All the essential supplies you need for the most successful, easy, and enjoyable breastfeeding experience possible.
I’m sitting here in the quiet of my parents house, breastfeeding baby Bear, because what else would I be doing? My parents and hubby have my older two boys outside running through the sprinklers and I finally have a quiet hour or so to myself to think!
Baby Bear is baby #3 around here, so this isn’t my first time breastfeeding; but I can tell you I would have never survived nursing any of my kiddos without a few essentials. So I wanted to take some time and write down my top, must-have, can’t live without, breastfeeding essentials. And I linked everything so all you have to do is click and add to cart!! Happy breastfeeding!
Everything that I link and recommend is a breastfeeding product that I use on a regular basis and absolutely love!! I only shared products that I love and truly believe will help you in your breastfeeding journey.
This post contains affiliate links, you can read more about that here.
Medela Breast Pump: Even if you stay home like me you will definitely want a pump. Sometimes I pump to empty my breasts of the milk my baby didn’t finish, I pump if skip a feeding, I pump so I can have an emergency stash. I could go on and on, but I highly recommend having a reliable pump on hand.
Soft Shells: These things saved me when I was breastfeeding Nugget (my second baby). My nipples were raw and sore and every time my shirt rubbed against me I just cringed. I wanted to give up, then I found these soft shells! They gave my skin a much needed chance to dry and not be rubbed against. You NEED these if you plan on breastfeeding.
Manual Pump: I just discovered this (upon a rec from a friend!!) with baby #3 and I wish I had had it sooner. This incredible pump catches all the milk that leaks from one side while I nurse baby on the other side. It’s seriously genius and I have built a freezer stash of over 100 ounces without even trying. There are several versions of this, I linked the one that I use because that’s what I recommend AND it’s by far the least expensive. I linked a pump almost identical to mine because mine is no longer available on Amazon.
Bamboobies: I have tried several brands of milk absorbing pads, including disposable ones, and these are by far my favorite. They are easy to wash, soft, and very absorbent! They are worth every single cent, and fit nicely into my bra or nursing tank without wrinkling so nobody could ever tell I’m wearing them. Leaking is inevitable, but these pads will give you the confidence that you won’t leak down your shirt every 2-3 hours!
Nipple Cream: Yup, this is your life now. You’re going to need special cream just for your nipples. And trust me when I tell you, you need this. Need it. Let me put it to you this way. Have you ever had chapped lips? And they hurt and peel and it’s awful? Now imagine that, but on your nipples. Yeah, you’re going to need nipple cream. I use both brands below and love them both! If this is your first time breastfeeding, I suggest starting with the lanolin by Lansinoh (in the purple bottle).
Nursing Tank: I live in these tank tops. I have one in just about every color and I wear them all the time. I recommend getting at least 4 or 5 so that you have some to wear while you wash the others, believe me between leaked milk and baby spit up, they get dirty fast! Plus-sized is also linked below because I’m plus-sized and I personally prefer that fit.
Pillow: I know a lot of women swear by the Boppy pillow but I don’t love it. I do have one that was given to me but I’ve always had better luck with my body pillow. I like to sit against it and wrap it around and rest it in my lap. Then baby gets nestled in ready for a long breastfeeding session and a snooze. And when in doubt, a good old fashioned king size pillow does the trick too!
Breastfeeding Support: Not everybody will need items that help support breastfeeding, but I find I like using them. They help me to maintain a plentiful supply and are easy to work into my everyday diet. I also linked the prenatal vitamins that I take because I love them and vitamins are just as important during breastfeeding as they are during pregnancy.
These supplements have really boosted my supply! I only take them once a day (the recommendation is three times a day) and I only use one at a time (rather than all three). I have seen my biggest return on investment with these. These are absolutely worth every single penny!
Breastfeeding Snacks: There are a lot of different foods that can support, and increase, your breastmilk supply. In fact, I have an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to Lactation recipes; everything from smoothies to cookies!
I definitely have a few favorites that I like to make at home, but I have a couple that I have purchased and have had success with. I always figure if I’m going to snack I should snack on foods that offer good nutrition and/or support lactation.
One of my absolute favorites is granola butter! I found this a few weeks ago and I’m obsessed. I put a couple tablespoons over berries or a banana as a “right before bed” snack. It’s so incredibly delicious and keeps me full and satisfied through all of my night time feedings. That is not an easy feat!
You have to check it out, most of the ingredients individually support lactation (the first ingredient is oats!!) and together they make a super powered lactation snack! Granola butter a super easy way to snack on something that’s filling, nutritious AND supports your milk supply. (I linked to the granola butter with collagen because that’s what I buy, but they do have one without.)
Water Bottle: My last breastfeeding essential is a water bottle. I prefer large water bottles that can hold a lot of water so I don’t have to refill every hour. One thing I didn’t realize when I started breastfeeding was just how thirsty I would be, both during breastfeeding sessions and in between. If you don’t already have a great water bottle I recommend getting a few and stashing them around the house. That way you always have quick and easy access to water!
I hope my list of breastfeeding essentials has helped you. Breastfeeding is an incredible journey and something I consider a great privilege to be able to do. And that journey is much easier with the right essentials!
Do you have any must-have essentials that aren’t on this list? Drop a comment below and let me know!