I had no idea how important these breastfeeding must-haves were going to be in my life.
Seriously, though. Breastfeeding is a tough job….especially for something seemingly so natural. I feel incredibly fortunate to have a fairly easy breastfeeding journey with my first born, but it doesn’t mean it’s “easy,” if that makes sense. While it’s not easy, it’s incredibly rewarding and I’m so grateful for my body’s ability to nourish my little guy.
I thought it would be fun to share the products that have made my breastfeeding experience easier. These may work great for some people and not well for others, but this is what’s been best for me! To keep it somewhat organized, I’ll break down my breastfeeding must-haves into the following categories:
- Milk Storage
- For Mama
I’ve only tried one brand of hospital-grade pump, but my Spectra S2 does the job well. The reason I chose Spectra over other brands, such as Medela, is because of its closed system so it makes it way easier to clean your parts. Oh, and if you’re looking for something that’s portable but hospital-grade, you’ll want to look into the S1 as it has a battery pack.
This is probably more of a “nice-to-have” than a “must-have,” but I really love having my Elvie pump as another pumping option. Especially if I’m taking it somewhere with me. Once I go back to the office, I plan to use this A LOT. It’s super quiet, fits right in your bra and allows you to have freedom while you pump. The freedom alone is worth every penny to me. I used my HSA funds to buy one of these. Note: I didn’t get two because I just use a suction pump on the other side…see below.
Manual Suction Pump (Haakaa or Elvie Curve)
This is a true MUST-HAVE for any breastfeeding mama in my opinion. Honestly, I’ve only taken out my pumps a few times, but I use my Haakaa or Elvie Curve all the time. This is how I’ve managed to build a serious freezer stash of milk. I just suction it onto the opposite boob of whichever he’s feeding on and that’s it! I usually end up collecting anywhere from 4-6 oz. per day with these. I use my Haakaa at home and my Elvie Curve while on-the-go since it fits in my bra.
Kiinde Twist System & Pouches
This entire set is genius for a few reasons. First, there are adapters so you can pump directly into a Kiinde Twist Pouch (a.k.a. less to wash later!). Second, the bags are so easy to use. I use these for pouring my Haakaa milk into and just keep collecting in one all day. They stand up and the cap makes it so easy to open and re-open. And then, when you go to give your baby a bottle, they can just use the bottle adapter and again less to wash! The ONLY flaw is that the bags are kinda bulky when you go to store them in a freezer as opposed to being flat like standard bags.
Again, this is more of a “nice-to-have,” but it’s really nice to have, okay? I’ve always had a little skincare fridge in my bathroom, but after Ryder was born, we upgraded to a bigger mini fridge in the bathroom so I could not only store skincare, but milk too! Since Ryder’s room and my bedroom are on the 2nd floor, it’s AMAZING for storing milk during those middle-of-the-night feeds.
Any will do. You’ll just start to hate the nights that you don’t have button down pajamas on when you are struggling to get a crying baby on your boob…trust me.
Nursing Bras (Sleep, Day and Workout)
I suppose you could manage without nursing bras, but they really make your life SO much easier. These are my favorites I’ve found for each time of day. I love the pull-over style for sleeping because they help catch any milk, but they don’t constrict my boobs (you don’t want constriction for milk production!). For during the day, Lively makes a great standard nursing bra that’s comfy, yet cute. And for working out, I’m loving some simple Target ones.
You can go either the reusable or disposable route on these, but in all honesty, I think your decision will rely heavily on how much leakage you actually have. I really don’t leak very much, and if I do, it’s at night while I’m sleeping. I prefer the washable pads as they’re a lot softer on your nipples. For disposable, they’re great to stash in your diaper bag or have on-the-go as a just in case.
Silverette Nursing Cups
These are an ABSOLUTE MUST, you guys. Seriously. Here’s the deal. I wore these in between every feeding for the first 2-3 weeks of breastfeeding. I put them on with a drop or two of breastmilk in the cups. My results? I have NEVER had nipple issues. Like never ever. I swear it’s because of these guys. I don’t even need nipple creams!
Lactation Boosting Powder
I love this lactation-boosting powder! The main reason why I love it is it’s full of nutrients that not only boost lactation, but help with your overall health. Balancing your overall health in the postpartum phase is so important! I found this powder to be especially helpful in that first month or so after birth to help get my hormones, mood and just overall health back on track.
There ya have it! My breastfeeding must-haves.
I’m so grateful for my body’s ability to nourish my little guy, but I’m also so grateful for the products that make all of it a little easier too! If you’re a breastfeeding mama, let me know if there are any different products that have made your life easier in the comments below. And if you’re a soon-to-be breastfeeding mama, good luck! May the milky odds be ever in your favor.