When I recently had my son, Kason, I thought I knew a lot about breastfeeding and would instantly know how to do it. Its natural, right?!? Little did I know, I would be completely clueless!!! My journey to successful breastfeeding is still being written, TRUST ME, but as a newbie these are the items I have found to be the most helpful, important, and help me to feel MOSTLY normal.
1. Breast Pump: The most expensive, and probably least necessity for me, but used everyday item is my breast pump. My insurance covered my breast pump, so look into that to save some money. I use the Spectra 2. It was one of like 5 options my insurance gave me. I chose it on a total whim. I knew nothing about it, but it worked out great for me and is SUPER easy to use. I will say, a breast pump will be essential if you plan on going back to work and want to keep your baby on breastmilk.
2. Nursing Pads: If you have breast fed before, you know there is nothing worst than finally getting yourself ready after weeks of being a hermit and just surviving newborn life, to look down and see your lovely outfit soaking wet from leaky boobs. It happened to me, so spare yourself the pain and wear some nursing pads. I use these washable ones, but I also have disposable ones because sometime they are way more convenient.
3. Haakaa: This little guy is my MOST used item! I use this at every single feeding, unless we are in public, because I would literally be exposing my all of my chest. I am not comfortable with that for myself, but you do you! & if you use this and know how to be more discrete, send me your tips!. Anyway, this is a little silicone “pump” that uses suction to stick to your breast handsfree and catch the extra let down.
4. Water: So this is something you likely already do, but I did not know how much water I was actually going to need to drink while breastfeeding. I have probably doubled my water intake. I see a lot of people across the internet suggesting half your body weight in ounces of water per day. My milk supply is definitely decreased when I am not drinking enough water. An easy way I make sure I get enough is to drink a big glass of water with every feeding!
5. Nipple Balm: This was so important in the beginning! My lactation consultant in the hospital said we had a great latch, no tongue/ lip tie, and everything seemed great, but my nipples still cracked, they were still sore, and even bled. Let me say this: IT GOT SO MUCH BETTER! After a few weeks, my nipples toughened up, my babies mouth got bigger, we both learned what worked and was comfortable for both of us. So don’t let that scare you. Get some nipple balm and breastfeed on!
Hopefully at least one of these will help you if you are a breastfeeding newbie. I think these are by far the most essential items to get you going on your breastfeeding journey. Their are hundreds of products/tips out there, but these are what really worked for us at the end of the day!