We thought breastfeeding was as simple as having a breast and a baby. Spoiler alert! It's a little more complicated than that, but these items will help make the process smoother. This post contains affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Each product linked is one we personally used (and liked!) while breastfeeding.
Nipple Cream or Balm (Lansinoh)
Nursing Bras (options for daytime use and others that are comfortable enough for sleep)
Breast Pads (disposable and/or reusable)
You may also find you like:
Nursing Tank Tops or Camisoles
Nursing Pillow (Boppy or My Brest Friend)
Nursing Cover or Scarf
For Pumping and Storing Breastmilk:
Haakaa Silicone Manual Breast Pump (or two or three Haakaas if you use often)
Double Electric Breast Pump or Hands-free Pump (if you plan to pump frequently)
Spare Pumping Parts
Sterilizer for Pumping Parts (Microwaveable Sterilizer Bags)
Breastmilk Storage Containers (bags, bottles, or glass containers designed specifically for breastmilk)
WTFTM Tips: Refrigerate Haakaa or other pump parts in between uses. You are likely to be eligible for a free double electric breast pump through your health insurance.
To Feed Your Baby Pumped Breastmilk:
Dishwasher Basket (Munchkin)
Hand Sanitizer for the diaper bag
Bottle Sterilizer (microwaveable version works well and is very affordable) Cost Saving Alternative: submerge in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes to sterilize
Cooler and cold-pack to transport stored breastmilk
For Additional Support:
A prenatal breastfeeding class
Support from a lactation professional - ask your healthcare provider or search the U.S. Lactation Consultant Association to find an international board certified lactation consultant, or IBCLC, in your area
Breast Shells or other products for inverted or flat nipples (more info from LLL USA )
A notepad or a breastfeeding app on your phone or tablet to track feedings
Tips for Breastfeeding:
Prepare: learn about breastfeeding before baby's arrival to better understand:
Preventing, and caring for, soreness in nipples or breasts
Milk supply, and what you can do to help your supply or to find relief if you are engorged
How often to feed your baby during the first days and weeks and as your baby grows
Common breastfeeding issues
How to properly store and prepare breastmilk if you plan to pump (CDC guidelines)
Get Comfortable: to prevent or ease back and neck pain, find and practice breastfeeding positions or spots in your house that are comfortable for you and your baby. For some moms, finding a comfortable chair or glider or using a pregnancy pillow or a nursing pillow (like a Boppy nursing pillow or My Brest Friend) helps to provide additional support and comfort. A certified lactation consultant can help you to learn different breastfeeding positions. Wear comfortable nursing-bras and clothing.
Tips for Bottle Feeding Your Baby Breastmilk:
You don't need to serve breastmilk warm! If baby gets used to room temperature or cold breastmilk, you can serve your baby a bottle of freshly-expressed or refrigerated breastmilk!
Try one of each of a few different bottle types to see what you and baby like most (e.g. Dr. Brown's, COMO TOMO, Tommee Tippee, Avent, Nanobebe).
Once you've chosen a bottle brand you like, buy some of each size. You can also buy different size nipples, but the larger bottles typically come with the larger nipples which you can use on the smaller bottles once ready.
Get enough bottles to not have to wash them more than once per day. Even easier, put them in the dishwasher and run the dishwasher each night.
CDC Guidelines for Proper Storage and Preparation of Breastmilk FDA Guidelines for Cleaning a Breast Pump
Online breastfeeding resources, classes, and support: La Leche League Stanford Medicine : Getting Started with Breastfeeding (free) Breastfeeding 101 by Milky Mama Milkology (Freebie Library and Online Courses) Medela's Breastfeeding University Lactation Link (Courses and e-Consults)
Milk Stork - offers options for shipping or traveling with breastmilk
WTFTM Tip: If you're reading this before baby comes, check out which of these breastfeeding essentials you should pack in your hospital bag.