While the list of things that a new mom needs to complete her breastfeeding routine varies depending on their lifestyles, here is a list of the essentials that most new moms use.
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding
These things can help you avoid a few breastfeeding mishaps at the beginning of your journey:
- Breastfeeding bras: These special bras allow easy access to the breasts. You only need to unclip the front part without removing the whole bra. Try to choose ones that feel soft, comfortable, and breathable while also providing some support.
- Nursing pads: You can slip nursing pads into your bras to absorb extra milk that leaks during let-down or when the breasts are full. You can choose between disposable or reusable ones to suit your lifestyle choices.
- A breast pump: Sometimes, your baby may not want to finish the breast. So, you may need to express your breast milk using a breast pump to relieve pressure or maintain milk supply. Hand expression can also be an option.
- A nipple cream: Cracked nipples or blisters can be painful. To maintain moisture and keep the nipples supple, many moms find pure lanolin nipple cream soothing.
- A nursing cover: A nursing cover maintains privacy for you and your little one during public outings. They are sold in different styles, sizes, and functions, such as extra pockets, a tag to keep track of the side you last nursed, or adjustable straps.
If you’re exclusively pumping or combining breastfeeding with pumping
In addition to the list above, here are things that you need to keep a stock of breast milk for your baby if you are offering both breasts and bottles or are exclusively pumping.
- An electric breast pump: If you are regularly pumping, electric pumps are highly recommended because they are more efficient at emptying the breasts while taking less time. Electric pumps that come with different sizes of breast shields and the option to go hands-free during pumping are a plus for busy moms.
- Hands-free pumping bras: If you opt for a hands-free electric pump, you often need nursing bras that can hold the shields to your breasts during pumping.
- Bottles and nipples: You will need a bottle to feed the pumped breastmilk. These bottles and nipples come in many different styles and sizes designed to suit infants’ diverse needs. For example, some bottles are intended to prevent the baby from swallowing extra air while drinking, making them suitable for a colicky baby. Similarly, some nipples are designed to imitate a mother’s nipple anatomy to promote sucking instead of waiting for milk to flow through the hole.
- Mild bottle detergent: It’s important to keep bottles and nipples clean because milk build-up can form quickly. Try to choose mild detergents that are organic and suitable for babies.
- Storage bags: You need good storage bags that can withstand heat when thawing the frozen breast milk in hot water. And, they should have a label for jotting down the date to track when each lot should be consumed.
A few other helpful items
Besides the essentials, many moms find the following items offer extra convenience.
- Nursing shirt or dress that gives easy access to the breasts
- Extra freezer for planning long-term milk storage
- Steam or UV sterilizer to sterilize bottle wares and dishwares for the little one
- Cooler bag and gel pack to maintain temperature when going out for an extended period