When you’re pregnant, you make a baby registry. Sometimes I see registry suggestion lists that include items for mom — but not often. But then you have a baby and realize you need a bunch of stuff for YOU. Especially if you’re breastfeeding. Since I only learned/thought about most of this after my showers or after baby came, I thought I’d give a run down to help others.
If you’re going to breastfeed, you gotta take care of the tatas. That starts with nipple balm. Most are lanolin based, and this one by Lansinoh is quite common. I used it and thought it was fine. Though when I learned that it’s a secretion from sheep, I was not sure I wanted baby to get any of it in her mouth (even if I did my best to wipe it off before each feeding). Then I received a care package that included this olive oil based nipple balm from Earth Mama. And I love it. I generally apply it after each feeding, and I have never had sore or cracked nipples. I prefer the texture of Earth Mama over Lansinoh, and am more comfortable with the ingredients. Whether you use one of these or something else, nipple balm it up! Related, I also learned you can express a bit of breast milk and rub it on your nipple, which also is excellent (and free) nipple care.
Also in this realm are things like nipple shields and nipple shells. I did not buy the former, and I bought the latter but did not end up using them. I mention them so you can look into them and determine if they might be useful for you.
If you’re breast feeding, it’s likely you’ll have some leakage. Just how it goes. Thus, it’s helpful to wear nursing pads so as to not get an awkward wet spot on your shirt. You can buy disposable or cloth. I bought Lansinoh disposable ones and was given Econursing and Bamboobies cloth ones. The cloth ones are washable, and I find them more comfortable than the disposables, so that’s what I use 95% of the time. I like the Econursing ones slightly better than Bamboobies, but they’re both great. And I’ve found the disposables are useful to keep on hand in a purse or diaper bag. I don’t think I’m terribly leaky, but I can imagine disposables would be useful if you have a situation where you’re soaking through multiple cloth ones a day.
Then you need to think about nursings bras, tanks, and clothing.
The key is easy boob access many times a day, and at least for bras, something that is very comfortable and accommodates your growing and shrinking breasts. There are a bajillion options for nursing bra brands and styles. Near where I live there is a breastfeeding center, so I went and got help figuring out my size and tried on a few styles. If you don’t have something like that, I think it’s worth at least going to a store that has a variety of options, to figure out what you might like. I ended up with one from Motherhood Maternity and one from Q-T Intimates, both wireless, which is very helpful and comfortable. I’ve found both work well. Irrespective, I think it’s important to get ones with padding. Maybe there are women out there who nipples aren’t pokey when they breastfeed, but padding is definitely helpful in that department. And buy at least one that is good quality.
Then I also bought two nursing sleep bras from Kindred Bravely. Kind of like a sport’s bra, but softer and more comfortable. I think these are primarily helpful because you can wear nursing pads at night in case you leak, but not feel like you have on a super intense bra. These ones are ok, not the highest quality for the long haul, but they get the job done.
Finally, nursing tank tops. These are useful in a few scenarios. You can wear them with a cardigan and then unclip the strap and breastfeed easy peasy. Or you can wear them under other (non-nursing) shirts, so if you’re breastfeeding in public (or just out of your own home), when you pull up the other shirt to nurse, you don’t have a bare stomach potentially exposed. Numerous friends recommended the Target brand, so I bought two colors of their camis. They work well and are good staples. Then I splurged on this Bravado padded nursing bra. And it’s lovely and wonderful. Because of the padding, I can wear it without a nursing bra, and it’s long and form fitting. Well worth the money to have at least one good nursing tank, in my opinion.
BUT it also brings me back to the start — this is kind of a lot of stuff, and I’ve not even bothered to go into the realm of nursing clothing (i.e., tops/dresses that have easy boob access). The dollars add up quickly. We register for all kinds of goodies and gadgets for baby, so why not pick out a few useful things for mom too? Maybe you think it’s slightly weird for other people to buy you nipple shields, but maybe not. Perhaps at least some items won’t feel weird to put on a registry. Or at least you can use one of the Amazon or Target gift cards you’ll inevitably receive to purchase some of this.
I bought most of this stuff on Amazon and just looked at reviews to make a reasonable guess at what I might like. So I definitely don’t think these are THE best brands or items, but just what has worked out for me.
Two bonus items to round this out:
Haakaa silicone breast pump, to catch any leakage or quickly express some milk without a bunch of pumping equipment.
Hand free pumping bra, because yes.
Are there other supplies that have helped you as a breastfeeding momma? Other brands or variations on items I’ve shared that you have liked?