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Welcome, Mama! Do you need help deciding which nursing essentials you need and what to put on your registry? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
This article discusses nursing essentials that every mama needs on her breastfeeding journey.
1. Water bottle
Weren’t expecting that one, hm? Water is so important for breastfeeding. It helps to keep you hydrated and your milk supplying coming. So, go ahead and buy a Hydroflask, or some other reusable water bottle, and keep it with you at all times. Fill it up at least 4 times a day.
Another one you weren’t expecting? Don’t forget to eat, mama! You are burning through calories quicker than you ever have. Eat healthy snacks and keep them within reach – by your couch, next to the glider/rocking chair, in your diaper bag, and in your car.
3. Nursing bra and clothes
Nursing bras and tops allow for easy access while on-the-go. Invest in at least one nursing bra for when you’re out and about. I suggest keeping at least two sleeping/lounging nursing bras to wear daily around the house.
4. Nipple cream
Nipple cream will be a lifesaver during that first week. I loved Boobease because it was safe for me and baby. It’s also vegan. Most nipple cream is made from lanolin, a byproduct of sheep.
Boobease is easy to put on and a small container will last almost three weeks. Don’t forget to apply to your entire nipple and areola after every feed, especially in those early weeks. Nipple cream is something you can’t live without.
5. Reusable nursing pads
Now, I’ll be honest. These won’t do much in the beginning, since you’ll probably be spraying like an unsupervised fire hydrant, but they work well for everyday use after you have control of your let downs. There is nothing more embarrassing than talking to your coworker, neighbor, or grocery store clerk and milk soaking through your shirt.
Don’t trust the “overnight protection” brands – they won’t work. Invest in a mattress protector if you’re worried about leaks on your mattress (it will happen). I shoved two folded hand towels in my cami for 8 weeks because nightly leaks happen!
6. Milk saver/pump
I’ve never used my electric pump. When I decided to stay home with baby, there was no reason to start pumping. I breastfed exclusively until baby was 6 months old. However, it would have been helpful to pump while baby nursed, had I needed a stash.
If you have an abundant supply like me, but don’t need a huge stash, check out the Haakaa milk saver. It suctions to your breast and catches any extra milk from let downs. I was able to save over 100oz in 3 months from simply attaching it to my breast while baby nursed. It was so easy! I donated the 100oz to a local family in need – every little bit helps.
Stack them high, mama! You don’t need anything fancy – a regular ol’ pillow will do. I was so excited when I found a Breastfriend nursing pillow at a local consignment sale for $10 – cover and all. But, when I tried using it, it was so uncomfortable and only allowed me to sit with a straight back. I can’t image a Boppy would be any different.
8. Pumping supplies
If you are pumping, you will need pumping supplies – a pump, milk bags or freezable glass jars, milk warmer, and bottles. I was fascinated by the Kiinde nursing system – you pump directly into the bag and freeze it. When baby is ready for a bottle, just warm the bag, add the bottle attachment and nipple, and baby eats from the bag! How convenient.
However, glass jars are also a great option for storing and freezing breast milk – choose a method that works best for you and your family.
I hope this list helps to narrow down your registry list. Nursing mamas, what are your nursing essentials that make your life easier? Tell me below.