main image of product for breastfeeding: woman in red sweater breastfeeding her baby outside

13 Essential Products for Breastfeeding Moms

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You’ve made the decision that you’re going to breastfeed. Congratulations! But this is a whole new journey for you. When I decided to breastfeed, I only had one other friend who was had been down that road, and she exclusively pumped, for medical reasons. So, while we had similar experiences, I still didn’t have anyone that knew exactly the problems that I was facing. First we’ll discuss the common problems of breastfeeding and give you a helpful list of essential products for breastfeeding.

What are some of the common breastfeeding problems?

  1. Improper latch – the baby is not latching correctly and is not getting any milk
  2. Sore nipples – the baby is on there often and the nipples are cracked and sore
  3. Engorgement – the breasts become so full they feel like they will explode (usually happens if you miss an overnight feeding)
  4. Leaking breasts – hot water, your baby crying, breasts are too full; the milk is coming out
  5. Clogged ducts – causes a small, painful lump on the breast
  6. Mastitis – infection of breast tissue, usually caused by a clogged duct
  7. Thrush – yeast infection in the breast, usually due to baby’s saliva
  8. Anatomy of mother (breasts) – inverted or small nipples
  9. Anatomy of baby (tongue, lip, mouth, palate) – lip tie or tongue tie, etc
  10. Feeding schedule – breastfed babies eat more often

To combat these common breastfeeding problems, I recommend attending a breastfeeding class, either at the hospital where you plan to deliver (if they offer one) or online. The more you know about breastfeeding, the more prepared you will be, and the better chance you give yourself to continue.

The essential products listed below will help with some of the common breastfeeding problems and get you off on the right foot to your breastfeeding journey.

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essential products for breastfeeding

Boppy Nursing Pillow

The Boppy Nursing Pillow is wonderful for supporting your baby while breastfeeding. It keeps you from hunching over your baby while breastfeeding, which is a big no-no, if you don’t want the ladies to start sagging.

I was able to use the Boppy throughout the first year for even more than breastfeeding. I used it around 3 months, to have a safe place next to me that I could set my son down, and I knew he wouldn’t roll away. At 6 months old, he was able to use it for tummy time. At around 9 months, I used it to help him sit, and it was wonderful for Christmas to be able to sit him up and open gifts. And since he started crawling, I’ll put it on the floor and let him climb over it. It’s an all around great investment.

Related: 21 Ideas If Your Baby Hates Tummy Time

essential products for breastfeeding
essential products for breastfeeding

Boppy Nursing Pillow Cover and Water-Resistant Cover

If you’re getting the Boppy, you want to keep it clean! (Don’t even try throwing that thing in the washer.) You’re going to want to get two covers for it. First, you’ll want the nice nursing cover that probably is going to match the theme of your nursery or some other whimsical pattern. I’m going to suggest getting two. If you have a diaper blowout or spit up, you’ll have a clean one on hand. You’ll also want to get a water-resistant cover, so the leaky diaper or spit up doesn’t make it to the Boppy.

essential products for breastfeeding

Nursing Cover

Unless you are completely comfortable with nursing in public (and that is your right, momma!), you’ll want to get a nursing cover. You want something lightweight that you can make eye contact with the baby while nursing.

essential products for breastfeeding

Nursing Bras

I would suggest getting a nursing bra you can easily pull down, rather than something with a clip. It just makes the whole process so much easier than trying to unhook and re-hook the clips. This bra was comfortable to wear to bed as well.

essential products for breastfeeding
essential products for breastfeeding
essential products for breastfeeding
essential products for breastfeeding

Nursing Outfits

You want some quick-access clothes. They should be soft and comfortable. I’d recommend comfortable tops or tanks and loose pants or dresses if you had a c-section, so as not to irritate the scar. And don’t forget about sleepwear.

essential products for breastfeeding
essential products for breastfeeding

Nursing Pads

I’ve used both Medela and Lansinoh Disposable Breast Pads, and they both work well. Disposable pads are great when you are away from home. The pads should be changed once they become wet, so you can just throw them away and replace them.

The Medela Nursing Pads are great for away from home. Since they are thinner, they don’t bunch up under your clothes. The Lansinoh Nursing Pads are great for over-night. They are a little thicker, so they can hold more milk. There were many nights when I started leaking, but my clothes and bedding stayed dry.

essential products for breastfeeding: woman breastfeeding her baby
essential products for breastfeeding

Lansinoh Lanilon Nipple Cream

I’m sorry to be the one to have to tell you this, but your nipples will be so sore! And you won’t believe how well this nipple cream works. It’s safe to use while breastfeeding so that’s a huge plus. And being that it’s safe for baby, it always works well as a hand cream because your hands will be chapped from washing them so much (after diapers, before breastfeeding, etc).

essential products for breastfeeding

Lansinoh Therapearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy

I loved these breast therapy pads for two reasons. One, you can freeze them and they’ll ease your sore nipples and engorgement. Two, (and this is what I used them for more often) if you heat them, they are great if you have a mild case of mastitis or have a clogged duct. Engorgement and clogged ducts can be painful, and you’ll just want relief.

essential products for breastfeeding

Nipple Shields

I’ll be honest, I had no idea what nipple shields were for before I got to the hospital. I saw them advertised with all the breastfeeding supplies, and I just thought, I have no idea what it is, I guess I don’t need it. What was I thinking? These ended up being my breastfeeding lifesaver.

It wasn’t until the day I left the hospital that I was introduced to them. We were discharged, the paperwork was complete, and we were ready to walk out the door. Of course, that’s when my little one needed to eat, but he wouldn’t latch. I tried every position, every trick they had given me, and he was only getting more frustrated. Finally, the nurse (my angel) asked if anyone had us try a nipple shield. We tried it, and it worked perfectly!

So what are they? They’re mostly used if you have flat or inverted nipples, which is why none of the other nurses suggested I needed one. However, if it’s something as simple as needing just a little extra length to your nipple to make your breastfeeding journey easier, go for it. I used these for about 7-8 months before my son didn’t need them anymore. Although they are also great for when those teeth come in!

essential products for breastfeeding

Lansinoh Haakaa

Whether you plan on going back to work and need to make a freezer stash, or if you just want to store milk to have for a day trip with your little one, the Lansinoh Haakaa is your best friend! You attach it while you’re breastfeeding, and it collects the letdown on the opposite breast.

After my first use, I was hooked! It’s so easy to use, and the neck strap that comes with this one, makes the process spill-free. You don’t want to lose any of that hard-earned liquid gold. I was generally able to get 3-4 ounces per side during each nursing session.

Tip I got from the hospital nurses: Get two and use them when you get out of the shower, since the hot water causes your milk to flow.

Related: 15 Best Products for Pumping Moms

essential products for breastfeeding

Rocking Chair

What’s the perfect nursery without a rocking chair? I love this Storkcraft glider. It has side pockets to keep your nursing needs at hand, and it comes with an ottoman, which makes it easier to find the right position for a good latch.

One other thing I love about this company… I had purchased this online, and the ottoman was damaged during shipping. I called the company and had a replacement ottoman within the week.

essential products for breastfeeding

Water Bottle

You need to keep yourself hydrated to keep making milk. Get a water bottle you love, so you’re more inclined to use it. Make sure to drink water every time you breastfeed, and you should be keeping yourself well hydrated.

essential products for breastfeeding
essential products for breastfeeding

Snacks

Breastfeeding is serious work that uses a lot of calories. Have a protein-filled snack to keep your energy up. Or try lactation bars to keep your milk supply going strong.

Conclusion

There you go: all the essential products for breastfeeding moms.

One final recommendation is to take the help that is offered. Use the tips and tricks the nurses give you, and get the number of a lactation consultant (usually one works directly with the hospital). They have seen everything and are a huge help, even over the phone.

Is there any product you used when you were breastfeeding that you absolutely loved? Let us know in the comments.

essential products for breastfeeding: baby breastfeeding

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