Whether you are a first time breastfeeder or a mum that’s already been there and done that with previous children, this is your ultimate breastfeeding essentials shopping list!
Now we aren’t saying that you absolutely, unquestionably need all of these things, but there are definitely more than a few items that can really help level up your nursing game. Having some of these nifty items to hand when breastfeeding can make nursing feel like a breeze…
Breastfeeding, especially in the early weeks, can make your nipples cracked and sore as the skin toughens up to its new role. It’s painful for you and can cause difficulties when trying to help baby get a good latch. Avoid this issue by using our first breastfeeding essential - a good nipple balm. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin helps soothe and protect sore, cracked nipples. And don’t worry mums, it is 100% natural and hypoallergenic with no perfume, taste, or additives so it’s both perfect for you, and safe for baby. I personally had tubes of this every bag and room when I was breastfeeding. Pack it in your hospital bag but definitely keep a tube or two in your handbag so that you have it with you at all times!
Whether you need to relieve engorged breasts, express so you can have some time off, or give a bottle to your other half to help with feeds, our second breastfeeding essential is a breast pump. And I don’t mean a manual pump of old, that hurts your hands and requires total focus. I mean every multi-tasking mamas dream, a hands-free electric pump like the Pipetta, wearable breast pumps because…well it’s in the name. It’s hands free which means you can express whilst still going about all of your usual daily tasks, making the whole experience that much quicker and easier - pop it in your usual nursing bra and no one would ever even know!
3 – Gel breast pads
This is another one that is absolutely great if you’re experiencing any level of soreness. Protect your, probably very sensitive, nipples from rubbing against your clothing with nursing pads or gel pads. For a little extra relief, stick your gel pads in the fridge before you use them.. These ones from Lansinoh can also be warmed in the microwave, giving additional relief if you are experiencing any blocked milk ducts.
4 – Refillable water bottle
Staying hydrated when you are breastfeeding is so important - did you know that as a breastfeedin mum you may need as much as 3 litres of water PER DAY?! Even the thirstiest of us can struggle with that, even if you are like me and experience an intense thirst right as your baby latches on and starts to nurse. So breastfeeding essential number 4 is a big, refillable bottle of water. And make sure you have it with you before you get comfy to feed!
5 - A good nursing pillow
Next on our list of breastfeeding essentials? A good nursing pillow like this one from Dreamgenii. Designed to fit around your waist and make sure you and baby are properly supported and comfortable when you’re breastfeeding, this one will also make sure you aren’t putting any unnecessary pressure on c-section scars too. Buy it early for maximum value - you can use it between your knees in bed for comfort in pregnancy, and to help your little one sit up safely when they get a bit bigger too!
6 - Healthy, energising snacks
Breastfeeding can leave you feeling exhausted, and with all the additional calories you are burning to make that milk, it’s important to stay well fed! It is so easy to skip meals in favour of tending to baby’s needs or flat-out forget to eat when you are in the deep in the midst of new-born sleep deprivation and figuring out breastfeeding, but it is more important than ever to keep your body nourished. Find a few easy to grab-and-go snack that need little to no preparation that will keep you energised and alert. Almonds, grapes, hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks and things like nuts and trail mix are great. If you need a sugar hit (and lets face it who doesn’t in those early months) these KIND bars are and healthy while giving you a little sugar hit too. Always separate your snacks into reusable zip lock bags and throw them into your baby bag so that you have something for when you are on the move, should you need it. Future you will thank you for it.
7- Nursing bras and a breastfeeding hoodie!
We may be biased, but its fair to say that a good nursing bra and a breastfeeding hoodie should be on every breastfeeding essentials list! With nursing sports bras that are comfortable enough to wear all day long and our super thick, super-soft breastfeeding hoodies keeping you cosy all year round. And given both have won numerous awards, I don't think it's that biased to say that if you have nothing else on your breastfeeding essentials list, make sure you still have these!