Everyone’s postpartum and breastfeeding journey looks different, but I want to share mine in the hopes that it will help you on yours!
I knew that I wanted to breast-feed exclusively for as long as possible up to one year. I am three weeks into my breastfeeding journey and I already have products that I know I couldn’t do without. A few of these I had purchased prior to Chloe's birth, but most of them I ordered after starting breastfeeding and needing to adjust a few things so they would work for me.
My milk started to come in on day 2 while I was still in the hospital, so I had support from the nurses to help me get started. I also took a lactation course online during my 3rd trimester just to try to learn the basics before it was time. I highly recommend taking an online course before you're ready to start breastfeeding! It helped me so much to manage expectations and learn a few tips.
Before I get into my list, I forgot to add one thing and it helped me so much during the first week: breast ice/heat packs! When your breasts are swollen and so painful, you'll thank me! These are genius and they're designed to fit inside your nursing bras.
First, these nursing bras are my favorite! Super easy to clip and un-clIp with one hand, and they include a bra extender, which I appreciate because I’m wearing a nursing bra during the day and night and I don’t want it to be super tight.
No matter what kind of bra you’re using. You definitely need breast pads to help you absorb all of your leaks, and I love these! I originally thought that I would use reusable breast pads, but once I started breastfeeding, I realized I couldn’t keep up with the laundry that needed to be done to always have clean breast pads on-hand. These disposable ones have been a lifesaver, and I change them out every morning and night.
Nipple cream is a must-have the one that I am loving the most is this nipple balm from Honest Co.
Whatever your reason for pumping is, there are a few products that can make it easier!
First, a hospital-grade breast pump! This is a game changer. I have the Spectra S1 model that is hospital grade and it's rechargeable so you can move it around the house with you. I'm mostly at home (not going back to work in an office, etc.) so portability wasn't a huge issue for me. I was a little intimidated to try to wash all of the parts and put it together to use for the first time, but once I did, it was a breeze and now so easy to disconnect after each use and give the flanges a quick wash so they're ready for the next session. Breast pumps are often covered by health insurance, so definitely check with your provider before you purchase one!
I also recommend buying the Haakaa hand pump. This was so helpful for me when my milk was coming in and I wanted to relieve a little pressure but didn't want to do a whole pumping session.
These Lansinoh milk storage bags were the best I found to fit right onto my breast pump so I don't have to pump into a bottle then pour into bags and risk spilling anything.
My postpartum cart has been so clutch during this time! I keep all of my breast pump supplies on one of the shelves and it makes it easy to find everything when I need it. (and it's only $26!)
The boppy breastfeeding pillow has been so handy during breastfeeding AND it's come in handy when we've had visitors who want to hold Chloe but their arm gets tired. This pillow is the perfect support so your arm isn't cramping after 5 minutes!
I hope this post helps you prepare for your breastfeeding journey! These items have helped me tremendously in my first few weeks.