As you begin to research and register for baby items, it can be hard to sort through all the products available on the market.
What do you truly need for breastfeeding and pumping, and what are those nice-to-have items?
We have compiled a guide of exactly what you’ll need to get you ready for the amazing adventure that lies ahead.
Here you’ll find our suggestions for must-haves along with fun extras to enhance your experience.
Start with the Essentials
There is no need to overwhelm yourself or break the bank when it comes to having what you need to breastfeed and pump.
Stick with these basics to start, and know that you can always add other items to fit your specific needs later.
- Breastfeeding pillow: No matter where you choose to feed your baby (your bed, a couch, the floor), a breastfeeding pillow will help you keep your baby close and prevent poor posture, making nursing more comfortable and easier to manage.
- Nursing bras and pads: A nursing bra is designed to provide support and accessibility for you and your nursing baby. Nursing pads help keep you clean and dry should you experience leakage, which helps prevent infection.
- Breast pump: Nursing and pumping are best friends. They go hand in hand and work together to provide for your little one. Having a breast pump you are comfortable with is key to a good pumping experience.
- Breastmilk storage accessories: Where does pumped milk need to go? Whether you are freezing it for later use or feeding your baby right away, having milk storage containers and accessories will keep you organized and prepared for a vast array of feeding situations.
- Creams, ointments, or lotions: Breast and nipple discomfort or soreness will likely occur, especially in the early days of breastfeeding. It’s a great idea to keep soothing remedies close by, such as lanolin ointment, nipple cream, or shea butter.
Customize to Your Lifestyle
Consider how your life will look after your baby arrives. Will you be staying home or returning to the workplace?
Will your days be spent out and about or mostly at home? Some of the following items may help breastfeeding and pumping fit more seamlessly into your life.
- Nursing clothes: Dresses, tops, or sweaters designed to help nursing mothers conveniently feed their babies can be useful if you are on the go frequently (or even from the comfort of your home). These clothing options prevent moms from fumbling with layers of clothing or exposing more of their bodies than they prefer. Discreet, easy access makes nursing on the go a breeze.
- Nursing covers: You may prefer a nursing cover if you plan to breastfeed in public, but this certainly isn’t a requirement. Covers can help you stay private if you wish and help diminish distractions for your baby, so they can focus on feeding.
- Bottles/bottle bags: Taking pumped milk with you when you’re away from home can be a cinch with the right bottle system. Choose something sleek and easy to transport. A bottle bag that can keep milk cold until it is ready for consumption is another great accessory to have. You may even consider a portable bottle warmer to keep on hand to make that just-right bottle ready for your little one.
- Breast pump bag: If you’re returning to the workplace or need to take your pump with you for any reason, a breast pump bag is a great addition to your gear. These bags have space for your pump and any accessories you need. Some even have an insulated storage compartment to keep milk fresh until you can store it in the fridge or freezer.
- Anything needed for troubleshooting: Each breastfeeding mother’s experience is unique, and we all have different issues that arise. There are solutions to help mothers over the hump – from nipple shields that help your baby latch to lactation massagers that relieve clogged ducts. Whatever you find helpful on your journey is what you should have. Don’t hesitate to add something to your routine that makes it uncomplicated.
Make It Fun
You are working selflessly and giving your baby the best nutrition possible. Treat yourself to some exciting extras that will spur inspiration and make this indescribable experience one you enjoy.
- Rocking chair or glider: Having a go-to chair where you and your baby can comfortably feed is priceless. So many sweet moments can transpire in a luxurious place that brings you both peace and comfort.
- Nursing/pumping basket: Find a cute bin or basket and fill it with all your must-haves and comfort items to have within reach. This can provide peace of mind, knowing that everything you need is close by. Just add baby.
- An area designated for you: Breastfeeding and pumping are not only physically demanding but require much of a mother’s mental and emotional capacity as well. Designating a space in your home to nurse or pump can also bring you comfort and can allow you to look forward to those moments of connection with your baby.
The Big Picture
You’re already off to a great start. Preparing for breastfeeding and pumping before your baby arrives sets you up for success and enjoyment.
Start with the basics, consider what you’ll need for your specific lifestyle, and add in some fun accessories for a tailored experience full of bliss.
Hegen is here to help with products, accessories, and resources to guide you every step of the way.