Breastfeeding is no easy task, it should be easy, right? Truth is it isn't as easy as you may think. I'ts time consuming, frustrating at times but so so rewarding! The stressful first 6 week are worth all the late and tearful nights just to see your baby grow and a milk drunk smile every now and again!
I'm not an expert, I've been a mum for approximately 8 months. However there are many items that have made my life easier as a new mum. I used most of these items on a daily basis the first few months.
Disposable Nursing Pads: These are a must have! Breastfeeding is messy and you will leak when you least expect, out shopping, when you hear a baby cry, when you're engorged. It's always best to wear some just incase. I smelt like gone off milk for the first 6 months (actually still do sometimes) but I've found that using these saved those embarrassing wet patches.
Boppy Pillow: There are many ways to use the boppy pillow, for nursing to hold baby, for setting the baby on whilst you have your hands full, to help baby support neck and back, as a pillow whilst nursing. I recommend getting a nursing pillow of some kind because it's so much easier on your back/neck/shoulders to have that support. You can get many different pillows on the market however I have found the boppy to be the best.
Medula Double Electric Pump: Speaking of lifesavers, this magic machine allowed me to continue breastfeeding. When it was really hot in May I got dehydrated Amelia was only a month old but my supply decreased dramatically to the point I wasn't producing any milk and she would be super fussy. At my midwife appointment my health visitor gave me this pump to borrow for a month or so. (Gave it back last week ooops!) I managed to pump 6-8oz a time and pumped and fed Amelia with a bottle this was when she would take the bottle. I loved using it but it is very time consuming. Of course I felt like a cow getting milked but it helped me build my supply back up. I only used it for a month.
Hand Pump: If you are unable to afford an electric pump I'd highly recommend buying a manual hand pump they are a fraction of the price of an electric one and they do the job if you need to pump. I only used mine once but that's because we were then given the electric pump. I did manage to get 5oz the first time I pumped though!
Tommee Tippee Bottles: Amelia won't take bottles now and hasn't done since she was about 2 months old. But when I pumped she took to these ones the best. I loved how easy they were to use and clean.
Nursing Cover: I never actually used one of these as I never breastfed in public when Amelia was a newborn however next time (if there's a next time) I will definitely be purchasing one and using it. No one can even see what you are doing and they come in so many different patterns and colours now so they go with your outfit. Etsy have many pretty designs.
Lanolin Cream: This is an actual life saver and what allowed me to be able to continue breastfeeding. The first few weeks/months are so painful! I would literally squirm every time Amelia latched on but I would't give up. I was given a packet at the hospital and found it would help especially if your nipples are cracked or bleeding. So I went and bought a bottle. It has helped me through the first few months. Trust me the first few months are brutal!
Lily Pads: These are great if you wish to not wear disposable pads. They are non absorbent and you and your clothes stay dry. You can't even see them through your clothes and are really discreet.
Refillable Cup: Breastfeeding is a thirsty job! The first few months all I did was sit on the sofa and nurse Amelia. I was always hungry and thirsty. So it was handy to have snacks and drinks on standby. I would fill up a refillable cup and it would last me a feeding until I could get up and refill it. It also helps you to keep count on how much water you should be in taking.
Milk Storage Bags: If you decide to pump, you will need somewhere to store your milk. I recommend these bags as you can write on them. They are already sterilized which is great too!
What have I been missing out on, what are your breastfeeding essentials?