Whether this is your first child, or you’ve just expanded the family, the journey of motherhood is an exciting one! To make that journey just a little bit easier, there are a variety of tools available to moms in need. This article will focus specifically on one set of tools that millions of moms consider a lifesaver; breastfeeding supplies.
Not every mother out there enjoys using a pump over the old-fashioned way or even experiences enough discomfort to look into gel pads, but several women find these items incredibly useful. Below are several different types of supplies that might just make your life easier.
Related Article: What to expect when breastfeeding
Every mother likes to do things in her own way, which means there is no absolute “must have” checklist for each woman. However, there are some basics that several women find make breastfeeding an easier process, especially during the first few months. Here are popular items that other women recommend.
Falling more on the optional side of things, many women also enjoy using a breast pump as it is easier on the nipples and the milk can easily be placed into a bottle when on the go. If you do choose to purchase a pump, make sure to pick up the proper sanitizing equipment and storage bags as well.
You might also want to experiment with different accessory parts, mainly the suction end, until you find a comfortable fit for you. Silicone often works wonders if you are experiencing soreness or swelling. When you do find something that works, make sure to pick up a few spares just in case.
These days, there are more than enough breastfeeding tools to put in your arsenal. Check out some of these highly recommended items.
Sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to have a small stash of the good stuff lying around. Whether you’re on the go or simply couldn’t squeeze out another drop to save your life, these BPA and phthalate free containers are the perfect lifesavers.
Shaped similar to a dome, they can easily be carried discretely either in your purse or right inside of your bra! Just pull it out, pop open the cap, and your baby will have all the food they need.
Manual might not sound like much of a mom-friendly term, but these nifty devices have a few benefits up their sleeve. For starters, the silicone material is incredibly comfortable. If you’re looking for relief from sore breasts, this might just be the answer.
You can also attach the suction end of these devices so that your milk can drip freely into the container. This comes in handy during those first few months when things are little leaky. There’s no assembly required, no small parts, and you don’t have to do anything but squeeze the container part. Simple, effective, awesome.
Have you ever used an Icy Hot pad for a sore back? Take that concept and apply it to the soreness you feel after breastfeeding. These therapy packs can be warmed up to relieve plugged up ducts before nursing or chilled to help reduce swelling..
Whichever you may need them for, few products offer the kind of relief that these breast lactation supplies do. These are also especially beneficial during the early months of nursing when things tend to be the sorest.
Speaking of soothing pain, the same company that makes TherPearls also makes a product called Soothies. These are hydrogel pads that provide comfort and protection for the tender skin. If you’ve ever found your soreness agitated by rubbing against your clothing, then this might be a product you want to pick up.
Their fabric backing protects your nipples against friction, while the gel side delivers cooling pain relief. Best of all, you can reuse them for up to 72 hours.
These tried and true aids have been used by moms for decades. Simply pump into the milk storage bag while watching your favorite TV show or scrolling through social media, place it in the fridge, and your little one has a delicious meal waiting for later. Nowadays they’re BPA and BPS free, which is good news for baby.
Aside from storage devices and pumps, there are plenty of wearables that can help make your life easier. That’s right; breastfeeding apparel isn’t just limited to nursing tanks and bras anymore.
If your child gets distracted in the middle of feeding, you know how dragging the process out can become a painful nightmare. A quick search for breastfeeding products online will yield all sorts of nursing necklaces designed to fix this little problem.
The idea is to give your child something shiny and fun to hold or look at while feeding. Just like pacifiers, they are made with non-toxic, food-grade silicone to ensure your baby’s safety. For your own, they usually feature breakaway clasps just in case your baby pulls too hard.
While it isn’t something you would want to wear out, it is something that can relieve all sorts of aches and pains at home. There are multiple variants of pillows, but most mothers prefer the ones that attach around your waist.
Make sure yours has a comfortable backrest to help maintain good posture, an arm and elbow rest to eliminate shoulder stress, and a firm cushion that keeps the baby from sliding during feeding. Bonus points if you can find one with pockets for cleanup supplies!
During those first leaky months, mothers often choose to wear nursing pads so that nothing shows through their shirts. They also double as a protective layer to help prevent sore nipples.
When picking out regular or overnight versions, make sure the material is something you find comfortable and soft. Also, double-check that the backing is made from a leak-proof material.
With so many products on the market, it can be a little overwhelming when deciding which ones you might actually need. The truth is, mothers do not need any of them, but they sure can come in handy depending on the difficulties you face when breastfeeding.
What you should ask yourself instead is, “Would any of these products make my life easier?” If the answer is yes, then go for it! You deserve a little pampering, after all.
Keep in mind that none of these devices are necessary to develop a healthy breastfeeding bond with your baby. They’re just here to make things easier for you if they can.
If you do decide to forego breastfeeding supplies and find that you enjoy the natural method, then there is one more item that can aid you in your endeavor. Several companies create breastfeeding creams specifically designed to relieve the pain your nipples will inevitably experience in the first few months.
When your baby is first learning to latch on, they will often leave the skin cracked, dry, and excruciatingly sore. Taking the pain away and hydrating the skin is as easy as applying one of these creams to the tender area.
You’ll want to avoid petroleum and alcohol-based creams, as these can dry out the skin further. It is also essential that you read the ingredients to check for any allergies you may have, as well as anything that sounds like it was made in a laboratory.
When in doubt, ask your doctor which cream they recommend. Thanks to the internet, you can also read thousands of reviews online from moms who have tried and tested these products. If hundreds of breastfeeding mothers can attest to pain relief, then it’s probably worth a try.
Last but not least are two items that can help you save space when pumping. All of that reserve milk can take up a lot of room in both your refrigerator and freezer, but there are products designed to save much-needed space.
Space savers for the fridge are simple, acting similar to soda bottle holders. While they might not be anything fancy, freezer options are a little more organized. Instead of saving your bags for later and selecting one at random (or trying to remember the order you pumped them in), these storage devices organize them for you.
Most work from top to bottom. Simply place the most recent bag on the top and pull out the bottom bag so that no milk ever goes to waste. Everyone can appreciate that kind of thoughtless organization and have your sanity intact is well worth the investment.