Being a mother is a full-time job, especially when you’re nursing a newborn. With the baby feeding every 2-3 hours, the demands can be quite intense. Breastfeeding is a beautiful journey that offers numerous benefits to both you and your baby, but it’s also a challenging task.
That is why it’s crucial to make yourself as comfortable as possible to keep going. After four years of long and ongoing breastfeeding, I discovered that these items are what made my long journey possible. Let me share that list of breastfeeding survival tools with you.
Here are some must-have items that have made my breastfeeding journey smoother and more enjoyable. Trust me on this.
A comfortable nursing chair for breastfeeding
A comfortable nursing chair is a lifesaver. I found that this glider chair is at the very top of my breastfeeding survival tool. It provides the right support for my back, legs, and arms, making each feeding session less strenuous. If you’re not sure about getting a nursing chair, at least consider a little stool to keep your legs elevated in a good position. It’s all about reducing discomfort and strain on your body.
Apart from being a nursing chair, it also serves as a rocking chair to gently rock your baby to a deep sleep after a feeding session. It also has the side pockets which are extremely useful for you to keep some clean burp clothes or tissue easily reachable just in case of a spit up.
A comfortable nursing pillow for breastfeeding
A nursing pillow is a great companion, especially when you’re still recovering from childbirth or during those late-night feedings. I’ve been using the Hugsie pillow since my pregnancy, and it has proven to be a fantastic investment. It provides excellent support for the baby and eases the strain on my arms during long nursing sessions.
You can also turn Hugsie into a baby comforting pillow as it’s super soft, comfortable and anti-mite too! Do take note however to not leave an infant unsupervised on the soft surface as it imposes a suffocation risk.
Breast Pads to save you from embarrassment
During the initial phase, when your body is still adjusting milk production, breast pads can save you from unexpected milk letdowns and potential embarrassment. The breast pads help to avoid staining your clothes. Not to mention how comfortable having breast pads on as it helps you to stay dry. I recommend changing them often to prevent bacteria buildup.
Personally, I can highly recommend the Pigeon Premium Care Breast Pads. They are super comfortable and super absorbent. The adhesive holds on very well even when it’s completely soaked up with milk. Pair them with a supportive nursing bra and you can be rest assured that you won’t experience any leakage. Oh, and you won’t need a nipple shield even if you experience nipple cracks. That’s because these breast pads are so soft it wouldn’t rub on you, providing you with maximum comfort.
Medicated Cream to treat Sore Nipples
Yes, you read that right. Sore nipples are a thing when you are a nursing mom. Even with careful nursing, nipple cracks can sometimes occur, causing significant discomfort. I’ve found that a good medicated cream (Lansinoh, the link here) can alleviate the pain and promote faster healing. It’s a little addition that can make a huge difference in your comfort during breastfeeding.
If you prefer not to risk your baby swallowing the medicated cream and prefer to go organic, you can dab a little of your breastmilk on the sore nipple. This will help as well. Don’t forget that breast milk contains anti-bacterial properties and can help the cracked nipple to heal faster. This usually happens in the beginning of the breastfeeding journey when your baby is still learning to nurse properly.
On the go pump for breastfeeding… for me it’s Haakaa Pump
Says who a nursing mother needs to stay home ALL the time? I know with the frequent nursing schedule going out is not always the easiest. But, with a little planning and a proper breastfeeding portable pump, it is actually very easy to do.
For on-the-go convenience, I personally can highly recommend the Haakaa pump. It is a must. Whether you’re travelling or out for a walk, this handy pump allows you to express milk whenever and wherever you need to. It does not require any power supply or assembly. It’s also extremely lightweight and very portable.
For me, I also used the Haakaa pump to remove some foremilk before I began breastfeeding my little one. My little one tends to get colicky when he gets too much foremilk. Hence, I would use the Haakaa pump to remove my foremilk so that my little one drinks more hind milk which is higher in fat content. The rich hind milk helps to keep the baby’s little stomach fuller for a longer time, allowing your baby to sleep more!
An Electric Pump for higher efficiency at home
When it comes to building up your milk supply, I personally benefited from the Philips Avent electric pump. Although it requires electricity and has several small parts to clean, it’s incredibly effective. Be aware, though, that it might not be the easiest to set up in the middle of the night.
During the first few days of breastfeeding, my electric pump has really helped me to build my milk supply. As a newborn tends to be sleepy most of the time, your baby will spend more time sleeping than nursing. This does not help your body to build the milk supply as your body will produce the breast milk according to the demand of your baby. Hence by pumping frequently, it helps to send signals to your breasts to produce more milk to cater to your baby’s growing milk demand.
Electric pumps are very efficient compared to the manual Haakaa pump. The Haakaa pump collects your milk letdown or collects your milk via gentle suction. Meanwhile an electric pump works by nipple stimulation combined with a stronger suction that allows quick milk flow. An electric pump can save you a lot of time and yet collects more milk.
Burp or Muslin Cloths
After nursing, burping the baby is necessary, and sometimes little accidents happen. Having burp or muslin cloths ready can save you from a quick outfit change if the baby spits up some milk.
A Soft Night Light
Many new mothers may have forgotten to prepare this very important breastfeeding survival item in the baby’s nursery. But, a soft, gentle nightlight is important for late-night feedings. You need to be able to see your baby to ensure your baby is latching properly. A light that is too bright may risk waking up your baby completely. I use the light from the Fisher Price Butterfly Dream sound machine with a light projection cot mobile. It provides a soft, warm glow that doesn’t wake the baby completely and is also soothing for your baby with gentle lullaby / white noise.
You may ask this question, do I really need a nursing bra? Well personally for me, yes. Nursing bra makes it very convenient and easy for me to breastfeed my baby. Think about it. Instead of having to remove the entire bra, you can easily access your breast with a flap on the nursing bra. If you are an oversupply mom like myself whose breast is large, heavy and full 80% of the time, you will definitely need a nursing bra for a good support.
Also, eventually you’ll need to leave the house for doctor’s appointments with the baby. A good nursing bra makes feeding outside of the house much easier. Consider getting a nursing cover for added privacy if you feel you need it.
Lastly, Milk Storage Bags and Proper Container
If you’re planning to continue breastfeeding after returning to work, you’ll need milk storage bags and a proper container to keep the milk at a safe temperature.
And lastly, don’t forget to hydrate! Always keep a bottle of water nearby to rehydrate after nursing. Taking some vitamins is also advisable, as breastfeeding is hard work and you need to be well nourished, not just for your baby but for yourself too.
There you have it, my breastfeeding survival tool list
All these items have made my breastfeeding journey more comfortable and efficient. This way, you will be able to breastfeed longer and provide more nutrients for your baby. My four years of breastfeeding have indeed been challenging, but these must-haves made it a lot more manageable.
Breastfeeding is a unique experience for every mother. It’s a journey filled with love, commitment, and the occasional hurdle. But remember, you’re not alone. There are tools and resources out there to support you. These items I’ve shared have been integral in my own journey and I hope they can help you too.
Remember, mama, you’ve got this! You’re doing an amazing job nourishing your little one, and every step you take is a testament to your love and dedication. So keep going, trust yourself, and know that you’re not just a good mother, but an amazing one.
Disclosure: All the product reviews are based on my own opinion and I’m not paid for it. This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links with no additional costs to you. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.