I thought breastfeeding would come naturally and easily. Boy was I wrong. It was hard and at times frustrating.
While every baby and mom are different, I found a few breastfeeding must haves for new moms that make your breastfeeding journey a lot easier.
There were a lot of things I wish I knew before I began my breastfeeding journey. So, before I get into the essentials for breastfeeding, here are a few tips to help breastfeeding be a smoother journey for you.
What are Some Breastfeeding Tips for a Baby’s First Month?
Definitely use all of the breastfeeding must haves from this article. I would put them on your baby registry to get them for free, and stock up before your baby arrives, so you can best be prepared.
Use all the free resources at the hospital. Consult a breastfeeding nurse at the hospital and learn all you can from them.
Also, be sure to ask about a tongue tie on your newborn. My firstborn had a tongue tie and it made breastfeeding extremely painful and difficult.
Go at your own pace and don’t compare yourself to other moms. Do what works best for you and your baby.
I preferred pumping and formula feeding both of my little ones due to a lot of different factors. Use your mother’s intuition and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about your decision.
What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding has a lot of great benefits for you and your little one. Here are a few:
- Very nutritious for baby
- Faster weight loss
- Stimulate the uterus to contract back to normal size
- Less chance of anemia for mom
- Breast milk has antibodies for baby
There are other great benefits for breastfeeding as well. It is a great option for moms and babies who can breastfeed. If not, I am a firm believer in “fed is best.”
Some of these links are affiliate links meaning if you purchase from these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Everything I share are my own opinions and things I personally use and love. You can learn more by reviewing my disclosure.
What should Breastfeeding Women Avoid?
This ultimately all depends on what your child needs. Some can’t have dairy or soy right from the start while others don’t mind.
Watch what you eat closely and notice if your child is getting an upset stomach.
Just like some foods make us gassy, they will also make your little one gassy as well. Here are a few foods to avoid in general:
Chocolate may also hurt your little one’s tummy as well. Caffeine may stimulate your baby as it would you. Use caution.
If you find your baby with an upset stomach, you can always try gripe water and some earthley.com/product/infant-tummy-relief/ref/ktekurio07/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener nofollow”>all-natural tummy relief.
What are Some Good Resources for Learning How to Breastfeed?
Make sure to use all the resources at the hospital before you go home. The nurses may have some training but they should always have a lactation support person you should talk to to get some great advice and help.
Here are some other great breastfeeding resources in case you are struggling or need extra help:
- LeLeche League
- International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA)
- breastfeeding/learning-breastfeed”>Learning How to Breastfeed
- Breastfeeding Class
Be sure to always check your local resources around you. The closet WIC office have tons of free resources for breastfeeding moms.
Breastfeeding Must Haves For New Moms
These are breastfeeding essentials that really helped me to have a much easier time breastfeeding. Whether you are pumping, solely breastfeeding, or doing a hybrid, these are some of the things that make breastfeeding easier.
1. Silicone Breast Pump
This is a huge breastfeeding necessity. It is probably my absolute favorite. I love it so much I got two.
The haakaa is a silicone pump. The best thing is it is hands-free! I could put it on and do the dishes or when I’m driving.
This is perfect for either breastfeeding or pumping. Moms can put it on the opposite breast while the baby eats. I’ve heard moms talk about how well it stays on, even when their baby is kicking!
I was able to use this silicone manual breast pump while feeding my newborn, all the while my toddler was climbing on me, and I still got 4oz of milk from the pump!
Check out my six haakaa tips to help you get the most out of this amazing breast pump!
I even used them daily in the shower to collect the letdown. These breastfeeding necessities helped me gain a huge freezer stash.
When I was pumping, I would put the haakaa one right before and right after I pumped to get the most breastmilk out as possible.
I was below on milk supply before I got this and now I have about 4-5 bottles on average saved up in the fridge.
The haakaa manual breast pump stays on super well and actually gets out a lot of breastmilk. The Haakaa is so easy to use as you only have to place it on, and then you are hands-free!
This is something I recommend every mom put on her baby registry for sure!
2. Nursing Pads
I have used a variety of nursing pads and there are two types that I absolutely loved.
First, I do not like disposable ones. Those feel like a waste to me and there are a lot of better products to try!
I used the disposable pads I received in my free baby boxes but other than that I never bought them again.
Reusable Nursing Pads
I used these amazing nursing pads at night or around the house when I am not busy. They are so soft and so effective.
The best thing is they are reusable and come with a bag to wash them in, so they don’t break easily. They have bamboo in them which is why they are so soft.
Reusable nursing pads are not only eco-friendly but you can also use them as makeup removers when you’re done breastfeeding.
At first, I was hesitant about these interesting nursing pads, but I truly love them.
They are amazing especially at the beginning of breastfeeding when your breasts are engorged all the time as soon as your milk comes in.
These milk catchers actually will catch and store whatever leaks so you can save even more milk!
It was a huge blessing when I was low on supply to help build my freezer stash quickly.
These don’t work throughout the night sadly as the milk will leak when you lie down.
However, I wore them during the day all the time.
I could even wear them out and about and it never looked weird or out of place. They fit perfectly in my bra.
These milk catchers are also good to give some room for your nipples to breathe and not hurt when you have to wear clothes.
Even if you plan to breastfeed exclusively, you never know when you might have to pump.
My baby had trouble latching due to a lip tie, and it was so frustrating for her to try to latch, pumping was the best option.
However, you can always breastfeed and pump to build a storage supply, or if you go back to work full-time.
There are a few pumps I want to suggest no matter what your journey may look like.
There are a few manual pumps to choose from. Usually, the hospital will give you one and it is indeed a manual pump that requires a lot of work and can only be used on one side. I would only use this for extreme cases, as there are a lot better options out there.
The Haakaa silicone breast pump is an amazing manual breast pump. I was so impressed with how well they work, especially compared to the traditional manual pumps.
Double pumps are always great to have in case something goes wrong. My baby had a tongue-tie and it made breastfeeding hard. It was nice to have the breastpump to fall back on when I needed it.
Many insurances allow you to get a free breast pump! The second time around I was able to go through AeroFlowBreastPumps and got a nice free Motif Luna. It was the perfect breast pump and my favorite one I’ve ever gotten.
AeroFlow will take care of the entire process. They contact your insurance, your doctor, everything! Mine came in a matter of a month, while I’ve heard others had to wait until after the baby was born.
The Motif Luna uses a large number of speeds and suctions to let you personalize to fit your needs. It got more milk out in just 15 minutes than any other pump I tried in 30 minutes!
With AeroFlow, I also got a packaged deal so I got the pump, nursing pads, and milk storage bags. It was a great experience, so try to get a free one before you buy one!
If you do have to pump, a pumping bra will save your life. I tried to go without one for months because they can be pretty expensive, but they are so worth it.
Get a hands-free pumping bra so you can relax. When you relax while pumping your milk supply will increase.
Check out more of my pumping must haves to help make pumping a whole lot easier.
4. Nipple Care
Your nipples are going to hurt. It is a new process for your breasts and it takes time to adjust. Here are two things that really help that process.
I don’t even have to explain myself. This is just a breastfeeding necessity as you will or already have found out. I tried multiple types.
I would go for Earth Mama’s Nipple Butter. It is made with all-natural ingredients, so it is not only safe for your body, but also your precious baby as well.
I also found it so helpful to use before pumping to help with suction and take away some of the pain that can come with pumping.
You can wear these in place of nursing pads the first few days while you’re getting in your milk supply.
5. Breastmilk Storage Bags
I had some free trial breastmilk storage bags from other brands but these incredible breastmilk storage bags turned out to be my favorite. Let me tell you why.
First, they hold 8oz instead of the typical 6oz so you use fewer bags and less space in your freezer.
These are a breastfeeding must have as it is truly a lifesaver because it creates so much more space in your freezer!
Second, they can stand up on their own, taking even less space in your freezer. You don’t have to lay them down and hope nothing bumps into them and they stay flat.
Finally, these have a spot to clip and you can pour easily and cleanly! How awesome is that! No more mess and spilled milk, and we all know how sad it is to lose milk!
These amazing storage bags were definitely my go to all the time instead of the traditional ones.
6. Lillemer Heat Pads
Check out my other new moms must haves you shouldn’t live without.
They are heat pads filled with flaxseed, and you can choose to have with or without lavender mixed in. The lavender is a great add to help keep you relaxed while you breastfeed or pump. (you can always put some lavender essential oil on as well!)
Not only are they heating pads, you can also freeze them and use them as an ice pad. Again, helping with engorgement or when you end your breastfeeding journey.
You can also use coupon code KATEABLE for 10% off!
7. LaVie Massagers
These incredible massagers are a breastfeeding essential to help ease the process as much as possible.
8. Nursing Cover
A nursing cover will help you, your baby, and others are comfortable. It is always your choice and you certainly never have to cover up, only if you want to.
Some babies need less stimulation while eating. If that is the case, a nursing cover will help them not get distracted while eating.
I love this dual-function nursing cover as it is also a car seat cover and scarf as well!
9. Nursing Pillow
BreastFriend is an amazing nursing pillow. If you are exclusively nursing, this is one of a definite nursing must haves.
It has a water bottle holder, which is so crucial for your milk supply.
10. Nipple Shields
Sometimes when your baby is struggling to latch, a nipple shield can help tremendously.
I used one of these with my first when she had a tongue-tie.
There are different sizes and can help in that initial struggle. It is also easy to wean off when you want to as well.
Breastfeeding Station Must Haves
You will want to have a breastfeeding station all set up to help make things a lot easier. Here are some of my favorite breastfeeding station must haves:
- Nipple cream
- Diaper caddy to keep things organized
- Pumping bra and breast pump
- Nursing pads
- Heat pads
- LaVie massagers
- Milk catchers
- Baby wipes or cleaning wipes
- Comfortable chair or position
- Nursing pillow
- Water bottle
- Nightlight for night feeds
- Baby items (diapers, wipes, pacifiers, etc.)
Having these breastfeeding essentials on hand in an organized place will help tremendously. Not only will having a breastfeeding station help relax you but you don’t have to worry about finding things.
These must haves for breastfeeding moms literally saved my life in more ways than I can count.
I’m able to provide milk for my baby. Without these products, I thought I wouldn’t be able to feed her. Feeding is not a struggle anymore, which it never should be.
What breastfeeding necessities have you found that you cannot live without? Share them below!