A few days ago, as I was nursing the baby, the phone rang. I got up, still nursing, walked over and answered the phone. It was my husband, and when I told him what I was doing, we both laughed. Nursing child #4 is very different compared to child #1!
With my first, I would probably have been sitting on my bed, surrounded by the myriad supplies and paraphernalia I thought I’d need, petrified to interrupt the feeding, never mind actually getting up and walking around while the baby was still eating!
I still have various supplies and paraphernalia that I use while nursing, but over the years have fine-tuned what is and isn’t so useful. Here are my findings:
Oh, Lansinoh, how I love thee, let me count the ways. When starting to nurse a newborn, it can hurt! With my first three babies, every lactation consultant that visited me in the hospital told me that if I was doing it right, it shouldn’t hurt. So when my babies would latch on and aggressively go at it, I would wince and think about how I was clearly doing something wrong. It was super encouraging (that’s sarcasm).
The most recent consultant I spoke with told me that it was normal for it to hurt when the baby first latches on, but that it shouldn’t continue to hurt throughout the feeding. Well! That makes a difference. I felt very vindicated.
Anyways, with my first, I definitely had cracking and bleeding, which was NOT enjoyable and didn’t exactly make nursing a positive, pleasant experience. That’s when I learned to put a little lanolin cream on each nipple when I was finished nursing on that side. It makes such a difference!
This is really only useful when your baby is very small, and helps raise the baby up so you don’t have to be all hunched over. I use a Boppy, have had friends who use My Breast Friend (hardy har har), but I think even a very firm normal pillow (or two thinner ones) would probably do the trick. That’s what I used in the hospital.
This isn’t something I shlep around with me. If I need to nurse the baby while out of the house, I just hold the baby, and we do just fine.
Another mother once told me how hearing any baby cry would cause her let-down reflex to kick in, and she would have to suddenly cross her arms as the front of her shirt would become damp from the milk seeping through. Oy!
With nursing pads, this is not an issue. There are disposable ones available, but I prefer reusable ones. I’ve tried many different brands, and the best ones I’ve found are Bamboobies (so many pun opportunities with breastfeeding supplies). These bamboo-based pads are thin enough that they don’t create bulky lines or bunch up, but absorbent enough to work very well. In this four-pack there’s a thicker overnight pad that really works well.
Plus they are cute! I mean, look at them. They’re little hearts. Adorable.
This is something that I really wish I had known about with my first two babies. Listen to the genius of this product: It’s a slim container that catches the milk which drips from the breast you’re not feeding from. So, if the baby is nursing on the right side, you put the Milk-Saver on your left side and all the milk that would otherwise go into your nursing pad goes into the container and you can save it!
It comes in a case that doubles as a stand, so when you’re done nursing, you can place the Milk-Saver upright in the case and it will wait there until you’re ready to store it.
I regularly get two to three ounces a day, sometimes more, from this otherwise wasted breastmilk. That’s like a bottle every other day without having to use a pump. A-ma-zing.
And guess what? You can get your own Milk-Saver for free because Milkies has generously agreed to send one to whoever wins this giveaway! I love the Milk-Saver so much that I emailed them to ask if they’d be up for donating one, and they prompted responded with an affirmative! Isn’t that nice? Yes, yes, it is.
Not nursing? The Milk-Saver would make a great present for a friend/daughter/sister/cousin who is. Seriously, I cannot recommend this product highly enough. It is a game changer.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below with what baby-feeding supply you find indispensable (this is limited to my North American readers. Sorry to all my friends abroad).
The giveaway will end in one week, so you can enter up until midnight on Tuesday, December 16th. I’ll select a winner through a random number generator, and will contact the winner via email, and then you’ll have 24 hours to get me your address so I can get you your prize! Clear? Great.
I didn’t include a breast-pump or breast milk storage bags in the list because they’re kind of like extra on top of nursing, though certainly it’s nice to be able to save breast milk and have it on hand for when you plan on being out of the house. Or to have your husband help for a middle of the night feeding. Or whatever.
Right now there’s an almost unbelievable opportunity to potentially get an electric breast pump FOR FREE. What? Yes. And not some off-brand pump, either. We’re talking Medela.
Check with your insurance to see if you’re eligible for this seriously unreal offer. Free electric breast pump = do it. Those things aren’t cheap. I’ve used a hand pump with every kid, and while I appreciate having monster hands that are ridiculous strong, I’m extremely glad to finally have an electric pump. Mine came in the mail today! Like, while I was writing this post!
A friend of mine from Neve launched a new website today, Frumtastic, which will touch on various aspects of the multi-faceted life of Orthodox women. Check out their first post, on healthy eating!
53 thoughts on “Top Four Essential Breastfeeding Supplies”
Definitely a breast pump. Got mine through insurance too! (And I’ve been wanting to try those Milk Savers!)
they are AMAZING (in case I didn’t make that clear from the post, haha)
I love Bamboobies! I recommend them to anyone who asks and I’m kind of obsessed with all their products :). Those and a good nursing cover are top of my list.
They are just great. I thought about including a nursing cover; they are pretty helpful when out and about.
Omigoodness I’m so entering but as our first is on its way I’m just hoping to not end up on my bed, unmoving, surrounded by paraphernalia :P
Haha, you’re allowed with your first! And your second. :) I did get the hang of it eventually, it just took me longer than two weeks.
Milk-savers! O_O I didn’t even know they existed! Amazing invention!
Yes, I remember the difference between the beginning – unmoving, surrounded by paraphernalia – and later stages when I was amazed how many things I could do with just one arm/hand.
(And I soo remember that it hurt! That was one thing I was really angry about, that no one had told me it might hurt. I would have nursed anyway, I just would have liked to be a little – prepared. And, yes, hooray for Lanolin cream!)
Isn’t it so smart? Thankfully, it doesn’t hurt for too long. Unless you get mastitis or something ( which I had once – ouch!).
I do not want to win anything. I’m done having babies. I just wanted to say another essential is a comfortable chair in which to nurse. I know some people are able to nurse anywhere. I really needed a comfy chair, especially in the middle of the night.
oh, good call! We finally got a glider with an ottoman, from Target.com of all places! Definitely a good investment.
Hmmm…definitely nursing pads…and also a pump…but that milk saver sounds completely amazing and I can’t believe I never heard of it before!
I know! It’s a well-kept secret.
My nursing must have is nursing bras!!!! I would be a mess without them. I remember in Israel a girl who would nurse with a regular bra but I am obsessed with nursing bras. I think they are worth every penny! And at least one nursing friendly robe or night gown.
Yes! I remember trying to nurse with regular bras and it was annoying and probably stretched out the bra! For sleepwear, I love the nursing tank tops (which I wear under a long-sleeved t-shirt).
Don’t forget the water bottle! I get real thirsty specials in the beginning. Plus it helps for milk production:)
Definitely! Staying hydrated is so important!
Definitely a nursing bra, nursing pads( I also love the bamboobies!), and nursing pillow for a newborns!
Yes, yes and yes.:)
a good book to relax with while nursing!
I would say a good nursing pillow (and some deep breathing to get through the beginning weeks).
Lol on the deep breathing. Those first few weeks can be brutal for sure!
Bamboobies overnights! In the early months, they were my all the time pads and now as my little one is starting to sleep more at night, they are critical for not waking up in a wet bed!
(I have used nipple cream exactly nine times in the the nine months I’ve been nursing and my Boppy got more use holding up my arm than my baby.)
Oh! (and clearly I have new mom brain, still…)
My other must have are DIY nursing tanks (regular cami, cut straps, sew a little loop, hook on your nursing bra – voila!)
You’re cracking me up, Melissa! I’m so impressed at the idea of DIY nursing tanks! Awesome!
Would you show me how that works, sometime? I can’t quite visualize it.
I realized this time around to always wear a tank top under my shirt in case I ever had to whip out my boobies in public. That chiddush was really a game changer.
It’s the little things!
At this point the only indispensable item I need for nursing is myself :) , but I think nursing covers are amazing for when I’m out and need to feed discretely.
Milk-savers sound amazing. Just today I was trying to figure out how to save my leaking milk (and avoid the puddle that forms when I forget to grab a burp cloth). Brilliant!
Beautiful! I love a good nursing cover for public feeding as well. Totally. I just saw this product yesterday, and while it’s on the pricey side, it’s so cute! I think it would make a great present.
Hydrogels from Medela. Had the lactation consultant not introduced me with my first I think I would have never continued nursing!
I had no idea what those were, so I googled it and wow! That’s an amazing product!
When I am pumping at work late at night (night shift), I am always reading my Facebook feed to catch up on the drama. ;)
Haha, I’ll have to make sure to post some juicy stuff late at night for your entertainment.
I’m still all about the paraphernalia, but I had never heard of the Milk-Saver!! My must-have is the hands-free bustier so I can do other things while I’m using a double-pump.
Oh, I need to get one of those!
I dont have the bustier but I do have a nifty trick that accomplishes something similar http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/hands-free-pumping/
while u are there check out the kellymom website for awesome breastfeeding and pumping resources etc
What a great hack! That will save me money *and* a trip to the store. Thank you!
wow, really cool product! thank you for sharing! That’s awesome you can get 2 to 3 ounces from the other side..thats a lot of milk! good for you! i wonder if its more useful in the beginning when you’re making a lot more milk.. my baby is 2.5 months, would definitely love to try it out!
my favorite product lately are these awesome bibs i found on amazon:
My baby spits up a ton, and at first we were using burp cloths. We have found that bibs in general are a lot more convenient than burp cloths, and these ones are great- they come in a pack of 10, pretty colors (there’s a set for girls and set for boys) and they really retain a lot of spit up, dont leak onto the other side, and wash well. definitely recommend it!
Mazel tov and enjoy your son!
It probably is better the younger the baby is, but any collected milk is still useful. :) The bibs are a great idea!
I’ve seen the milkies but never tried them – now I really want to!
I have recently discovered an ebook reader (nook, kindle etc) ideal for nursing since it is lightweight and can be held and pages turned all with 1 hand.
A tall glass of ice water is essential.
Oh, ebook reader! Great idea.
I’m going to be emotional and say that the thing that has helped me most so far (baby is 2 months) is the supportive attitudes of my family and friends. For a proper “stuff” answer, my indispensable item is a nursing bra- I didn’t buy one until after the baby was born, and eep, what a nerve-wracking proposition that was.
Mazel tov on your baby! A good support system is crucial, totally. And I also had to get nursing bras after a baby once! I think I ordered them online, if I remember correctly.
I’m expecting #1 and so far, I don’t have a lot of nursing stuff (although I did order a nursing bra for the first few days). I’m really, really glad I went to La Leche League meeting though – I now have a person to call if or when I need help :) I really love the idea of the Milkies though – they are on my registry for sure!!
Oh, feel good! How nice! It’s a great idea to be connected with someone to call for support. May everything go smoothly for you. :)
A really great pump is definitely my number one essential as a working mom!
Good point! I have so much admiration to working moms who pump! That’s some dedication.
I found the belly bands from target that you wear to hold up your skirt in the beginning of pregnancy when you open your zipper etc helpful for nursing in public, no stomach or back showing at all.
Great idea! I love those things.
Just discovered your blog tonight. I really enjoy your musings, thank you!
I just had my first in July and have found that Bamboobies overnights were the only thing to get me through, even during the day when I had hyperlactation issues. I haven’t gotten the daytime ones as they are rather expensive and the Leading Lady brand ones work well for heavy leakers, though not 100% natural fibers.
I didn’t know about Milkies and that would have been great early on when it was like Niagara Falls! A good friend told me that she would just stick a cup under her other side – definitely a cheaper option but not-so-great when baby starts to move and groove like mine has begun to do lately!
An indispensable item is either a receiving blanket or burp cloth to stick under my baby’s cheek to catch whatever she didn’t get, as I also have a forceful let down and she’d get hit with a lot! Whatever didn’t get in her mouth was on me and old, dried BM is one of the worst smells!
Thanks Leah!! Mazel tov on your baby. :) And I am totally in the walking-around-smelling-like-milk phase. I had actually forgotten about that, and had forgotten about how nothing I wear will be clean for a long, long time. B”H!