Breastfeeding can be challenging, and there’s no shame in admitting that. However, with the right preparations – and the right supplies – you can enjoy a successful, much easier breastfeeding experience.
Now, there is already so much to prepare with a baby due anytime soon. So if you are planning to breastfeed, whether exclusive or not, it is best to start preparing the supplies before you give birth.
Don’t worry; you don’t need a lot of products to breastfeed. In fact, at the end of the day, the only non-negotiables you need to breastfeed are your breasts! However, because you may encounter some difficulties, it is better to invest in some supplies for a better breastfeeding experience.
The Importance of a Good Breastfeeding Experience
Breastfeeding is not just about feeding. Yes, nursing your baby will provide them with excellent nourishment. But aside from that, the act alone of breastfeeding is vital for their overall health and well-being. This includes boosting their physical, mental, and emotional development.
The act of breastfeeding creates an intense connection between you and your child. With this said, breastfeeding is two-sided. Your baby benefits from the nourishment and comfort breastfeeding provides. At the same time, it gives you not only a feeling of contentment but also several health benefits like faster recovery from childbirth.
This is why it is important to create a healthy breastfeeding experience from the very beginning. Feeling good about breastfeeding is key to maintaining your nursing habit, which results to a continual breast milk supply. Now, what supplies do you need to have a better breastfeeding experience?
7 Essentials for an Easier Breastfeeding Experience
1. Breastfeeding Pillow
One thing you need to know about breastfeeding is that it doesn’t usually last for only a few minutes. Some babies are content to latch on the breasts for 30 in a single session, and some sessions may last for an hour! So take care of your back because you would not want to be hunched over for a long period of time.
A nursing pillow props your baby up to a position that is much easier for breastfeeding. This gives you the support you need and reduces the strain of breastfeeding on your back… and your neck and shoulders. It will also help carry the weight of your baby, giving your arms a rest.
Another thing you need to breastfeed is a soft and comfortable blanket. A baby blanket is multi-purpose. It will provide warmth to you and your baby especially during chilly nights of breastfeeding. It will also keep your baby snug against you, which makes them feel more comfortable and secure.
Then aside from this, a baby blanket gives you the privacy you need especially if there are other people around. While you may opt to buy a separate nursing cover, simply using a baby blanket is more practical because you probably already have one. Also, you can use your blanket for many other things as your baby grows up.
3. Nursing Bra
Next, it is also good to invest in a good nursing bra. A good nursing bra not only gives you proper support but also makes you feel more comfortable. You see, your breasts may feel heavy once your milk comes in. A high-quality nursing bra is effective in supporting your breasts and relieving strain.
Also, it is important to have a nursing bra especially if you are breastfeeding throughout the day. Unlike ordinary bras, a nursing bra has flaps that will give you – and your baby – easy access to your breasts. With a nursing bra, it will be more convenient to nurse anytime.
4. Nursing Pads
If you didn’t know about this breastfeeding fact before, then it’s time to know that your breasts will leak especially in the first months of breastfeeding. While having leaky breasts is common and normal, it may feel uncomfortable and embarrassing, especially if you’re not home.
During the first months when leaking is an issue, it is very helpful to have a supply of nursing pads at hand. The nursing pads will catch your leaks, protecting your clothing from stains. They may not prevent the leaks from coming, but they will definitely make you feel more confident and secure.
5. Breast Pump
Another essential that you need for breastfeeding your baby is a breast pump. Even if you exclusively breastfeed, don’t discount the importance of having a pump around. During the times when your baby is too full to feed, pumping will relieve engorgement from your breasts and will help you collect your breast milk.
Breast pumps are also highly useful if you are planning to return to your workplace. In this case, it is recommended to invest in two heavy-duty electric pumps: one for work and one for the home. Electric breast pumps are more efficient and can stimulate your breasts to produce more milk.
6. Milk Storage
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, having enough breast milk storage options is a must! If you are a working mom, these are essential as you will need storage options for your pumped milk. You can use bottles, but storage bags are lighter to carry and more convenient to use.
If you are a stay-at-home mom, as mentioned above, you should expect to occasionally pump, too. Because of this, you will also need storage solutions like bottles and bags. You may also use glass containers or milk trays. With breast milk containers around, it will be much easier for your husband or a babysitter to feed your baby.
7. Nursing Clothes
Finally, to create a better breastfeeding experience, it is also crucial to have clothes that make nursing easier. There are many brands that make tops and dresses specifically designed for breastfeeding. They have flaps or cuts that give your baby easier access to your breasts while protecting your privacy.
Then again, you don’t necessarily have to buy new clothes. A more practical solution is to make use of the clothes that you already have. Buttons, zippers, and snaps are your new friend. Simply wearing a stretchy tank top under a button-up blouse does the job!
You don’t have to buy a lot to successfully breastfeed. These basic supplies will help create a beautiful breastfeeding experience that is cozy, conducive, and comfortable for both you and your baby.