Are you ready for the big day? Your little one is almost here! The closer you get to your due date, your excitement also intensifies. But this also means you need to start preparing essential items to make your post-pregnancy journey more comfortable, especially if you plan to breastfeed.
Just like any aspect of motherhood, breastfeeding isn’t always easy. You need help along the way. Aside from asking for support from the people around you, having some breastfeeding products ready after your baby is born is important.
Your breastfeeding essentials depend on your specific needs. To help you get started, here are seven must-have items you need for a comfortable breastfeeding experience.
A good nursing pillow helps reduce strain on your back, neck, arms and shoulders. It also supports the baby on your lap, providing a stable and comfortable surface. Breastfeeding pillows may be beneficial for mums who are recovering from C-sections or those who are nursing twins.
There are many options available on the market, but it’s important to select a nursing pillow that fits your torso so your baby is positioned at the same height as your breast.
You also need to consider the shape of the pillow you’re interested in. There are U- and C-shaped ones that snuggle against your stomach, while others can be used to wrap around your waist. Certain styles work more effectively and comfortably than others. Just make sure that it’s not too hard, not too soft and will allow you to try different nursing positions.
Nipple soreness is a common problem for breastfeeding mums. You can have dry and cracked nipples, especially if your little one is having trouble latching. The adjustment period can be challenging. Luckily, there are products that provide relief before, during and after feedings.
Nipple creams can work wonders on cracked skin. They serve as hydrators that will help slow the loss of moisture from your skin, allowing it to heal faster. When choosing a nipple cream, make sure the ingredients are non-toxic, hypoallergenic and safe to use for feeding.
Take note that sore nipples can also develop for other reasons such as thrush, mastitis, blebs, dermatitis and many more. So it’s best to talk to your doctor to find out the cause and what you can do to treat it.
Breast pump and accessories
If you’re planning to pump often, investing in a high quality breast pump is vital. You can purchase it before your baby arrives so you have the time to figure out how to set it up. Aside from collecting milk, it’s also a good tool that helps alleviate the pain and discomfort that comes along with engorged breasts.
Make sure to purchase breast pump accessories as well. For example, storage bags are convenient so you can store your pumped breast milk for future feedings. These bags are also much easier to lay flat in your refrigerator or freezer for easy storage.
Cleaning the pump is essential, but washing multiple times a day is time-consuming. You may want to invest in steam clean bags to disinfect and clean your breast pump and accessories quickly. Just simply put the pump parts and bottles in the bag with water, microwave it for a few minutes, and you’re good to go.
It’s also worth including a few nursing pads in case you find yourself having leaky breasts during the first few days of breastfeeding.
You can place these pads inside your clothes to soak up any leaks from your breasts. It comes in both washable and disposable types. If you want to have a more long-term option, washable nursing pads are for you. But if you want something more convenient, disposable pads are your best bet.
It really depends on your personal preference, so it's best to explore a few types first before purchasing.
If you have flat or inverted nipples, it’s ideal to include breast shells in your breastfeeding essentials. These shells are circular and lightweight discs that are worn between feedings. Aside from correcting flat and inverted nipples, it also helps protect sore nipples from rubbing up against your clothes.
There are also breast milk collection shells, which catch breast milk leaks between feedings. Take note that bacteria can grow in moist areas. Therefore, you should not feed your little one breast milk that you collected in your breast shells.
As a mum, it’s natural to worry if you’re producing enough milk for your baby. If you’re afraid that you’ll experience an undersupply of breast milk, it’s best to always have snacks that will help boost your supply.
Lactogenic foods such as almonds, fennel seeds, carrots and roasted chickpeas are believed to improve milk production. Many people say that eating these can significantly impact the quantity and quality of your milk supply. Although there's little scientific research backing this, there's no harm in giving them a try with your doctor's approval.
Nursing clothes are one of the most important things you need if you’re planning to breastfeed. To be able to nurse easily, you need to have tops that are specifically designed for breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding clothes have evolved over the years. From casual to formal wear, there’s a variety of styles to choose from. But most importantly, select clothes that will let you feed your child with ease and comfort.
At Kate Douglas Maternity, we want to help mums like you get access to comfortable, stylish and breastfeeding-friendly maternity clothes. Our nursing tops are created with discreet flaps and invisible front zippers for easy nursing access. These are also designed for postpartum wear, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to wear them after pregnancy.
Starting your breastfeeding journey is an exciting time. Although it can be stressful and challenging at times, you can overcome the hurdles by the help of these breastfeeding products and of course, with the support of your loved ones.