I must say my nursing journey with my second daughter has been MUCH easier than my journey with my first.
First time nursing is SO HARD!
You have no idea what you are doing and EVERYONE is trying to tell you what you are doing wrong. The second time around was much easier. Not only was I more confident because I knew what I was getting myself into, but also I came prepared!
Here are some of my must-have products for nursing and why I love them:
The first few days, hours and weeks of nursing can be painful! For some reason, no one talks about this but I have no problem giving all you first-time mammas out there some fair warning.
1: Nipple cream: This helps with the chapping and pain. Buy some to have at home OR make sure to ask your nurse at the hospital and they will give you a free sample that is typically more than enough to get you through the first few days or weeks.
2: Nipple soothing pads: This helps with chapping and pain, but adds a much-needed nice cool soothing feeling right after nursing. Kind of like an ice pack, only not as cold and intense.
3. Nipple shields: Yes, you read right shields! This is of the first two items are not enough. The shields are like cups that keep you nipple form running up against your bra or shirt.
You have no idea how much extra milk your body will produce while figuring out exactly how much the baby needs, so there were a few products that helped me deal with the leaking and extra milk production.
4. MilkSaver: This is an awesome contraption you can put in your bra cup on the OPPOSITE side you are nursing from that collects the milk dripping from the side you are NOT nursing on (yeah, you read right … milk drops on both sides even if you are only feeding and or pumping one side). This thing is perfect for collecting extra milk for freezing when you go back to work or just to have some extra milk to use for introducing the baby to a bottle.
5. Pump: If you plan on going back to work or ever having a babysitter or parent take the baby for a date night, you should start pumping right away so you can store frozen milk for later. Since you are pumping you will need freezer bags. I used two different kinds – one what worked with my pump and another that was larger and more cost-effective.
6. Disposable Nursing Pads: I’ve blogged about these before because they are lifesavers. My favorite brand is Johnson & Johnson. I do have a few reusable ones but they tend to leak, so I gave up and decided disposable is the way to go.
7. Nursing Tank tops: I still LIVE in nursing tanks! You can wear them alone or under anything, so they have replaced my bras almost completely this past year. The reason I love them so much is they make nursing or pumping easier, but you won’t be exposing your stomach every time you do either one.
8. Nursing Tops: These are good to have when you want a break from the nursing tank but need easy access for baby while you are out and about. Amazon has some awesome affordable ones.
9. Rocking/Nursing chair: Having a comfortable spot to nurse or rock baby for all those late-night feedings is a must! We have a simple modern one ( pictured below) and it is only $79 on Amazon.
10. Nursing Cover: This is another second-go-around lesson: have a good cover! One that is cute, comfortable and easy to use. My cover is not only a nursing cover but it can be a car seat cover, scarf or even a blanket when I forget to bring one.
11. Nursing Pillow: The Boppy nursing pillow can be used for so much more than nursing. I used a Boppy with both girls for nursing and bottle feeding. I also used it just to hold the baby on my lap more comfortably. As your baby grows you can use this pillow to help support them in sitting up or just lying in bed with you slightly elevated for their comfort.
This list is not perfect for everyone, but it is a good start for nursing mom’s looking for some help with preparing for their nursing journey. All these items are linked to Amazon and can be purchased through my affiliate links or at your prefered store! Feel free to comment with any questions or your own tips for nursing mommas.