.
- Burp Cloths. Lots and lots of burp cloths.
This model is fabulous and is excellent at replicating a baby’s natural suck. I definitely think it’s worth the investment for its effectiveness and efficiency.
- Storage Bags
Shae didn’t like bottles, so I didn’t store up a supply of milk to freeze. Many people do, however, and Medela’s storage bags are a great sterilized option. Click here to read about the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on milk storage.
I just bought a few extra Medela bottles in addition to the ones included with my pump. Again, since Shae doesn’t care to drink from bottles, we didn’t use them much, so perhaps you would want more if you use them often.
- Take a breastfeeding class with your husband! It is so great to learn together and to have his support and encouragement.
- Breastfeeding Centers. Many hospitals have fabulous breastfeeding resources. The lactation consultants are there to give you everything from encouragement to help and support. At any point, seek them out if you have questions about anything!
- There are lots of great books. I like the simple style and easy-to-reference layout of Bestfeeding by Renfrew, Fisher, and Arms. The Nursing Mother’s Companion is a classic nursing resource by Kathleen Huggins. (Breastfeeding information is constantly being researched and updated, therefore, reading materials can often contain outdated information. Though these books both refer to co-sleeping, co-sleeping is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics or the SIDS Center, which both discourage any bed sharing).