For some moms, “stuff” isn’t a big part of their breastfeeding journey. Others may have a rougher start and need professional lactation support as well as help from products designed specifically for lactating women. This has always been the case for me.
In the age of the internet it can be overwhelming to see all of the “must-have” products designed for successful breastfeeding. If you do have any difficulties nursing or pumping I always recommend first seeing an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), no matter how old your baby is or what stage you are in your nursing journey. And if you are in the market for some products to make the journey a little easier, here are some of my favorites, most of which I use everyday as a breastfeeding mom!
This $30 manual pump can be a life saver in so many situations and will always be my #1 favorite. It is easy to take along with you on the go, easy to put together, wash and is user friendly! It has 2 expression technology just like your electric pump and your baby’s suckling pattern.
Pumping can be uncomfortable because of the friction between your skin and the flange. This spray is a game changer as it lubricates your flange with just one spray for a more comfortable yet mess free pumping experience. It is made with food grade organic coconut, olive and sunflower seed oils. Coconut oil also has healing and anti fungal properties so if you do have sore nipples this spray can aide in healing. I can’t remember what it was like to pump without it!
I’ve nursed two babies through tongue and lip ties which has resulted in bruised, cracked and sometimes even bleeding nipples. These are an absolute lifesaver and always my go-to baby shower gift to a first time breastfeeding mom. Silver has many healing properties- antibiotic, anti fungal and anti microbial. I would sleep with them on during the night and wake up to happier nipples when it was time to nurse again. I recommend wearing them underneath a nursing pad otherwise you might have the Madonna pointy nipple shape going on! Also remember, do not pair these with creams as they can block the silver effects. When you are finished using them you can send them back to the company and they will turn your Silverettes into a keepsake charm for you to cherish the success of your nursing journey.
Who knew it was possible to find a nursing AND pumping bra that is comfortable for everyday wear AND cute? This small women/mom owned business has forever changed the nursing and pumping bra game! Even as a bustier gal (38 DDD) this bra is comfortable and functional. Look at that lace detail, my husband even calls it’s my “sexy nursing bra” so, there are wins all around!
I have personal experience with other wearable pumps on the market that are almost triple the price of these but no where near as comfortable or user friendly. These pumps are so comfortable with their silicone flanges. I’ve yet to have any spills or clogged ducts after using this pump. There aren’t too many pieces to wash and they’re small enough to fit inside my purse or diaper bag when we are on the go! It checks all of the boxes for a comfortable, functional, user friendly, not a hassle to wash or put together, hands free, cordless pumping option!
Can you tell I love Legendary Milk products? This nipple cream is unlike others as it is made with manuka honey and coconut oil. There is no need to wash this off before nursing baby because the honey in it is gamma irradiated so that there is no risk of botulism. It can also be used to cradle cap, diaper rash, eczema and chapped lips.
I have always loved my Boppy pillow for comfortable positioning when nursing and use it well after the newborn stage. We even take it in the car, to the park and to the beach because I love having the support it gives! Keep in mind when using that baby should still be chest to chest with mom especially in the early weeks while establishing your breastfeeding relationship.
This accessory bag is both functional and cute as it holds all of my on the go pumping essentials so it is easy to toss into my diaper bag or purse. It is also made by another small woman/mom owned business!
I had to exclusively pump for quite some time in the beginning of the pandemic due to offices being closed and my son not being able to get his lip and tongue-ties revised. This vibrating massager helped me to get the most milk removed from my breasts and became the best at removing clogged ducts! It is another one of those things I never leave the house without if I know I am going to have to pump! It is also water proof so paired with a warm shower is the perfect duo to help relieve a clogged milk duct.
These hot and cold packs are another favorite of mine and ones I love to gift to first-time moms! I have a pair always in the freezer and another in the cabinet ready to be warmed. Warming these up and placing either directly on your breasts before nursing or pumping or even on your flanges before pumping can help to stimulate let-down. Using them cold can help with engorgement and even mastitis.
These nursing pads are soft, leakproof, don’t leave that weird shape in your bra like disposable pads do, and they’re environmentally friendly. I’ve used the same set through two nursing journeys!
The plastic flanges that come standard with pumps can still be uncomfortable even with pumping spray, especially if you have more elastic nipple tissue. I’ve found that these silicone flanges made with a special technology that lightly compresses the nipple and areola during pumping like a baby does at the breast can in turn lead to both a better pumping experience and maximum output. There are special adapters and hacks so that these flanges fit other pumps who haven’t yet upgrades to using silicone flanges like the Spectra and Medela pumps.
Breastfeeding is a learned skill for both mom and baby. Although it is often referred to as “the most natural thing,” it can take some time to feel confident in your journey and to establish a breastfeeding relationship that both you and baby feel good about. I hope some of these things can help make your journey a little easier, as they have done for me!