Breastfeeding Essentials Guide

In celebration of National Breastfeeding week I wanted to share with you a list of things I found very helpful in my breastfeeding journey.  I nursed Colton for a full year and I am 4 months in with Caleb and going strong!

I know there are so many products out there for breastfeeding, different brands and all that fun stuff, so I hope this guide helps you!

If you plan on Breastfeeding, here are some things you will want to get BEFORE you have the baby so you are prepared:

1. Breastpump:  I have two because I use one upstairs in my room and the other down in the living room and it keeps me from having to pack up my whole pumping station if Colton is playing in the living room.  Do you need two pumps?  Definitely not. But I suggest having A PUMP before you have your little one because nothing is worse than when your milk comes in and you can’t get at least a little relief.

Also- the more you pump, the more milk you will produce.  Obviously if you are going back to work or school, you need a pump to supply milk for when you are away, but you can also use a pump to build up your supply if you feel you might be low.

The two I have are the Avent Comfort Double Breast Pump and the NUK Double Electric Breast Pump.

Avent Breast Pump

What I love about the Avent Comfort Double Breast Pump:
1. GREAT SUCTION that is adjustable to comfort.
2. Comes in a nice bag to carry if you need to transport it
3. Has soft silicone cushions on the breast shields that give added comfort while pumping.
4. Is designed so you can pump while sitting up straight and it actually works!
5. The pump connects right to the Avent Bottles.
6.  Phillips Avent ALWAYS takes time to make sure every detail of a product is thought of and they did a GREAT JOB with this one!
NUK Breast Pump

What I love about the NUK Double Electric Breast Pump:
1. GREAT SUCTION.  When turned all the way up, I felt like this one had the most suction… but I don’t recommend turning any pump all the way up because more suction does NOT mean more milk.
2. Has soft silicone cushions on the breast shields that give added comfort while pumping.
3. GREAT PRICE.  The price point on this is $99.99 and for a double electric pump that WORKS GREAT, This is a great value.

2. Nursing Pads.  If you are breastfeeding you will want to invest in these for sure!  I love the disposable Avent Nursing Pads for night time and when I am out and about.  They are SUPER soft and really comfortable.  The night time ones hold A LOT so you don’t have to worry about night time leaking and who wants to lug around wet nursing pads.  I always go disposable if I am leaving the house.

Avent Nursing Pads

I also like the Milkies Softies Bamboo Nursing Pads They are reusable, which is a huge plus since you can wash and reuse over and over again.  They are also soft, and since they are bamboo they wick the moisture away from your skin which will reduce tenderness if you are experiencing any sort of irritation.

milkies Softies Nursing Pads

3. Nipple Balm In those first few weeks of breastfeeding (at least) you will want nipple balm to soothe and protect sore nipples.  Lets face it, it is a fact of life with breastfeeding- but it doesn’t have to be as bad as it seems.  I really liked the Milkies Nipple Nuture Balm  but there are several options out there.
milkies Nipple Nuture Balm

I like the Milkies Nipple Nuture Balm most because it is safe for mom AND baby.  It doesn’t need to be washed off before feedings.  Who wants to wipe off nipple balm from sore nipples before you feed your baby?  Also, I started off using lanolin and even with wiping it off, Caleb wouldn’t latch when I used it- once I switched to the Milkies Nipple Nuture Balm– we did not have this issue any more.

4. Nursing Bras and Tops I know this sounds like a no brainer, but you need these before you have the baby.  I don’t know about you, but I wanted to put my own bra on as soon as I could after delivery, so having a nursing bra on hand was a MUST.  I also love my nursing tops.  I have gotten pretty good with nursing in regular shirts too, but I really do prefer the ease of using my actual nursing tops.

5. Nursing Pillow I have a Boppy Nursing Pillow and I LOVE it!  If this is your first baby, I suggest this nursing pillow because it is two sided.  You have the soft cushiony side and the harder, but still soft side.  Since you won’t know which type of surface you prefer, I recommend this pillow since it is so versatile.  It also has a strap that makes it good to carry and stays in place while you are using it!

Boppy Nursing Pillow

I also have the Boppy Pregnancy Back Rest Pillow.  This was advertised for use while you are pregnant, but I have continued to use it for back support while I am nursing or pumping.

boppy back rest

5. Nursing Cover
Boppy Nursing Cover
I have the Boppy Nursing Cover that I use while we are out.  I like it because it attaches around my neck and has a plastic piece on top so I can peek under and check on Caleb as he nurses.

Hunched Babies Swaddle Blankets
I also use my Hanchell Babies Swaddle Blankets as nursing covers because they are large and light weight and also very versatile.

6. Breastfeeding Support Supplements
As you know you are burning a ton of calories while breastfeeding and you need to make sure you are getting the vitamins you need so you can product the best breast milk.  I drink Mamalicious every morning for breakfast.  It is PACKED with vitamins that support breastfeeding mothers and I feel SO GREAT when I am drinking it vs if I run out.

If you are concerned about your supply I also suggest Premama Lactation Support Powder.  You can mix this right in with water.  It tastes really good and is another great supplement!

7. Sterilizer

Avent Sterilizer
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Avent 3 in 1 Electric Sterilizer.  It is basically the Mercedes of Sterilizers.  You need a sterilizer because you are dealing with food storage… for your newborn baby.  There no room for mistake and no want of any sort of bacteria.  So after you wash your pump parts and bottles, you will want to run them through the sterilizer to make sure you have all the icky bacteria KILLED.  I like this because it sits on the counter.  You don’t need to move it to or from the microwave.  Just load it up and you are ready to go.  It also comes with a nice dishwasher caddy if you have a dishwasher.  :-)

9. Bottle Drying Rack. I suggest this because it gives you a clean place to dry bottles and pump parts.

avent Bottle Rack


10.  Thermo Packs.

avent breastfeeding care
Avent Thermo Packs are AWESOME.  Cold to relieve sore or tender breasts and hot to do the same or stimulate milk flow.

11.  Milk Storage Bags.

avent milk storage bags
Another thing you need to stock up on for sure!  The Avent Milk storage bags are pre sterilized disposable bags that make milk storage easy!  I pump directly into the bag, seal it and Colton is my little milk runner and will run the milk to the freezer for me.  They even have a spot to write the date and amount on it :-)

I hope this helps you if you are considering breastfeeding.  I encourage you to give it a try and stick with it.  The bond with your little one is amazing and I can’t imaging feeding either of my boys any other way.  These products are things I personally used and felt were helpful in my breastfeed journey.  

FTC Disclosure:  I received and tested out many products that are included in this guide.  I gave only my true, honest opinions about the products. All opinions are my own.  

12 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Essentials Guide

  1. Alicia

    These are great products to have. I was fortunate and received a double electric pump from my Medicaid, before i had my son in May. I am breastfeeding and use several of these products already, and my son is almost 3 months old!

    1. mommyhasalife Post author

      This makes me so happy to hear! I do love that health insurance is covering breast pumps. It really is something that when you need it there is no time to run to a store for it.

  2. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    Ahhh, I had no idea about any of this. I formula fed my kids, so it’s a little different.

    1. mommyhasalife Post author

      You are SO right! I know I registered for breastfeeding supplies- but no one thinks to buy them for the baby shower gifts. I personally would have LOVED it.

  3. leechrista

    The sterilizer was my favorite thing ever. Could not have lived without it. So many of these products are must haves. Some didn’t work for my super short torso and huge breasts, so you know, trial and error. I could never use a boppy. The baby went all teh way up to my nose. LOL.

  4. Crystal

    You’ve got to have a good pump. I never would have maintained my sanity without being able to take a night off to go on a date night once in a while.

  5. Liz Mays

    The balm was an absolute must for me. I was so tender! I tried pumping with a sub-par pump too, and it didn’t work well. I clearly had a bad one.

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