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Breastfeeding Essentials: Checklist for First-Time Moms

Breastfeeding Essentials

Do you know that WHO recommends breastfeeding your baby until he becomes 2 years old? THAT might take quite a while.

When you first attempt to nurse your newborn, you probably figured that moms have been doing this forever, so how hard can it be?

However, with all the breastfeeding essentials you need for your new baby, you’re probably overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Especially new moms.

Some questions you might be asking are:

  • What essentials do I need for breastfeeding?
  • What do I need for breastfeeding and pumping?
  • Which ones will be best for you and baby?

To all moms, don’t worry.

We’re here to guide you with a list to make your breastfeeding journey a WHOLE LOT easier in your first few weeks!

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Breastfeeding Essentials Checklist

1. Nursing Bras Help You Access Your Breasts Easily

Access

A nursing bra allows you to breastfeed your baby without removing it entirely.

There are different categories of nursing bras:

  • Dropdown or drop cup
  • Crossover
  • Underwire
  • And many more

You can refer to this Nursing Bra Demonstration if you want a short but helpful description of these categories:

This video also features a pumping bra and a nursing tank, but we’ll go over them after this.

Some good nursing bras we recommend is the ThirdLove 24/7™ Classic Nursing Bra, an underwire type.

Nursing Bra

We personally love this because:

  • It’s comfy;
  • It fits any sizes;
  • It’s durable;
  • And it looks plain but elegant.

But if it’s not to your liking, then you’re still welcome to choose other types.

Regardless of your choice though, you will need to know how to wear nursing bras. A bra guide is one piece of information that can greatly assist you with that.

2. Nursing Tanks Serve as Your Breastfeeding Top Cloth

Top Cloth

Nursing Tanks‘ usual length is up to buttocks and sometimes, up to thighs. A mom wears this when she’s in public and needs to breastfeed her baby.

Some tanks also have a built-in bra and some don’t. So to make up for that, they wear nursing bras under their tanks.

One of best selling nursing tanks is SUIEK Women’s Nursing Tank.

Tank

It’s loved by many moms because:

  • It’s fashionable;
  • Comfortable to wear;
  • Elastic;
  • And available in different styles.

It’s indeed an excellent cloth to wear if you want to nurse your baby while looking charming at the same time.

3. Pumping Bras Allow You to Extract Milk from Your Breasts

Allow You to Extract

With pumping bras, you’ll be able to easily stockpile breast milk supply for your baby.

By inserting a breast pump into the bra’s opening over your nipples, milk will get sucked, allowing you to store them for baby bottle feeding.

What’s great about a breast pump bra is that well…for one, it’s HANDS-FREE!

What does that mean?

It’s convenient to use, especially when you’re multi-tasking – be it reading a book or working. A very much needed supply for faster milk supply.

Now, the best hands-free pumping bra is the Simple Wishes Pumping Bra. With over 14,000 reviews, it’s rated with an average of 4.5 stars.

Pumping Bra

Its main benefits are:

  • It’s adjustable;
  • Compatible with any breast pump;
  • And it also feels comfy.

4. A Breast Pump Allows for Easy Milk Extraction

Easy Extract

Breast pumps are devices that help you efficiently produce milk supply.

There are 2 basic types of breast pumps:

  • Manual pump
  • Battery-powered and electric pumpwa

The battery-powered and electric one is what’s usually popular among moms because it’s handy. The Spectra Baby USA S1 Plus is the best pick for this category.

Spectra

The reasons for that are it’s:

  • Rechargeable;
  • Portable;
  • And it comes with essential accessories too.

5. A Nursing Cover Helps You Conceal Your Baby

Conceal

Nursing cover is a cloth that you can wear outside as well. Its purpose is to hide both you and your baby from the public for privacy.

There are several types of nurse covers and these are the most known:

  • Nursing poncho: Usually a long V-shaped cloth that is great at providing full coverage
  • Nursing scarf: Stylish cover that you can wear as a scarf when you’re not breastfeeding
  • Nursing apron: Designed as a chef apron, this has an open area around your chest for easy access to check on your baby

The best nursing cover you can use is a KeaBabies Nurse Poncho Cover.

Keababies

It has multiple purposes, three of which benefits your baby the most:

  • Baby seat car cover
  • Breastfeeding cover
  • Stroller cover
  • And many more

This cover gives you so many options – it saves you time from searching for other separate products that do the same job, when in fact, this particular cover already offers most of what you need throughout your motherhood.

6. Nursing Pads Cover Any Leakage

Cover Leakage

Nursing pads, or breast pads, are responsible for absorbing leaked milk from your breast. This is worn inside your nurse or pump bra.

Like others, pads come in different types too:

  • Disposable
  • Reusable
  • Silicone
  • Hydrogel

With Nanobébé’s disposable nursing pads being the most effective among all, it’s given that it would win. Aside from being the best in absorbing, it’s also:

nanobebe
  • Low-cost compared to others that are shown in the video;
  • And it also contains 30 pairs when others only contain 2-4

7. Nipple Cream Helps You Reduce Nipple Soreness

Nipple Cream

Nipple Cream is mainly used to treat sore nipples or any kind of discomfort you’re feeling on your nipples.

There will be times that you’re going to manually breastfeed your baby. It’s part of motherhood after all. So during breastfeeding, your baby might bite your nipple anytime, and it can cause small wounds and sore nipples.

Even though it might not seem serious at all, it can get worse if not treated right away. The worst case is it hinders your daily work. 

To avoid this problem, you’ll have to prepare a cream to make your breastfeeding experience better. The best product you can use to cure your nipple is Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream.

Lansinoh

To better understand why this is loved by breastfeeding moms, let’s get into its benefits – but, we’re not going to understand it without even knowing what Lanolin is, so let’s define what it means first.

Fast Fact: Lanolin is an ointment extracted from sheep’s wool. It’s non-toxic and can be used for both the mom and the baby. It’s specifically made to relieve skin soreness, swelling, irritation, and more skin problems.

With Lanolin being the main ingredient, it’s made possible for Lansinoh’s nipple cream to produce an astonishing result combining with its great characteristics such as:

  • Fragrance, additives, and preservatives-free;
  • And hypoallergenic

8. Breast Milk Storage Bags Let You Stock Up on Milk

Storage Bags

As obvious as it is, a Breast Milk Storage Bag is particularly made to help you store enough milk for convenient use. Simply put them in your fridge to preserve them.

The best-selling breastmilk storage bag among moms is Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags. Yes, it’s the same brand again.

Lansinoh

With the brand providing constant quality to customers, it’s no doubt they have high ratings.

So why is this particular breastmilk storage bag great?

  • It has a great storage capacity;
  • Easy to use;
  • And it’s got a great price.

9. A Water Bottle Helps You Hydrate

Hydrate

What we have here is a simple product – a water bottle.

It’s included in the list of breastfeeding essentials because whenever you breastfeed, you always release oxytocin which triggers your thirst. You need something to sustain your hydration.

You get thirsty when you breastfeed because it’s a way of ensuring your body received enough hydration while breastfeeding.

How Much Water Do You Need to Consume?

You need to at least drink 8 oz. of water every time you breastfeed your baby.

What If You Don’t Drink Enough Water?

Water bottle

Even if you don’t drink enough water, your body will still be able to produce enough breastmilk for your baby, but it will be a slower process than usual.

It is because your body is going through symptoms like:

  • Chapped lips
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Moodiness

Your health will be what will suffer the most.

Okay, so go and grab a drink now.

But What If You Drink Too Much Water During Breastfeeding? Will It Affect You in a Bad Way?

Well, there’s actually been a study that found that a mom who consumes too much water produces less breastmilk.

This study is way too old though, it’s been published in 1953. But nevertheless, it’s still always better to be cautious about everything.

Just try to drink the suggested amount of water so you and your babies will be in the best condition.

About the products, you don’t have to spend a penny to get a new one. You can use your spare water bottles in your house. It’s alright to use a sports bottle or any kind of bottle at all. As long as it’s clean and safe to use.

BONUS: On top of staying hydrated, you can’t forget about eating the right foods! We have a list of dairy-free freezer meals to help you conveniently prepare a day’s worth of eating.

10. Nursing Pillows Support Your Baby’s Back

Support Neck

The last thing listed in this breastfeeding essentials checklist is a nursing pillow, or better yet, an organic nursing pillow. It’s essential because it helps support babies’ bodies when you’re breastfeeding them.

Place a nursing pillow on your lap and then place the baby on top of the pillow so you can provide a comfy position for him/her during breastfeeding.

Not only does it work great for your baby, but it also helps you reduce neck, arm, and back strain.

There are several lactation consultants, and even birthing hospitals, that have testified its proven effectiveness.

We also strongly recommend you do your research before using these, though, because an improper latch can cause any mom to develop milk ducts. You don’t want to have that, so it’s better to be careful.

Important Things to Remember About Breastfeeding

Things to Remember

Take note that all the recommended products in the list of breastfeeding essentials have some disadvantages too. Some may work well with you, and some may not, so:

  • Always do thorough background research: Check if you’re okay with the reviews. Even if the breastfeeding products have made big sales and are highly rated by a lot of customers, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be automatically perfect for you and your baby.
  • Approach a lactation specialist. If you’re unsure about information related to breastfeeding, it’s better to approach a professional. They can help you with whatever challenges you’re dealing with.

Conclusion: Must-Have Breastfeeding Supplies

This must-to-have items list of breastfeeding supplies will greatly benefit both you and your baby. These are great things that can accompany any mama out there throughout 2 years of breastfeeding.

We believe your babies will grow into healthy, happy children.

So, this is it. We hope you enjoyed reading our list of essentials!

FINAL TIP: If you’re reading this to PREPARE for your new bundle of joy, then you should also take a look at our Natural Birth Plan Guide and ensure you have all topics covered.


Changelog:

July 23, 2021 – updated interlinking, updated external links, embedded 1 YouTube video

About the author

angelica-graham

A few years ago, Angelica found out about all the plastic and toxic ingredients that got into most children’s products. And this worried her to no end. Because of this, she began to research what the best ingredients and materials were for children and made it her mission to share this information with other mothers.