breastfeeding essentials

I got the opportunity to try out a few products made for breastfeeding women. Tripp is 6 weeks old now and I'm starting to feel like we got the hang of this n ursing thang. So I'm finally sharing my favorite products that I've tried out. These items are all what I use daily so I'm calling this your nursing survival kit :) These items help you get passed those first few tough weeks and you'll most likely continue using them throughout your nursing journey. 

1.  couple of daily nursing bras 

This bra from Kindred Bravely is my favorite. Very soft, good support, looks great under clothes, just enough room/stretch for engorgement, clips for easy feeding, what more do you need? 

If clamps in the back bother you I also have loved this bra from Ingrid & Isabel. It's a pullover style. It's a little more pricey but the fabric is more supportive. I definitely suggest sizing up with this bra, since it seems to run small. I thought a size small would work for me since I'm a size 4 (pre-pregnancy). But my boobs grew 3 cups sizes for nursing so the small was WAY too tight!  

2. couple of nursing bras for sleeping

The comfiest bra of all time from Kindred Bravely. I think I'll wear it to sleep for the rest of my life. 

3. couple of nursing tanks 

Love these from Ingrid & Isabel. Again keep in mind, like their bra they run a tad small. Their fabric is super thick and supportive, which is great for smoothing out those after-baby belly curves. I use the tanks for under non-nursing tees. You can lift your shirt and your belly is still covered to nurse in public. It's called the two-shirt method, game-changer. 

4. nursing nightgown

I live in these nursing nightgowns from Ingrid & Isabel. I interchange these with the sleeping bras mentioned above for nighttime. So so soft, I have in both black and pink!

5. afterband

BUY THE AFTER BAND! I'm 6 weeks postpartum and all of my clothing still looks ridiculous with my post baby belly. This sucks everything in and hides that post baby belly like a pro, a freakin PRO you guys. I also love that there's no velcro so you don't even notice it under your clothes. It's even super comfy, I forget that I'm wearing it! I've tried a few after bands and this one is by far the best!

6. nursing pads

Love these from Kindred Bravely. Super soft, made from organic bamboo. They absorb really well and have a water-proof backing. They are the best reusable pads I've tried and get softer after each wash. 

For night times, I found I preferred disposable. I know disposable isn't ideal but I make a crazy amount of milk in the beginning. Which means lots of leakage, especially at night. Once the reusable gets wet at all it's time to change them, so I couldn't keep up with washing them every two days. With disposable I can leave them in all night and never leak through, then I go back to the reusable in the morning since I'm not constantly leaking in the day. Here's my favorite disposable ones (these are NOT individually packaged which I found incredibly annoying and hated all that waste). 

7. great pump

After much research I decided on the Spectra S2 breast pump. I exclusively pumped for 10 months with my first with the Ameda pump but I much prefer the Spectra since trying it this time around. My favorite feature is the letdown mode, I think it really helps with the pain of pumping. I start with that mode on a low level then once it no longer hurts I switch over to regular (same level), then back to letdown mode at a higher level and keep moving up from there. I also love the nightlight feature!  Find out how to easily get a free pump with your insurance in this blog post.

I should also mention, if you plan on pumping at all whether it be for work, convenience or something else look into the Comotomo bottles. They work great for babies going from breast to bottle. Most breastfeeding moms I've talked to, prefer these over others! If you are on a budget, try the advent natural bottles first. They are more affordable and my baby actually likes both. So I'd prefer to buy the cheaper ones since you usually have to stick to the brand they like for the long haul. 

8. suction hand pump

If you don't plan on pumping much than this manual suction pump is for you. I'm going to buy one of these for every mother I know. Like I stated before, I have a crazy amount of milk in the first few weeks, breastfeeding is the messiest thing ever and I soak pads like every hour and I can soak like 4 bath towels from the side baby is not feeding on (ok maybe I'm exaggerating a bit), but it's messy you get the idea. I had NO IDEA how much milk was being wasted until I used this on the side that wasn't nursing on. I easily get 2-3 oz. per feeding....hello milk storage! Best part is it's only $9 for two. I also use to take off the edge of engorgement if baby sleeps longer between feedings and use in the car in case of engorgement emergency and I can't get home right away. Packing the pump is a pain and cleaning it is even worse. This is SO SO simple. I was skeptical that a simple suction could get so much milk out. My mind is seriously blown over this product and this is not sponsored haha I just love it that much! I bought two sets, one for the diaper bag, one for where I nurse at home and a couple for the car.

9. nipple cream

Best lanolin cream: Tubby Todd Nursing Salve 

Favorite non-lanolin cream: Motherlove Nipple Cream

On a budget? Try some good ol' coconut oil to prevent or help sore nipples.

 10. Boppy + linen cover

I love using my boppy to make nursing easy anywhere in the house. I can nurse easily in my chair in the nursery without it since it's narrow and has arm rests, so I mostly use the boppy when I want to nurse on the couch or my bed. Makes it so I'm hands free which is priceless for any mom. I love LOVE this linen cover from Madly Wish. I have a deep love for linen fabric and I love it's minimalist style and that it blends right in with my couch pillows/home decor.  

11. all the burp clothes

Love this 10-pack from Burt's Bees. Since I'm using a nipple shield, feeding can get messy. Tripp sometimes likes to unlatch during letdown, which means the shield tip is full of milk. He also loves to knock the shield off with his hands which also results in a huge mess. I've found it easiest to take a super absorbent burp cloth and tuck it under my boob in my nursing bra band. That way when he unlatches the milk just drops onto the burp cloth and doesn't leave my nursing bra or clothing (that I JUST washed 5 minutes ago) soaked in milk. Just a little tip I've found that helps me avoid extra washing and who doesn't need that? These are also incredible burp clothes just make sure you buy a billion or when you run out just resort to kitchen towels like I do ha! 

Can't forget the largest water bottle you can carry, chucked with ice, and 10 truck loads of snacks :) Couldn't live without these products! Breastfeeding is HARD. These products helped get me past that first few weeks. Now if only there was a product to help with latch haha How's your breastfeeding journey going? Any products you have loved?

July 05, 2017 — Makel Gardner