Breastfeeding a newborn is a crazy time in a new mom’s life. While breastfeeding is really rewarding for you and baby, it is also stressful. A breastfeeding accessory may not be able to magically help you breastfeed better, they can absolutely help along the way. This list of breastfeeding essentials will take you through the best and worst products for breastfeeding moms, it comes straight from my experience as a mom who has breastfed 2 little ones.
When I had my daughter I had consumed every bit of information I had available to me about breastfeeding. We went to the classes at the hospital, read books, and watched youtube videos.
If only I knew then what I know now! There are many things I would have done differently but also just as many things or more that I now know we did just right. I am a very frugal person, and the idea of wasting money is crazy to me.
So, learn from my mistakes and save yourself some money and some sanity with my list of best and worst breastfeeding accessories.
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The best breastfeeding accessories
- The Hakaa – This product is quite literally life-changing. This breastfeeding essential is manual breast pump that can attach to the opposite breast while you are feeding your baby to catch your let down instead of it just spraying into a breast pad. Genius.
- Ultimate breastfeeding class– This class was one I found right before I had my second little one. Even as a mom who had breastfed before I learned things I was able to apply to my new breastfeeding journey with my son!
- Nursing bra– You absolutely must have a good nursing bra when you are a breastfeeding mama. I highly suggest you buy these when you are pregnant as your breasts grow instead of buying a whole new bra that you can’t nurse in. It’s an easy way to knock out two birds with one stone.
- Nursing tanks– I really don’t recommend you buy a ton of fancy clothes specifically for breastfeeding, but these nursing tanks have been one of my favorite purchases I have made for my breastfeeding journey. They make feeding a breeze and I can stick them under anything!
- Nursing dresses– This is only something I would recommend if you have to wear a dress for an occasion that you will need to breastfeed at. In case you haven’t thought about it, breastfeeding in a dress is really difficult. I personally like using the 2 shirt method for breastfeeding in public and getting the nursing dress makes it an absolute breeze.
- Disposable breast pads– Leaking all over your clothes is not fun. You’re already going to be covered in spit-up, these will help you not be covered in breastmilk every time you have a letdown. I have tried several different brands of these, and for new mom’s I would absolutely recommend Lasinoh and Medela. They are comfortable even on nipples that have been through the ringer.
- Lanolin– This is the best way to avoid cracking and bleeding nipples. Start using this immediately, do not wait until they are already hurting! Put it on before and after feeding it is perfectly safe for baby. Usually, hospitals will give you a small travel size, but you’ll want a bigger tube at home.
- Soy Lethicin– With both of my little ones I tended to get clogged ducts often, so this became essential on my breastfeeding journey. With my son it was awful, and several times I could tell that mastitis was on its way. I had mastitis three times with my daughter and had no desire to go through that with my son. So I searched the web for a way to stop it and I found a few suggestions for Soy Lecithin. Let me tell you, this helped me get rid of the clogged duct quickly and if I took them regularly kept them away! In the beginning, every time I stopped taking it I would end up with yet another clog. Take my word for it, this is amazing. Have it on hand just in case.
- Milk savers– These are handly little shells that go in your bra and save the milk that leaks out during the day. Insanely smart. Especially for the pumping mom who needs just one more ounce or the stay at home mom who can’t find time to pump! These will be a big help in supplementing your stash.
- Muslin Swaddle Blankets– While these are great for swaddling I loved using the Muslin Swaddle Blankets as nursing covers. Let me say this part really loud- you do not have to cover when you breastfeed! But, I wanted to. It was how I was most comfortable. I loved using these swaddle blankets because they were large, and breathable so baby didn’t get too hot. Another option is the Milk Snob, it’s a car seat cover and a nursing cover all in one! I will say the Milk Snob has a one up on the muslin blankets in the aspect that you don’t have to worry about it coming off while feeding. But you get the hang of it either way.
- Mattress protector– You know how I said earlier you would have plenty of spit up on you? It will also definitely be on your bed, especially if you nurse while laying down (and you’d be crazy not to). Inevitably your sheets are going to be covered with spit up and leaking breastmilk. Making sure your mattress doesn’t end up covered in those things as well is pretty important. It is so much easier to throw a mattress protector in the wash than attempting to get the smell of spit-up out of a mattress!
The worst breastfeeding accessories
- Nursing shirts– These shirts are very convenient. But if you take my tip on getting nursing tanks don’t even worry about nursing shirts. You can easily execute the two shirt method of nursing this way and you won’t have to redo your entire wardrobe to fit your new breastfeeding lifestyle!
- Reusable breast pads– While the idea of reusable breast pads sounds smart in the end I found that they leaked a lot more than my trusty Lasinoh and Medela disposable nursing pads. Plus if your anything like me, small things like this seem to disappear in the wash and you never have them when you need them.
- Lasinoh breastmilk bags– Lasinoh may make a great breast pad. But their milk bags are the worst! I have heard countless moms talk about how when thawing breastmilk the bags leak everywhere and all your hard work goes down the drain. I’ve had a lot of success with the Medela brand bag.
- Bras with underwire– The first reason why these are the worst is simply that when breastfeeding they are just plain uncomfortable. The experts claim that bra’s with underwire should not cause issues like clogged ducts, but with your breasts changing size every few hours it will be very difficult to get one to fit correctly. I can say with experience that an ill-fitting underwire bra can and will create clogged ducts.
- Milk warmer– I won’t lie, a milk warmer maybe would be convenient when thawing out frozen milk for your baby. But it is just as easy to just put the milk in a warm glass of water. You’ll save cash and space, you will already have entirely too many baby things in your house. No need to add one more.
- Milk storage systems– You absolutely should find a good way to store your milk in the freezer. You absolutely should not spend money on a cheap plastic bin for it. Do yourself a favor, go get your favorite 12 pack of pop from the grocery store, tear off the top, and voila. See more on how to do that here. It fits the milk bags perfectly! You can also try the gift bag method with bags from the dollar store.
- Burp Cloths– I’ve said this in other posts about burp cloths and I will say it again. Whoever thinks that a baby will only spit-up on the designated small area of a burp cloth is crazy. Do yourself a big favor and get several packs of receiving blankets instead. They are absorbent and will cover a much larger area when your baby inevitably spits up everywhere.
Did we miss your favorite breastfeeding essential?
There are a ton of products out there for breastfeeding. These are just the ones I have experience with! I’d love to hear in the comments below anything that you have loved or hated on your breastfeeding journey.
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