You may have asked yourself ‘what do I need for breastfeeding?’. Ideally all that is needed is you and baby. Yet investing in some breastfeeding accessories will make the experience a whole lot easier. Plan ahead and find out what is available out there to help you breastfeed successfully.
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10 Breastfeeding Accessories You Need
1. Breast Pump
A breast pump can be a life saver for many breastfeeding mums. The flexibility a breast pump offers appeals to lots of mums. Whether returning to work or getting a babysitter whist you have a night off, a pump is what you need. There are a vast range from simple hand-held manual pumps up to double hospital grade electric pumps. Check out our guide to finding a breast pump which suits your needs.
2. Nursing Pillow
Take breastfeeding comfort to a whole new level with a breastfeeding pillow. Not only will it support your baby during a feed but it will help you to sit in a more upright position to help protect your back. Nursing pillows can also be uses as a sleep aid to place between your knees to make the whole birth recovery period a lot easier. When baby gets to an age where they are attempting to sit, the cushion can be used as a sitting prop to help baby develop his back muscles.
3. Breastfeeding Cover
Some mums love the privacy a nursing cover can offer the for breastfeeding in public. The styles have advanced a lot in the past few years and you can now buy them in some really lovely fabrics. If you are not keen on the apron style covers you can purchase a large cowl type cover. This type can be worn as a scarf when not feeding baby and save room in the baby bag Other types of cover include shawls and breastfeeding hats which allow modesty when feeding.
4. Nursing Bras
Let’s face it your breast are going to need comfort and support when your breastfeeding. Buying a good nursing bra will give you both of these features as well as easy access for baby. Your breasts will get bigger when you breastfeed so you need flexibility for when your breast are full. Wearing a tight under wire bra can cause blocked ducts or mastitis as by constricting your breasts. You may also want to buy a sleep bra as your breast may leak at night. Look for a bra with wide straps, back and front support and one handed snap clasps. Check out our article on tips for breastfeeding if you have larger breasts.
5. Nursing Clothes
Regular vests and t-shirts are great for breastfeeding when at home. In public you may want more subtle and easy access. Also if you where your normal clothes, you may stretch them out of place. Breastfeeding clothing has come on leaps and bounds for our more fashion conscious mums, have a look for dresses , tops, vests and pyjamas which are breastfeeding friendly.
6. Breast Pads
If you don’t want to walk around with big wet patches on your tops then you’re going to need some breast pads. You can get these as reusable pads which you wash or you can buy disposable ones. These pads are designed to absorb the milk and keep your breasts dry in a discreet way. The disposable type have a stick pad on the back onto the inside of your bra so they won’t slip.If you are unsure about which is best for you check out our breast pad buying guide.
7. Milk Storage Bags
If you will be expressing milk then you’ll need some storage solutions. Bottles are great if you’re using the milk in the next few hours, however it they take up a lots of space. Milk Storage bags are a must if you will be freezing milk for long term use. These are specially designed bags which you can use with a breast pump to directly collect the milk. They also have special features such as non leak and specially insulated to prevent freezer burn, ensuring your breast milk keeps it beneficial properties.
8. Baby Sling
Keeping baby skin to skin is a sure fire way to improve your bond with baby and help your milk supply. Using a baby sling can help you to keep baby close when you’re walking around the house doing chores and when you outside, especially in busy places like shopping centres. Baby slings can also be used by dads for lots of skin to skin and keep baby calm whilst mum get a rest.
9. Nipple Cream
If you are having problems which cause nipple pain you’ll want to speak to your breastfeeding support worker or midwife to help sort the root of the cause. In the meantime using a good nipple cream can be a godsend for some mums. The cream acts as a barrier to help your nipples heal. These barrier creams are also great for mums who have very sensitive nipples, particularly in those first few weeks. Remember to read the instructions as some creams need to be washes off before baby feeds. Check out our recommendations for the best nipple creams here.
10. Breastfeeding Vitamins
The NHS recommend breastfeeding mums you get 10 micrograms (mcg) of Vitamin D daily. You can do this by eating a healthy diet including fish , mushrooms and eggs. If you would prefer to ensure you have a right balance take a vitamin supplement instead. These vitamins have been specifically deigned for breastfeeding to ensure baby get what it needs to grow and mum get what she need for a healthy recovery and feeding baby.