Breastfeeding Essentials for Nursing Moms

In honor of Black Breastfeeding week, I figured I'd celebrate by dropping some breastfeeding gems on the blog all week long.  I've breastfed two babies, and am currently breastfeeding our third child.

With two breastfed babies already under my belt, I think it's safe to say that I've learned a thing or two about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is definitely a full time job all by itself. Before breastfeeding, I suggest doing as much research as you possibly can to help you on your journey. There's a wealth of knowledge out there to help you along your journey.

Today, I want to share my breastfeeding must haves, things I had to have with each baby and things I've found to be super helpful.

10 breastfeeding essentials for breastfeeding moms

  1. Boppy Pillow // The Boppy Pillow was a must have for all of my babies. It made breastfeeding a newborn so easy, especially considering how tiny they are when they're first born. This "C" shaped pillow wraps around your waist and helps you get baby to the perfect height to nurse. Definitely a life saver, especially for postpartum.
  2. Coconut Oil // While breastfeeding should never be painful, that doesn't mean you won't experience some soreness and discomfort in the early weeks as you and baby are getting adjusted. There's many nipple balms out there on the market, but I find that coconut oil works just as well for healing sore, cracked nipples.
  3. Water // While breastfeeding, it's important to stay hydrated as hydration can have a direct impact on your milk supply. Not only that, breastfeeding just makes you thirsty (and hungry) all together Drinking water can be a bit of a challenge for me, so putting it in a cute water container somehow encourages me to drink more. 
  4. Breast pump // If you work outside the home and plan on going back to work, an efficient pump is necessary. My favorite? The Spectra USA Hospital Grade Pump. I've used the Spectra S2 breast pump with all of my children, and I love how great it is at getting the milk out. It's a closed system (which means no molding in the tubes!) Pumping is great for relieving engorgment, clogged milk ducts, and building up a nice milk stash if you plan to be away from your baby for a bit.
  5. Haakaa // The haakaa is a favorite product of mine, and I wish I knew about it with my first two children! It's a silicone breast pump that catches the let down from the opposite breast you're nursing on. With my first two, I remember using a burp cloth to try and stop the let down, and would be left with a cloth full of precious milk. Just think: if you use the haakaa after every feed for the day, you'll have yourself an extra bottle for the day, on top of your pumping sessions. Game changer!
  6. Heating pads // Another gem I wish I had discovered with my first two children. Heating pads are great for helping with the let down reflex when breastfeeding, which will increase your milk flow. This comes in especially handy if you're pumping. There were plenty of times where I've pumped at work, my breasts still felt full and I couldn't get another let down to release the milk. Definitely a must have!
  7. Sprigs Life Lacti Milk // In addition to taking my multivitamins, drinking plenty of water, and taking in enough calories, I've also been taking this Sprigs Life Lacti Milk. Low milk supply is the last thing I worry about these days. Lactimilk helps support breastmilk production, and it's been a great supplement in making sure baby gets the vitamin C, iron, and calcium she needs.
  8. Manual Pump // A manual pump is another breastfeeding must have that's great for when you don't feel like pulling our your electric pump! I use the Lansinoh Manual Pump while at home for a quick pump. I also leave one in my pump bag at work in case I forget the pump parts to my electric pump (trust me, it's happened before!)
  9. Nursing Bra & Nursing Tanks // Your breast will likely go up a size or two once you start breastfeeding, and nursing bras are perfect for supporting them. Nursing tanks are also helpful for nursing around the house.  Just release the snap at the front and feed!
  10. Support // Of all these things, the one thing breastfeeding mamas absolutely need is support. If you read my post on Why We Need a Black Breastfeeding Week, if there's anything breastfeeding mamas needs, it's education and support. There's tons of Facebook groups on breastfeeding. There's also a ton of breastfeeding mamas on Instagram. Reach out to your Instagram sister friend with questions!

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