If you're planning to breastfeed you may wonder, do I need to buy anything? Don't I already have the um...equipment for the job? While yes, you really don't need any fancy products to breastfeed your baby, there are a few tools that I recommend for making the process stress free for you and baby.
1. A Good Nursing Pillow
The first thing you want to have is a comfortable nursing pillow. These are C shaped pillows that support baby's head and neck while they're at the breast so you can relax your arms during a feeding. There a few different styles, with Boppy being the most widely known one. If you have a baby boutique in your area, stop in and test out a few to see what's most comfortable for you.
2. Lots of Reusable Nursing Pads
It's just a fact that nursing breasts...leak. So, in order to stay dry and avoid any uncomfortable scenarios, a nursing pad will absorb the excess milk. They slide right into your bra and can be thrown in the washing machine after use. Look for one with breathable materials like bamboo to avoid irritation from excess moisture.
3. Nursing Tops
Another benefit of nursing, you get to have a whole new wardrobe of comfy clothes! #win The function of a nursing top is your chest is easily accessible without removing your clothing. This is especially helpful when you're preparing to nurse in public. There are many cute, comfy and affordable options for t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, and sweaters that are nursing ready. Even major retailers like GAP and OldNavy carry a nursing line.
4. Nipple Cream
No matter how good your breastfeeding experience is, your nipples will inevitably need some extra soothing. There are many different nipple creams on the market, but you want one that is safe for baby and heals your tender skin. Look for creams that have only natural ingredients, and do not contain alcohol which is very drying. Also go for something without fragrance, sometimes called "parfum" in the ingredients list. These scents can contain harmful chemicals and also mask your own wonderful scent that baby loves so much.
5. Great Breastfeeding Resources!
If you only do one thing to prepare for breastfeeding, do this. Put together a list of people who can help you when you need that extra bit of support. Not all breastfeeding help looks the same. List "peer" resources, other parents you know who have successfully navigated breastfeeding, trusted older women in your family, or a formal peer counselor through programs like La Leche League. Also make a list of professional breastfeeding support in your community. You want the number of a postpartum doula who can offer basic support and encouragement, and an IBCLC who is qualified to diagnose any issues you or your baby is having if feeding is difficult or uncomfortable. Also research if there are breastfeeding groups that meet in your area! (A doula can help you with locating trusted resources) Stash this list somewhere and don't be afraid use it.
What do you wish you had done to prepare for breastfeeding during your pregnancy?